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  • Writer's pictureMGM Color Solutions

Tips for Removing Old Wallpaper from Your Walls

Interior design has seen its fair share of revolving trends, and wallpaper is no exception. Once a hallmark of interior decor in the 60s and then again in the 90s, wallpaper has left an indelible mark on our walls. Today, while removable designs gain popularity, many of us are still left grappling with patterns that scream yesteryears. If you're looking to refresh your walls, here's your blueprint for parting ways with that vintage wallpaper.

Wallpaper that needs to be removed

Tools For Wallpaper Removal

Before getting started with your wallpaper removal project, we recommend getting some essentials together. These will help the process go smoothly and your project go faster!

  • Protective tarp

  • Tape

  • Wallpaper perforation tool and scraper

  • Glue Softener of choice (see section below)

  • Waste bin

  • Eye Protection

Glue Softeners Explained

Plain Water: This is the simplest and often the least aggressive method. Warm water can soften the glue, especially if it's been applied recently. However, this might not be as effective for older wallpapers or stronger adhesives.

  • How to use: Dampen a sponge in warm water and rub gently on a small section of the wallpaper. Let it sit for a while to allow the water to penetrate and soften the glue.

Steamer: Using steam is a classic and effective method, particularly for stubborn adhesives. The heat and moisture from the steam work together to break down the glue.

  • How to use: Fill the steamer with water and let it heat up. Hold the steamer plate against the wallpaper, moving slowly to allow the steam to penetrate the paper and reach the glue. This might require some time, so patience is key.

Vinegar Solution: Vinegar, being acidic, can help dissolve the adhesive. It's a natural method and doesn't introduce any chemicals to your walls.

  • How to use: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Generously spray the solution on a section of the wallpaper. The acidity of the vinegar works in tandem with the warmth of the water to weaken the adhesive.

Fabric Softener: This household item isn't just for your laundry. Fabric softener can break down wallpaper glue, making the removal process smoother.

  • How to use: Create a mix of one part fabric softener to one part hot water. Apply this mixture using a sponge or spray bottle, ensuring the wallpaper is well-saturated.

Choosing the Right Softener

  • Wall Type: Drywall can be more sensitive to moisture compared to plaster walls. If you have drywall, be extra cautious not to oversaturate the wallpaper to avoid potential damage.

  • Wallpaper Age: Older wallpapers might have more stubborn adhesives that require stronger methods like steaming or vinegar solutions.

  • Test Patch: Always start by treating a small, inconspicuous area. This lets you see how the wallpaper and wall react to the method chosen without risking widespread damage.

Wallpaper Removal Precautions

  1. Cut off the power supply in the concerned area.

  2. Seal off electrical outlets and switch panels. You can address them individually later.

  3. Shield your floors using a protective tarp.

Three-Step Process to Wallpaper Removal

  1. Attempt a Peel: Sometimes, you might get lucky. Locate an edge and try peeling the wallpaper. If it comes off, continue till all of it's removed.

  2. Scoring the Wallpaper: For those stubborn wallpapers, use a scoring tool. This helps in creating tiny perforations that allow moisture to seep through. Remember, a gentle hand prevents wall damage.

  3. Glue Softening: From plain water to steamers and vinegar solutions, pick a method that suits your wall type and the wallpaper's age. Always start with a test patch to gauge the moisture's impact. Once dampened, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then test a corner. If it peels effortlessly, proceed; if not, reapply your wetting solution.


We Hope These Tips Help Remove That Wallpaper

Removing wallpaper can be a tedious and frustrating job, but by following these helpful tips, your project will undoubtedly go smoother and faster. If you are ready to get your walls painted professionally, look no further than the painting professionals at MGM Color Solutions. We are experts in residential interior and exterior painting. Contact us for a fast and free estimate.

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12 mars
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Thanks for the advice!

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