How to make wallpaper removal easy

How to make wallpaper removal easy

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Have you grown tired of your old wallpaper and want to make a change but don’t know where to start? Wallpaper removal may seem like a daunting task because you don’t want to damage your walls. Luckily, there are a couple of methods of wallpaper removal that you can do yourself. Wallpaper removal will differ depending on whether you’re working with traditional wallpaper, strippable wallpaper, or peelable wallpaper. No matter the type of wallpaper you’re dealing with, there’s a few easy steps to help you remove it. This blog will teach you how to easily remove wallpaper and freshen up your walls in just a few steps! 

How to make wallpaper removal easy

What to do before wallpaper removal

Before you can jump into wallpaper removal, there’s a few important things to do before you start. First of all, you should determine the type of wallpaper you have. Different types of wallpaper require different removal methods. For example, drywall can be damaged if it gets too wet so it’s important to avoid soaking it. To test out which type of wallpaper you have, firstly use a putty knife to loosen the corner of the paper and try to peel it off. If it peels easily, you have strippable wallpaper. This is great news – because strippable wallpaper is usually simple to remove. If the wallpaper peels away but leaves a paper backing then the type of wallpaper you have is peelable wallpaper. However, if the wallpaper doesn’t move at all with a putty knife, it’s traditional wallpaper that will require a chemical stripper.

Turn off the power

Something else you’ll have to do before starting wallpaper removal is turning off all power switches. Use painter’s tape to cover up the electrical outlets. If you want to, you can come back later and add wallpaper to your outlets. 

Lay down a drop sheet

Removing wallpaper can be a messy job, so it’s a good idea to lay down a drop sheet to protect your floors. Drop sheets are one of the most important wallpaper removal tools and are also very inexpensive. When it comes to dropping sheets, there are three main types:


Canvas drop cloths are one of the most durable types of drop cloth and the most popular. They often come with a rubber backing to grip the floor and prevent paint or debris from damaging the floor below. Their durability means that you only have to buy them once, and they’ll last a long time. However, they’re usually the most expensive type of drop sheet, but the quality makes the price worth it. 


Plastic painter drop cloths are available in a wide range of thicknesses, from .4 mill to 4 mill and are usually about the thickness of a garbage bag. 

They are also lightweight and provide good protection for your furniture. Most importantly, they’re also environmentally friendly and can be reused. 


Paper drop cloths ($3 to $5) are an inexpensive way to protect your floors or furniture for smaller jobs. When you’re finished, you can just fold them up and throw them away. 

DIY wallpaper removal methods

DIY wallpaper removal methods

Removing strippable wallpaper

The process of removing strippable wallpaper requires a putty knife, rags, soap, and water. Start by using the putty knife to loosen the corner of the paper and use your hands to peel the paper from the wall. Make sure to pull as close to the wall as possible to avoid tearing the wallpaper. If the paper ends up ripping –  don’t worry, just loosen another corner and start the process again. Keep doing these steps until you’ve removed all the wallpaper. Once you’ve removed the wallpaper, don’t forget to clean the walls. Remove any wallpaper residue with soap and warm water. Before you start painting the walls, make sure the walls have completely dried.

Chemical method for removing traditional wallpaper

The chemical technique of wallpaper removal is one of the most effective. As the name suggests, this method of wallpaper removal involves the use of a chemical enzyme. Once applied, the chemical soaks into the wallpaper and dissolves this paste. It takes slightly longer than the steamer method but is less likely to damage the wallboards. It’s important to allow the chemicals time to work, if you try to scrape too soon, the wallpaper might not come away as easily. Once the paper is loose enough to scrape, you can begin removing it.

When working with chemicals, it’s always important to take the proper precautions to avoid harm. Make sure to wear protective goggles and gloves if you’re using this method.

Removing peelable wallpaper

The first step to removing peelable wallpaper is peeling off the top layer of the wallpaper. You can do this by loosening the corner with a putty knife and pull the paper off the paper backing. You should then follow the traditional wallpaper removal method for the backing paper layer. 

Removing painted wallpaper

Painted wallpaper can be trickier to remove because there can be multiple layers of paint on top of the original wallpaper. A chemical removal method can be helpful to soften the glue. The difference with this type of wallpaper is that you can’t easily peel it. Instead, you can use a scruffy brush to remove the paint from the wall. This may take a bit of effort, but it’ll be worth it in the end! You’ll probably need a bit of help, so gather your friends or family for the job. 

Steamer method

The wallpaper removal steamer method is one of the most common wallpaper removal methods and doesn’t require any chemicals. Firstly you should hire a wallpaper steamer. You may even be able to borrow a wallpaper steamer from someone you know. Before you try this method, make sure you’ve covered all your electrical outlets.

