Tips AU

Removing Wallpaper Tips and Tricks

By Airtasker

Updated: January 3rd, 2024

Wallpaper removal is definitely not a fun task at all, but sometimes it has just got to go. There’s no "Removing Wallpaper Tips and Tricks"

Wallpaper removal is definitely not a fun task at all, but sometimes it has just got to go. There’s no need to stress about how it’s going to come off because we’ve looked at all the removing wallpaper tips and tricks for you.

removing wallpaper
Source: Blenture

Now you just need to put aside a weekend to get it all done…

Here are some removing Wallpaper Tips and Tricks:

1. Get a feel for the project ahead

Try and rip off a small section of paper in an inconspicuous place to get a feel for how difficult the process will be and how long it will take.

2. Ask for Help

If you’re a newbie or a bit worried, go to your local hardware store and ask for advice. And if you’re looking for a helping hand or someone to do it for you, there are plenty of friendly Airtaskers in your local neighbourhood ready to help.

3. Prepare the room

• Remove as much furniture as you can.
• Place drop sheets over the entire floor.
• Use masking tape to stick to the skirting boards if you can.
• Take the plastic covers off electricity outlets, or simply cover those in masking tape.
Make sure you disconnect the electricity before you start as an extra safety measure.

Source: Repaint Pro

4. Start slow

Rip off what you can first. There are many different types of wallpaper and wallpaper adhesive, so it will depend on this to know how easily it will be removed just by ripping. Use a putty knife to help you along the way if you need it.

5. Score wisely

For the wallpaper adhesive to be softened with a solution, the wallpaper needs to be scored.

There are a few ways to do this. You can use a knife such as a Stanley knife to do light horizontal lines, or, you can purchase a scoring device and make lots of tiny holes in all of the wallpaper for maximum solution penetration.

Be extra careful to not cut into your drywall, as this will need to be filled in later.

6. Make some Solutions

Solutions for softening wallpaper glue can be bought, but a much more economic recipe is fabric softener and hot water (as hot as you can get it) in the ratio 1:1. Vinegar and hot water in the same ratio can also be used.

Decant into a spray bottle and spray over the scored wall in as much as you can rip off in 10-15 minute sections (so the water does not get too cool) and leave soak for around one minute.

Source: Homebuilding

Then, take to the wall with your putty knife and start ripping from the bottom up or top down, making sure you pull against the wall as that will reduce the chances of the paper tearing.

7. Steaming

If you own a clothes steamer, or you’ve hired a steamer, using this over the scored wallpaper is another way to soften the glue.

steam wallpaper removal
Source: Homeright

Be careful not to hold the steam in one place for too long, as it will damage the dry wall behind.

8. Scraping by

It is very important to get every bit of adhesive off the walls. Make sure you soak and scrape off any resistant glue.

Source: JM Painting

9. Washing the walls

With hot water, dishwashing liquid and a cloth, wash down the walls. Try and do this twice, before finally wiping down with just hot water.

10. Sanding

Sand down the walls after they are dry, for a perfect base.

11. The last step

You may want to reapply wallpaper, in which case speak to a professional for wallpaper ideas in terms of materials, etc. Otherwise, get ready for house painting! Apply a primer and then coats of your chosen paint.

removing wallpaper
Source: Blenture

This article was written by Airtasker – Zoe T.

Got any other wallpaper removal tips? Let us know in the comments below!



Inspiring the world to get more done

Enjoyed reading this? Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Chris D

    Very good tips. I just maybe add to use a blade bigger than a putty knife to save time and this will tend not to dig into the wall as much as well. Also stress that any trace of glue will react with the new paint creating a real problem. Make sure all glue is removed no matter how many times you have to wash and rinse it, a green pot scourer may help. The test is to feel the wall when wet after you have washed it and if there is even a slight slippery feel wash it again.
    It takes a while and can be a hot and sticky job so if you are a new DIY take on one wall at a time. You will be rewarded as it will look good in the end. Good luck.

  2. osman

    hi itis osman iam looking for weekend job

  3. Jane Stoddart

    Any tips for removing painted over wallpaper?