How to Remove Wallpaper From Behind a Toilet Tank

Ever wonder what kind of wallpaper a bathroom once had? Try looking behind the toilet tank, where you'll often see a patch of faded or painted-over paper. Removing wallpaper from behind a toilet tank is a challenge for many do-it-yourselfers, who try to squeeze their hands back there to scrape, pull or scrub away the paper and glue. But there's a much easier way: Simply remove the tank. If you've never taken apart a toilet, that may sound intimidating, but anyone can do it.

Step 1

Shut off the water supply to the toilet. There should be a valve where the supply line comes in from the wall. Turn it counter-clockwise all the way.

Step 2

Take off the tank top and set it aside.

Step 3

Flush the toilet and hold the lever down so as much water drains out as possible.

Step 4

Use sponges, rags or a wet-dry vacuum to get the remaining water out of the bottom of the tank.

Step 5

Lay a towel beneath the back of the toilet to catch any water that may be in the fill valve.

Step 6

Disconnect the water supply line from the bottom of the toilet. The coupling can often be unscrewed by hand. Use channel locks if necessary.

Step 7

Remove the bolts holding the tank to the bowl.

Step 8

Pull off the tank and set it aside.

Step 9

Strip the wallpaper the same way you did in the rest of the room.

Step 10

Inspect the hardware you removed earlier. If the bolts are badly corroded or the rubber washers are eroded, buy a replacement toilet hardware kit at a hardware store.

Step 11

Replace the stool gasket--the rubber ring where the tank meets the bowl. Replacement gaskets are available at all hardware and home improvement stores.

Step 12

Replace the tank by following the removal directions in reverse order.

Cam Merritt

Cam Merritt is a writer and editor specializing in business, personal finance and home design. He has contributed to USA Today, The Des Moines Register and Better Homes and Gardens"publications. Merritt has a journalism degree from Drake University and is pursuing an MBA from the University of Iowa.