How to remove wallpaper

The good news about wallpaper removal is that it is very inexpensive and its removal can add lots of value to your home! The bad news is that no matter how you slice it, it is a tedious job. So just keep reminding yourself of the good news when you work through it!


I recently removed wallpaper from my daughter’s bedroom, and wanted a safe method (which means no yucky chemicals!) while still being efficient.  Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: Remove the top layer (the print layer) of the wallpaper. Wallpaper has two layers to it: the print layer on top and the paste layer beneath it. Your goal is to remove the print layer first so you can let hot water break up the paste layer.

printlayerandpastelayerThank you, Toddler, for getting the print layer removal started!

To remove the print layer, just grab onto an edge or corner with your fingernail and peel away. At times, I was able to peel off whole strips at a time. It did take some trials to get my technique down. But once I got it, the paper came off fairly easily. Just stick with it.

Before you know it, your room will look like this:

pastelayeronwallsGoodbye, Print Layer!

It took me under two hours to remove the top layer of the 10×12 bedroom. Then I was ready for the next step!

Step 2: Remove Paste Layer. Now it’s time to say sayonara to the paste layer. After you say your parting words, it’s time to get to work. You will need the following simple materials:

  • Bucket of hot, hot water
  • Sponge
  • Flexible puddy knife
  • Old towel or rag

First: Fill your bucket with the hottest water you can tolerate. Remember: The hotter, the better. And with your sponge, soak about a 12 inch section of the wallpaper.

12inchsectionDon’t be afraid to apply some pressure with the sponge, and really get in there. The hot water will penetrate deep in the paste layer and break up the adhesive.

Next: Get out your flexible puddy knife and scrape away! Once you penetrate the paste layer with hot water, the wallpaper really wants to come off, I promise!!! Remember to use a flexible puddy knife- it’s got to have a little play in it- or it WILL gouge your walls.


Look how happy I am to remove that wallpaper!

And speaking of gouging your walls, you probably will get a nick here or there. Don’t freak out. When you finish the project you can spackle and sand. You’ll never know the difference.

Last: Dry your 12-inch section with a towel. Dry wall is also made out of paper, so you don’t want to get it too wet and risk damage. Once it’s dry just reapeat the process. Wet another 12-inch section and scrape away!



It took me about a week to scrape the whole room. I worked at it two hours a day (during nap time) and by the end of the week, I was finished! Just get some tunes going and get to work.

When you are finished, you should very proud of yourself! You will totally transform the space! I took the room from this:


To this:


And all I did was remove the wallpaper and paint! You can totally do the same to your room!

I hope you found this useful!



Feel free to pin this when you get around to peeling your wallpaper:


How to remove wallpaper!

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