HOW TO EASILY REMOVE WALLPAPER WITHOUT A GIANT MESS OR CHEMICALS
Wallpaper…you either love it or hate it. If you aren’t too hip on wallpaper and need to remove it from your home like we did then you have stumbled on the right post!
My husband and I just bought our very first home! After looking for what felt like forever and getting discouraged when everything we found seemed way out of our budget we finally found our home. Built in 1900 this home has everything we were looking for and more! Seriously so exciting, and we did it without having a credit score! I plan to write a post about the process we went through to help other people just like us but for now I want to share with you how to remove unsightly wallpaper. When we did our initial walk through we noticed the current owner at the time had a bit of an obsession for wallpaper. She had it everywhere! We are talking wallpaper on wallpaper on wallpaper in some cases. Cut outs of wallpaper in random places on the walls, almost like she was decoupaging wallpaper flowers to the wall here and there. And my favorite, well not really lol, is the room that had 6, yes SIX, different patters of wallpaper on the walls! And even wallpaper on the paneling that was on the wall. And it all had to come down.
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For being a super old home it is actually in great shape and only needs cosmetic updates thank goodness! We decided we were going to tackle these updates one room at a time and we took on the 6 wallpaper room as our first overhaul.
I had been thinking about how on earth we were going to take down all the wallpaper throughout the house. Was it going to be a pain in the butt? Were we going to have to spend a ton of money on a bunch of products? I had this theory that maybe if I used my garment steamer that maybe that would help…maybe. To my surprise the second I started taking the floral, brick, and teddy bear printed papers it actually came off the walls so seamlessly! I rarely ran into an issue peeling it off the wall. I don’t know if it was the type of wallpaper or the way the previous owners had applied it but it was almost effortless taking it off of the wall.
I didn’t even use any chemicals just STEAM!
I couldn’t find the exact handheld garment steamer I used but here is one that is pretty similar.
Here is what the wall I used for this tutorial looked like before. I feel like I need to say again, this is how we bought our house with all this lovely wallpaper lol!
And here’s what it looked like once I started steaming the wallpaper off. A million times better! Because the house is so old we did find some issues which honestly we were expecting there to be something hidden behind all that glorious wallpaper. Those walls will be getting a lot more tlc and we ended up taking out two of the walls completely and gutted them back to the studs. Which in 120 year old homes they used REAL 2×4’s unlike the 2×4’s they produce today that don’t actually measure 2”x4”.
Here’s how I removed 6 different wallpaper prints from my 120 year old walls.
When I started removing the hideous wallpaper it was more of a spur of the moment kind of thing. I had just unpacked my handheld garment steamer then ran upstairs to test out if my theory would work. Once I got going on the removal process I didn’t want to stop. So nope, I didn’t prep or cover a darn thing when removing the wallpaper but if you’re worried about your flooring or any furniture I recommend covering it up just to be on the safe side.
2. WARM UP
I filled my inexpensive steamer with water, plugged it in and let it heat up. When the steam starts rolling out of the holes then you know it’s ready to start using.
3. STEAM THE WALL
I stood on my step ladder and started working from a top corner, placed my steamer against the wallpaper and held it there till the wallpaper was wet but not overly wet if that makes sense. The steam loosens the glue on the back of the wallpaper allowing it to release from the wall.
Once the wallpaper was loosened up I started to peel it off. Then pulled the paper while steaming at the same time working my way down the wall.
Because my handheld steamer is small it doesn’t hold much water so I did have to refill it often. But honestly I wouldn’t buy a giant steamer just to remove wallpaper in my house. I like that the steamer is the size of an iron so I can put it away easily and it doesn’t take up much space.
If you run into any issues with stubborn spots you can use a putty knife to help remove those areas. Or you can do what I did and use a spatula! Yes, I totally used that on my wall since I couldn’t find a professional tool so the kitchen utensil worked great instead! I placed my steamer over those stubborn areas, made sure the were good and steamed then they peel right off with the spatula.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful in removing old wallpaper in your home. If you have any questions please ask below in the comments.