The best wallpaper removal solutions

Our very first project in our house was to remove wallpaper.  We simply can’t stand the 1970’s flowery patterns that grace the walls in the Living Room, Kitchen, both Bathrooms, and on the border of our soon to be bedroom.  You see, the goal is to have a perfectly flat, smooth, museum quality wall.  No texture – very modern and sheik.

Years of helping my Dad, my FIL, and watching Tom Silva and Norm Abrams have taught me the proper way to do things.  The number one lesson is that the better prep work is done before a paint job, the better the results are going to be.  I’ve also found this out the hard way.

While the goal is the same, Jen and I have drastically different ways of removing the wallpaper.  She meticulously scrapes and peels using a 1″ putty knife, and the tip of a utility knife, turning to a squirt bottle only as a last resort to remove the final bits of glue and wallpaper backing.

My method relies on chemistry.  Go figure.

I start by drenching the wall with 1 capful of Downey inside a squirt bottle, and then fill it up with hot water.  I spray the entire wall, and then wait 20 minutes. Strangely enough both methods work equally well and fast.

Last night we started on a wall in the Dining Room, and today at noon, with my technique perfected, It was done. 

So I was off to tackle the breakfast room wall.  I filled my squirt bottle, and pointed it at the wall.  This paper was different, and resisted the solution – In fact all I did was clean the years of dirt off the paper.

So tomorrow, I’m off to pick up some different wallpaper removal solutions.

  • Vinegar and Dish soap (I think I’ll try Dawn)
  • TSP in water
  • Simple Green diluted 1:1

One of these will work, and for some reason I think the TSP will do the trick the best to get off the top layer of the wallpaper, and my regular fabric softener method will take care of the glue.

This was a fun project – be sure to check out my super popular how to remove a popcorn ceiling post.

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