Tips to remove wallpaper

Searching for ways to remove stubborn wallpaper from your walls?  With a house full of it, we like to think we learned a thing or two and have tips to remove wallpaper for you today.       

So... removing wallpaper, huh?  It is not for the faint of heart... but we like to think with a home full of wallpaper, we learned a thing or two about removing it from walls and have some tips for you to make it a easier process.

First floor bath

The thicker the wallpaper, it seemed the easier it was to remove, but who knows what you have when you are removing something someone else has put up.  We tried buying the expensive spray-on wallpaper remover... we found it did not work so well... the directions indicated to spray on, let it sit for a few minutes and then remove the paper.  It is not that easy, or we just had really stubborn wallpaper on the wall.   

We also tried the device that has roller blades on it that scores the paper.  It slices slits in the wallpaper so the above spray can get in behind the wallpaper.  Again, not the perfect solution... at least these two items combined was not the answer for us... 

Dressing area in upstairs bath

You can see, we had a lot of wallpaper in our home... we tried a steamer, and while it did make it easier, some of the wallpaper here was still pretty stubborn and did not want to release from the wall.  Example below...  I wanted to cry at one point... no sense crying over spilled milk child... just keep your nose to the grindstone.  

1st floor bedroom

This is the first floor bedroom which we use as our tv room now... do you see the mess here?  It was so frustrating when the paper would only come off in teeny tiny pieces... but we were not deterred... 1 point Mr. and Mrs. Vintage, Wallpaper 0!

We like to think we came up with a pretty good solution to remove the wallpaper after we got the hang of it.  We decided to put fabric softener in the basin of the steamer.  For the most part, the wallpaper came off like a dream... we would put the paddle of the steamer on the wall, let it sit about 20-30 seconds and take our spackle knife and scrape the paper away.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy...  no more stressed depressed lemon zest...   

For the room above:
  1. We used the tool that slices slits in the paper, scoring all along the area we were planning to work in.
  2. We placed the steamer on the wall over the scored sections for about 30 seconds, sometimes it needed more, but 30 seconds is a good starting point. 
  3. Pull the paddle away from the wall and use the spackling knife to get under the paper, once you have gotten under the wallpaper, scrape up so the wallpaper comes away from the wall.  I also included links below for you to check out items we used for this undertaking… so ominous… 

The scorer really helped when we were using the Wagner steamer and in combination with the softener it was a much smoother process.  Once you get a small section up, you keep working at it... you do need to be careful with the steamer paddle, we had several burn mishaps being distracted... because removing wallpaper even if it comes up easily is not fun, no matter what anyone tells you! 

We did use a lot of fabric softener, but we knew to have someone remove the wallpaper for us would be really expensive.  The cost of fabric softener in the big scheme of things was totally worth it to us.  It is not hard work, just time consuming and kind of boring.  At the time, we were planning our wedding and working on our home... talk about a lot on our plate at that time.  


The mixture for the steamer?  We mixed half water and half fabric softener in the basin of the steamer.  At first, I thought I had to purchase Downey, but as you can imagine, it was getting pretty expensive.  I then went for the cheapest softener I could find, and you know what?  They worked exactly the same...  so no need to purchase really expensive sprays, or other things out there on the market, cheap fabric softener works just fine.  

We used this process for eight rooms, 3 hallways, and the foyer.  We would highly suggest purchasing the Wagner steamer, it really does all of the work for you.  The spackle tool may be something you already have on hand, if not, they are not that expensive.  If you have the hard to remove paper as you saw in the bedroom, then the tool that scores the paper for you may be a good investment to make.    

I looked and Amazon has some really good prices on fabric softener.  If you have a whole home or a large space you will be removing wallpaper from, we suggest purchasing the 12 bottles for $47.88, if not, you can purchase it by the bottle at $3.99 for a 68 oz bottle.  I honestly cannot tell you how many bottles we purchased... it seemed like I was running to the store often to pick it up.  If you buy it in bulk, it will save you time and money... you will not have to keep starting and stopping to purchase more materials.  I always seemed to come up short and the trips to the store kind of got in the way of progress.  

The best part about using fabric softener when removing wallpaper?  Your home smells wonderful!  Do you know still to this day when the air is on and it is hot outside when we walk in from being outside we can still smell the fabric softener?  Not sure why, but it does.  My mom says she can smell it every time she comes over, but I only seem to smell it when I come in from outside on a hot day.   Affiliate links included in this post.  

You can see more pictures of our home by clicking the links to read:





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