How to Remove Old Wall Paper

So, you have a wall that’s been looking pretty ragged and you would like to spruce it up a bit or you just think that the wallpaper is downright ugly.

You may think that taking off your wallpaper would be as simple as removing a bandage, but if you don’t know what you’re about to try then you may do much more damage than you had originally planned for.

First of all, check what your wall is made of. If it’s stone or concrete you’re in luck as it is not as easy to damage as drywall.

After this check what type of wallpaper you have.

Different wallpaper types have different methods at which you could remove them. Vinyl for example, needs the Vinyl layer peeled away first before you proceed with the rest.

If your wallpaper is still pretty recent you may be lucky enough to have peel-able wallpaper in which you can pry up the corner with a putty knife and just peel it away from the wall slowly so that it doesn’t rip.


  • You will need a way to soften the adhesive behind the wall paper. For this there are several methods. You can use plain water, steam, chemical solvents and homemade concoctions of water mixed with fabric softener.

If possible start with the cheapest methods first, like warm/hot water in a spray bottle and work your way up from there until you find something that will loosen the adhesive on your test piece of wall.

  • Now that you’ve done that you may want to get yourself a wallpaper scorer although it isn’t 100% required it may help. It’s got a few little wheels on the bottom with pokey bits. This will help your removal solution get to the adhesive. Here are some examples




  • Now that you have this you’re going to want to get a wall paper scraper of some sort. This is used like the name that is specified with it. To scrape off the wallpaper.

At this point it is pretty straight forward.

Wet the wall paper to soften the adhesive backing and carefully scrape it away as to not damage the wall.

Depending how old the adhesive and how much was used this could be an easy task or a complete pain, if not completely soft you may tear up part of the wall along with it.

After you have gotten everything off the walls you should:

  • Reward yourself for a job well done
  • Cry a little if you tore a hole in your wall
  • Fix the damaged parts with some spackle
  • Clean up before anyone realizes what you’ve done.

Congrats! Now you’re halfway through with your walls and can decide whether to paint it or to put up new wall paper.