The steamer works by sending steam to a flat metal plate which is then pressed against the wall. Once the steam is forced into the wallpaper, it softens it and allows you to strip away the paper. Scrape the walls until the wallpaper comes off, you may need to repeat this process a few times as you move around the room. 

However, there are some downsides to this method. The main issue is that the steam may damage the wallboards behind the paper, particularly if they weren’t properly sealed.

Hot water and vinegar

Chemical methods are probably the most effective way of removing wallpaper. However, you can also remove wallpaper using a few household items from your cupboard. Combine vinegar with boiling water and then spray it onto the wallpaper. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then use a putty knife to scrape the wallpaper off. How does this method work? Well, the hot water loosens the wallpaper glue whilst the vinegar helps to dissolve it. The hot water and vinegar method is a good natural alternative to chemicals and means you don’t have to buy any extra supplies.

After you remove the wallpaper

After you’ve successfully removed the wallpaper, there’s still a couple of things you need to do to finish up the job. Once you have removed the wallpaper, you’ll likely find residue still left on your walls. It’s important to remove this before you try to replace the wallpaper. Start by scrubbing the walls with hot water and wall washing detergent. Then apply wallpaper stripping chemical as the last wash. If there’s still a significant amount of residue left, you may need to spray the walls with the chemical stripper again.

Once all the residue is removed, you can either repaint your walls, re-wallpaper or add new tiling. The possibilities are endless! Just don’t forget the necessary preparations for each.

After the wallpaper is removed

Adding fresh wallpaper

Once the old wallpaper is removed, it’s time for something new! There’s plenty of wallpaper options and colours out there to choose from to help spruce up your walls again. The options are endless – so let your creativity flow. Keep in mind that applying new wallpaper will require the services of a professional to be applied properly.

Wallpaper removal on BorisDoes

If you’ve tried all the steps above or just want the help of a professional, you can order Wallpaper removal services in Sydney or elsewhere in Australia right here on BorisDoes! We’ve gathered the best taskers from all around Australia who are ready to help right now. Sounds good, right? Just create a task or browse our Taskers list to find the perfect tasker to care for your wallpaper problems. Our professional taskers will take away the stress of wallpaper removal and get the job done as quickly as possible. With BorisDoes, you can find the best services at reasonable prices in just a few clicks.

Wallpaper removal on BorisDoes

How to add new wallpaper

You’ve successfully removed your old wallpaper, now what’s next? Adding some nice new wallpaper designs, of course! The easiest way to put up new wallpaper is to hire the services of a professional, but there’s always plenty of DIY methods if you want to do it yourself! 

Prepping the walls

Before you add your new wallpaper, you’ll have to make sure the walls are properly prepared. If you notice any holes, make sure to fill them in with a nonshrinking joint compound. You can scrape the walls with a drywall knife or sand them with 50 grit sandpaper to remove smaller imperfections. You should also cover the walls with a primer/sizing product which will help the new wallpaper adhere to the wall. It also helps to reduce the chance of the wallpaper shrinking and make it easier to remove when the time comes. All the walls should have at least one coat of primer. 

Choosing the right type of wallpaper

An important part of adding your new wallpaper is choosing the right type. For high traffic rooms, it’s best to use vinyl wallpaper. Vinyl wallpaper is best suited for kitchens and bathrooms because it is easier to clean. Meanwhile, wallpaper made from paper absorbs moisture and is more difficult to clean. 

Choosing the right type of wallpaper

Applying wallpaper paste

Make sure to read the instructions on the wallpaper paste packet. Using a bucket, add the necessary amount of paste to the specified amount of water. Keep mixing with your stirrer until the paste has a thick consistency, and then transfer the paste into the paint roller tray. Then you can grab your paintbrush and start adding the paste to the corner and edges. Use a roller to apply the paste to the rest of the wall. It’s important to get the coverage as even as you can. 

Hanging the wallpaper

Line up the end of the wallpaper roll with the top of the wall. Line the edge of the wallpaper with the straight line that runs down the wall. Run your hand down the wallpaper to make sure it sticks, and cut the wallpaper from the roll below the wall.

Smoothing the paper

Once the wallpaper is on the wall, don’t forget to smooth it. Using a smoother, run it over every square inch of the wallpaper but don’t push too hard, or you might squeeze out the paste and stretch the paper. Stretched out, the paper without enough paste is likely to shrink. While you’re smoothing the wallpaper, use a utility knife and the straight edge of the smoother to trim the wallpaper in the corner and add the bottom of the wall.

Clean as you go

It’s much easier to clean the paste before it’s fully cured. A good way to do this is to clean as you go, using a sponge and warm water. If you encounter any stubborn paste, you can use a few drops of dish soap to listen to it. 


Now that you have the knowledge you need to remove your wallpaper and put up some nice fresh designs, it’s time to get out the tools and get to work! Remember, if you’re having trouble or just want to leave the hard work to the professionals, you can find one right here on BorisDoes.


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