How to Remove Wallpaper Yourself

How to Remove Wallpaper Yourself. You can't stand the sight of that old dining room wallpaper and you just have to do something. You know the solution is to remove the wallpaper, but you've heard some horror stories about taking wallpaper down. Take heart. Although removing wallpaper is time consuming and can be messy, it's something you can do. Just think how good your dining room will look when that old wallpaper is gone.

Step 1

Give yourself some room to work. Take everything off the walls (including switch and receptacle plates). Also, take all the furniture out of the room. If that's not possible, stack it in the center of the room and cover it with plastic sheets or tarps.

Step 2

Now comes the big moment. A lot of newer wallpaper is dry strippable. That means just what it says; the wallpaper can be peeled off the walls without using any water or chemicals. Use a putty knife to pry up a seam of the wallpaper (preferably in a corner), grab onto to the raised seam and peel it slowly back at a 45-degree angle. If the wallpaper peels off easily, you're in luck because you've got dry strippable wallpaper. Just pry up the corners of a wallpaper strip and slowly peel it away from the wall. It should come off in sheets, just like it went on. However, if the wallpaper sticks and tears into small pieces, you will need to use some other methods involving water or even chemicals.

Step 3

Put drop cloths around the floor and cover them with towels. Lightly score the wallpaper with a utility knife or a wallpaper-scoring tool (available at most home and hardware stores). The wallpaper-scoring tool is designed to stop you from cutting too deep and cutting the paper surface of the drywall.

Step 4

Wet down one or two sections of the wallpaper with a sponge or a paint roller soaked in warm water or warm water mixed with commercially available wallpaper removers (a chemical you add directly to the water). Allow the moisture to soak in, then try to peel off the wallpaper. As the warm water softens the glue, it will loosen and the wallpaper will come off.

Step 5

Peel off the wallpaper, starting at a seam and peeling back slowly at a 45 degree angle. Sliding a wide blade putty knife under the edge of the wallpaper can help peel it off the walls.

Step 6

Depending on how long the wallpaper has been on the wall and how strong the glue is, you may need to wet down the wall sections a number of times before the glue loosens. If a section is too stubborn, wet it again, and move onto to another section and come back later. Quite likely, there will be small stubborn pieces that will stick and you will need to work them off in little chunks. Some pieces are just impossible to remove, and if this happens to you, sand them with 80 grit paper and then paint with primer.

Step 7

Once you have removed the wallpaper, let the walls dry and then wash them with a solution of TSP and water. This will help remove all traces of wallpaper glue and give you a smooth surface to put up your new wallpaper. If you're going to paint the wall, sand it before you paint to be sure all traces of glue are gone.