For most, there will be an outer layer (vinyl, textile, bamboo or paper) and an adhesive inner layer (generally paper). You should have luck removing large pieces now that the glue has softened, but keep a wall scraper (view example on Amazon) handy to shave away strips of paper that do not come off in one continuous strip. Begin your wallpaper removal journey with a large, rigid putty knife or scraper. Of course, the exact tools and technique to use depends on what type of paper is up on your walls. After 10 to 15 minutes, you can start peeling back damp wallpaper where the wall meets the ceiling. Unfortunately, we have no idea how long it’s been in place—or what to expect when taking it down. This tool’s tiny teeth create small slits that allow the liquid to seep in and loosen the glue. If you can, peel the wallpaper down or begin to scrape it off the wall. Often the vinyl wallpaper has a grain. What’s the best way to remove wallpaper? To get through the water-resistant vinyl and affect the glue itself, the best way to remove wallpaper begins with rolling a scoring tool (view example on Amazon) over the wall—from corner to corner and from floor to ceiling—in a random pattern. When you do use the scraper, take care to hold the tool so its blade is nearly parallel to the wall when you work so that you have few gouges to repair when you’re all finished. Strippable paper is more permanent but permeable, meaning that the water can seep through and soften the paste for easy removal when the time comes. (Alternatively, if hot water alone does no good, it could be that you’re looking at water-resistant vinyl. You’ll want to ensure that no peeled wallpaper strips or glue residue accidentally touches and sticks to these features as it comes down from the wall. Protect your precious hardwood or plush carpeting with drop cloths (non-slip canvas works best) and cover the baseboards with wide painter’s tape. Press your knife into the center of this X, and lever off as much of the paper as you can. Heavily saturate with the solution one section of wall at a time starting at the top left and working your way down. Soak a sponge and ring out most of the water before rubbing the solution into the sticky leftovers. Get free, no-commitment estimates from licensed wallpaper installation and removal pros near you. Grab the lifted corner and pull downward. If you are having trouble removing the vinyl from the top, try working from the bottom up. Stand on a ladder and use a putty knife to unstick the top left corner of the wall (likely the first sheet of wallpaper to be installed). Stand on a ladder and use a putty knife to unstick the top left corner of the wall (likely the first sheet of wallpaper to be installed). Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. Disclosure: participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Once the adhesive softens enough to scrape away with your fingernails, wipe as much as you can away with a clean rag and scrape the tough stuff with a putty knife. If the paper lifts, great! Know Your Moldings: 10 Popular Trim Styles to Spiff Up Any Space, House Tour: A French Castle Rises from Its Ruins. To tackle most other glues, you’ll need a bucket of hot water, liquid dish soap, and a table of baking soda—as well as an extra cup of vinegar for every gallon of water on standby if the adhesive is particularly stubborn. Once the tough vinyl layer is gone, commercial wallpaper removal products will be effective. Removable wallpapers leave minimal residue behind, but could still use a cleaning. With that, your surface is ready to be repapered or painted in any color you choose. Proceed one panel at a time until the wall is bare, washing the walls with warm water and a large noncellulose sponge frequently as you go to remove residual glue. Q. We’ve just moved into our new home, and the previous owners have left behind a wallpaper print in the bathroom that has got to go. Step 2 - Wetting the Paper Once you have made the X in the vinyl wallpaper, start to soften it by spraying some of the water onto the wall from the spray bottle. You’ll work one section at a time, so use your first patch as an opportunity to test whether you’re working on strippable stuff. Kathleen Corlett, 10 Cleaning Chores You Should Be Doing Every Week. If your careful attempts to peel didn’t do the trick, you may be dealing with strippable or vinyl varieties, each of which requires a different approach. Here are the steps you need to take when removing vinyl wallpaper: You need to start at the top corner of one wall using a putty knife or a wall scraper to loosen the edge of the paper. Look at the direction of the grain on your vinyl wallpaper, and then mark an X in the surface. While scraping away the glued-on wallpaper of years past may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Continue spraying the hot solution onto the wall as needed, and you’ll spend less effort scraping. Simply fill a hand or pump sprayer and dampen the first panel thoroughly with hot water. After you’ve repeated this process with each sheet, wipe the wall with a damp cloth to remove any glue marks left behind. However, since removable wallpaper only recently emerged as a trend for homeowners and apartment renters alike, there’s a chance that this is not the type of wallpaper on your walls. After allowing it a few minutes to absorb, try peeling the panel back at its top left corner.