Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Wallpaper Removal

As I have mentioned before, my husband and I purchased a home that had wallpaper in every room. And, I literally mean every room except the kitchen and the back den. We had grasscloth to three layers to wallpaper ceilings. Oh my!

In the three years of living here, we have now completely removed all of the wallpaper! Yes! We have tried every method (DIF, scraping to steaming) and have the best way - it's steaming and we are thankful that we purchased the Wagner steamer - 915 On Demand. The neat part about this steamer is that it can be used to remove wallpaper, clean stove tops, grills and blinds and floors.

Everyone always asks how we did it. So, my husband has offered to share with us his step-by-step process:

For our particular wallpaper, I learned that it was easiest to take off the first layer without the steamer and simply use a putty knife. Our first layer was basically waterproof, and even scoring heavily made no difference.

Fill up the steamer with the max amount of water. Our steamer's max is around 45 minutes, and it goes fast. Give the steamer about 10 minutes to heat the water till steaming.

Once the water is heated, find a seam in the wallpaper. I typically start at the top of the wall. I prefer to hold the steamer with my right hand and the putty knife in my left, but go with what feels right.

Hold the steamer on a wallpaper seam for around 25 seconds. If you're worried about water drips (possibly a wooden floor) place a towel along the base board below the area you are steaming. Beware of the dripping water, it's hot (you think this is common sense till the first 10 times you burn yourself).

After 25 seconds, move the steamer one space over.

While steaming the next space, use the putty knife to remove the just steamed wallpaper section. It will take a few tries to perfect this technique, and it may take an extra hit of steam to get all layers to smoothly release from the wall.

Next, tear off the steamed wallpaper section. It typically comes off in a square (the same size as the steamer) and I just neatly place them all in a pile to throw away.

And, enjoy the next four hours of your life steaming!

My one rule of caution is that this is what has worked for us best based on the type of wallpaper we had in our bedrooms, bathroom and hallway. This might not work for you; however, it would be worth a try!

Have you had to remove wallpaper and if so, how did you do it?

Where to find us:
Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest.




  1. I hope he wore protective wide-wale corduroy while we worked…

    1. Ha! This time he wore his outside khaki cargo shorts.

  2. We purchased a 1960s house last year and it had wallpaper in the dining room, den, kitchen, 1 bedroom and 2 bathrooms. I have to tell you that I completely agree... steaming is the way to go. We initially tried the gel removers, scoring and I can't even remember what else. We actually bought 2 steamers, and I think they saved us. There was just so. much. wallpaper. Your post brought back fond memories of hours and hours of wallpaper removal, so thanks for sharing!

    1. We did the same thing! We should have purchased an additional steamer but we have a small house so the one worked perfectly. We did pay someone to remove the grasscloth in our living room and dining room. We just didn't think we could do it!


Thank you for commenting on White Table Style. We read every single comment and try to answer all of them! Feel free to also talk to us through twitter @whitetablestyle or our Facebook page.

Spam comments will be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...