What is the BEST Way To Remove OLD Wallpaper???

What is the BEST Way To Remove OLD Wallpaper???

When it comes to working on Clients’ homes, there are two things that I absolutely personally despise doing more than any other…

1) One is re-glazing old windows.

2) The other is removing old wallpaper.

I am very fortunate that I have been able to surround myself over the years with some very hard working, talented people that are able to relieve me of what for me are the most painstaking of painstaking tasks.


Of the two, taking down wallpaper is obviously the one that is the more interior-oriented.

‘Arduous’ is one word that many use to describe this “fun” activity and I think it hits it right on the head.

Elbow grease is essential in taking down wallpaper.

Over the years, we have found there to be a few other tools however that may be able to assist in the process (once the wallpaper is perforated so that these tools will be truly effective)…

1) Wallpaper steamers can be very helpful. Clearly not everyone has a wallpaper steamer kicking around their home. If you are able to borrow or rent one, although a little cumbersome to set up and clean up, many find them extremely useful.

2) Concentrated or ready mix wallpaper removal solutions from the local hardware, paint, or box store we have found to work to varying degrees depending on the type of wallpaper situation that is being stripped (vinyl or paper-backed, paste or adhesive, how many layers, etc.).

3) A home “remedy” that you may find on the Internet (fabric softener or vinegar mixed to differing concoctions with boiling hot water as one example) could possibly be an alternate type of way of approaching things.

Taking down wallpaper is not an easy task whatsoever.

Many times it is a process of trial & error to see what the best methodology is with a specific wallpaper removal situation.


Out of the numerous possibilities,

believe it or not, our best wallpaper guy

for years has sworn by just using…

Boiling hot water!

No matter how you cut it, the process is the same:

  • Perforate wallpaper.
  • Apply “solution” (steam, wallpaper removal solution, home remedy, hot water, etc.)
  • Use a putty knife or scraper to take off wallpaper.
  • Use a sponge to help remove as much of the adhesive residue as possible, and repeat until everything is all off.

At the end of the day, there is no magic button.

Good old-fashioned hard work is the most essential part of the entire process and there is no escaping that!


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