How do you remove old wallpaper?


Quick Answer

To remove old wallpaper, mix a paper-thinning solution of fabric softener and hot water, apply the solution to the wall, and allow the paper to absorb it. Once the paper is tender, scrub it off using a small knife.

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Full Answer

  1. Prepare the room

    To avoid interfering with electrical equipment, turn off power to the room through the circuit breaker. Cover all open sockets, and spread out a plastic sheet to protect the flooring.

  2. Work with the thinning solution

    Add a cup or two of fabric softener to a medium-sized bucket of hot water. Pour the solution into a large spray bottle, and then spray the solution on the wall. Commercially available solutions are equally effective. Let the walls soak for a while before taking off the wallpaper. Use your hands to feel the texture of the paper. If the paper is beginning to fall apart, it is time to scrape it off.

  3. Scrape off the paper

    Slowly strip the wallpaper by pulling from the bottom up, using a small knife to ease the process. Repeat the process until all the wallpaper is removed, and then wash the walls with detergent and very hot water. For stubborn bits of wallpaper, add extra-hot water to the solution.

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