How to Take Off Old Wallpaper from Walls

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Things You'll Need

  • Scoring tool

  • Spray bottle

  • Liquid fabric softener

  • Scraper

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Scrub brush

  • Cloth

Dissolving some of the adhesive behind the paper will help the paper to peel off more easily.

Old, outdated wallpaper can drag down the appearance of a room. You can dramatically transform the room, however, if you get rid of the old paper and give the walls a new treatment of paint or paper. The task of removing old wallpaper usually is a dreaded one because it can be tedious, time-consuming and messy. There are some tips, however, that will help you to remove old wallpaper in a more efficient manner.

Step 1

Score the wallpaper with a scoring tool. You can find scoring tools at most hardware stores. Most scoring tools are circular in shape and fit in the palm of your hand. You simply place the scoring tool against the wallpaper and apply gentle pressure to pierce it. You can score wallpaper with a utility knife, but you must use extremely gentle pressure so that you don't cut into the wall underneath.

Step 2

Mix equal parts liquid fabric softener and water in a clean spray bottle.

Step 3

Spray the solution onto the wall and wait for about 20 minutes for it to soak in and dissolve most of the glue.

Step 4

Scrape the wallpaper off gently with a scraping tool. You can also find scraping tools at most hardware stores. These tools feature slanted blades that are designed to remove the paper without damaging the wall.

Step 5

Pull larger scraps of wall paper off with your hands. Once you get a section started with the scraper, you can usually pull large sections off with your hands.

Step 6

Remove any residual paste from the wall by mixing 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap with a quart of warm water. Dip a scrub brush with nylon bristles into the solution and use it to gently scrub away any remaining paste. Use circular strokes and gentle pressure to remove the paste. Wipe the area clean with a moist cloth.


Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.