How to remove wallpaper

Removing wallpaper can be a time-consuming and frustrating task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done efficiently and effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of removing wallpaper, no matter the type or age, so you can enjoy a fresh, updated look in your home.

How to remove wallpaper

It’s time to remove the wallpaper. Whether due to imperfections, choosing a new texture, or even the fact that it no longer pleases you, it is important to follow some steps that will help you to be quick, and practical, and not damage the structure of the wall.

Materials and Tools Needed

Before you start, it’s important to have all of the necessary materials and tools on hand. Here is a list of everything you’ll need:

  • Water and a bucket
  • Wallpaper scoring tool
  • Steamer or heat gun
  • Wallpaper scraper or putty knife
  • Joint compound
  • Primer and paint

Step 1: Prepare the Wall

The first step in removing wallpaper is to prepare the wall by cleaning it thoroughly and removing any loose pieces. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface, making sure to remove any dust, cobwebs, or other debris.

Step 2: Score the Wallpaper

Next, score the wallpaper using a wallpaper scoring tool. This tool creates small holes in the paper, allowing water and steam to penetrate and loosen the glue. Make sure to score the wallpaper in a crisscross pattern, covering every inch of the surface.

Step 3: Apply Heat

Now that the wallpaper is scored, it’s time to apply heat. You can use a steamer or heat gun to heat the wallpaper and soften the glue. This step is essential to ensure the wallpaper comes off easily. If using a steamer, hold it close to the surface and let the steam do the work. If using a heat gun, move it slowly and continuously to avoid overheating the wall.

Step 4: Scrape off the Wallpaper

Once the glue is soft and the wallpaper is loosened, it’s time to scrape it off. Start at the top of the wall and work your way down, using a wallpaper scraper or putty knife to gently pry off the paper. If the wallpaper is particularly stubborn, apply more heat or use a solution of warm water and vinegar to soften the glue.

Step 5: Clean the Surface

After all of the wallpaper is removed, use a damp cloth to clean the surface and remove any remaining glue. Make sure to let the wall dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Step 6: Repair the Wall

Finally, it’s time to repair any damage to the wall. Fill in any cracks or holes with the joint compound, sand it smoothly, and prime the surface before painting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know if my wallpaper is removable?

To determine if your wallpaper is removable, perform the “tug test”. Simply grab a corner of the wallpaper and gently pull. If it comes off easily, it’s most likely a removable type. If it doesn’t budge, it may be a more permanent type that requires more effort to remove.

What type of wallpaper scraper should I use?

There are many different types of wallpaper scrapers, but a flexible putty knife works best for removing wallpaper. Look for one that is 5-6 inches wide and has a slightly curved blade.

Can I remove wallpaper without a steamer or heat gun?

Yes, you can remove wallpaper without a steamer or heat gun, but it will require more effort and may take longer. You can try using a solution of warm water and vinegar to soften the glue or try scoring the wallpaper and letting it soak for a few hours before scraping it off.

Is it necessary to prime the wall after removing the wallpaper?

Yes, it’s important to prime the wall after removing the wallpaper to ensure the new paint adheres properly and to cover any remaining glue residue.

What type of paint should I use after removing the wallpaper?

You can use any type of paint you prefer after removing wallpaper, but it’s best to use paint that is specifically designed for covering wallpaper glue, such as a primer-sealer. This will help to ensure the best results and prevent any issues with the new paint adhering properly.


Removing wallpaper can be a big job, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s possible to achieve professional results. We hope this step-by-step guide has given you the confidence to tackle this project in your own home. Good luck, and happy decorating!

Sharing Is Caring:

Howtowise team has helped thousands of housewife to fix their home Problems with step-by-step tutorials Howtowise has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, Lifehacker, and more.