How to Remove Wallpaper

remove wallpaper

It’s pretty common to move into a new home and discover several of the rooms have wallpaper. The days of wallpaper being a popular décor trend are long over. You will need to remove the wallpaper before you paint a room a new color. Here is our step-by-step guide on how to remove wallpaper:


Place a drop cloth on the floor beneath you so that you don’t make a mess on your floor.

This is pretty simple. The first step to remove wallpaper is to attempt to tear and peel as much of it off the wall as possible. Sometimes you can tear large portions of the wallpaper off the wall whereas other times it will be difficult to peel even small sections off. That being said, this is always the first step of the process.

You can use your fingers or a putty knife for this process.


You should purchase a scoring tool for wallpaper at your local hardware store. A scoring tool is a small circular piece of plastic with blades beneath it. You run the tool over the large portions of the wallpaper you can’t tear off. The tool creates tiny little holes in the wallpaper to allow air beneath the surface and loosen the adhesive.

You don’t want to press to hard with the tool to avoid indentations in the drywall behind the wallpaper.


Purchase a power steamer at your local hardware store or from an online retailer. A typical power steamer costs around $40-50 per unit. You will be glad you spent the money once you see how easy it is to remove wallpaper with this tool.

Plug the tool into the wall and fill the steam tank with water. Once the tool starts to produce steam it is ready for use. Apply the handheld portion of the power steamer over portions of the wallpaper still intact. Leave the handheld tool there for 10 seconds or more to let the steam seep into the perforations created from the scoring tool.

Now remove the handheld tool and scrape your putty knife under the wallpaper. The wallpaper should come off the wall very easy at this point in the process.

Be careful using the power steamer as the tool is extremely hot and it can burn you if it comes into contact with your skin.


The steam should help to loosen the glue and adhesive under the wallpaper. You might need to scrape the glue a little harder than the wallpaper but it should still come off of the wall fairly easily after the steam is applied.


Now all of the wallpaper has fallen to the floor in a pile and it is time to clean it up and throw it into a garbage bag for disposal.

You can wipe down the wall with a sponge. Scrub in a circular motion to remove all of the glue and create a clean, smooth surface for your new paint.