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How to Remove Various Types of Wallpaper

The word “wallpaper” includes many, many kinds of wall finishings. Today's Three typical wallpaper types are peelable, strippable, and vinyl. The removal techniques vary slightly depending on the type of wallpaper, but this guide will explain how to get the job done.


Know the Type of Wallpaper

First, know the type of wallpaper at hand. Take a putty knife and try to peel back a corner at one of the seams. If the corner peels back relatively quickly, this is peelable wallpaper, and removal should be straightforward. If the wallpaper doesn’t peel easily, it’s either strippable or vinyl, which are slightly more challenging to remove.


Score the Wallpaper

The next step is to score the wallpaper. This step is unnecessary for peelable wallpaper but critical for strippable or vinyl. Get the scoring tool in hand and press the scoring wheels against the wallpaper surface. For strippable wallpaper, slight pressure is all that’s required. For vinyl wallpaper, a bit more effort may be required to poke through the wallpaper.

The concept here is to perforate the surface of the wallpaper so the solution spread on in the next step can get behind it and reduce the adhesive.


Spray the Surface with the Vinegar Solution

Blend a white vinegar and warm water solution in a one-to-one ratio and pour it into a spray bottle. Apply a plentiful amount of the solution over the scored wallpaper and let the solution absorb in for about 15 minutes.


Note: This is not essential for peelable wallpaper, but it may be good to keep a bit of this solution on hand for the next step.


Peel the Wallpaper

After letting the vinegar accomplish its job for 15 minutes:

  1. Find a seam along the scored wallpaper’s edge.

  2. Use a putty knife to pry the edge, and slowly remove the wallpaper.

  3. If any of the wallpaper starts to stick, spray behind it with the vinegar solution and give it a few more minutes before peeling the stuck paper off the wall with the putty knife


To remove any residual adhesive on the wall, regardless of the type of wallpaper, spray the adhesive with the solution, let it sit for a few minutes, and then remove the adhesive with a clean rag. Also, for numerous layers of wallpaper, it may be required to continue scoring, spraying, and peeling layer after layer. This can be challenging, particularly in older homes, so be patient and take your time.



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