DIY – How to Remove Wallpaper

DIY - How To Remove Wallpaper! - Nest of Bliss

Happy Saturday everyone!

Jeff and I have finally begun our foyer renovation! Woohoo!
This is the last large area in the home that needs wallpaper removed. We previously removed wallpaper in our living room, dining room, and kitchen. (We are excited to share our kitchen with you… just a few more projects to complete first!) We were dreading doing the foyer, but it’s such a main part of our home we knew it would help make our lower level look more “finished”.
I decided I would take this opportunity to show you how we go about removing wallpaper. Removing wallpaper can be a pain, and some comes off more easily than others. In both our living room and kitchen renovation we had many decades of layers of wallpaper to remove – remember our house is over 100 years old!
The amount of wallpaper in our home is part of the reason we were dreading this project. I mentioned to some of you how we were hoping the previous owners prepared the walls before they applied the current wallpaper in the foyer… it was a long shot…
They plastered over the previous layers of wallpaper! I know dealing with plaster is a job in itself (expect a tutorial on dealing with this in the near future), but to us this is the next best thing to brand new gyprock! Considering this is what we are used to dealing with:
DIY - How To Remove Wallpaper! - Nest of Bliss
With that being said – before you remove wallpaper in an older or unfamiliar home, be prepared for the unexpected. You may have to gyprock walls if they are in terrible shape.
For our method of removing wallpaper you’ll need:
*Wallpaper Steamer
*Wall Scraper
*Squirt bottle
The first thing you will want to do is determine if you can start using your steamer immediately. The wallpaper in our foyer is water resistant and textured, using the steamer on these walls would take FOREVER.
If you have similar walls, you will want to start peeling the first layer off. Do this slowly and carefully pulling from the closest area to the paper you want off. Pulling quickly and from the end of the paper you’ve already peeled usually causes it to tear easily and into small pieces, which is a nuisance.
DIY - How To Remove Wallpaper! - Nest of Bliss
This does take some time (The foyer took about an hour with my fiancé’s help), but you’ll get into the hang of it and figure out a technique that results in larger pieces being removed at a time.
When you are finished, you may be left with the inner half of the wallpaper still intact. The water resistant paper has been removed, but the glue and inner-paper (That’s what we’ll call it) stays attached.
DIY - How To Remove Wallpaper! - Nest of Bliss
Can you spot the puppy photo bomb?
DIY - How To Remove Wallpaper! - Nest of Bliss
What a mess!
Prepare your steamer according to directions and wait for it to be ready! Here’s the steamer we use – it’s a dream! We seriously would never remove wallpaper without one of these bad boys. It makes the job a thousand times easier.
Wallpaper Steamer - DIY - How To Remove Wallpaper! - Nest of Bliss
When it’s ready, hold it onto your first area – this could take anywhere from 5 seconds up depending on how much moisture your wallpaper needs to be able to be removed. When wet, take your scraper to start pulling the wallpaper off. It should come off easily! Be patient!
I like to steam as I scrape to save time.
DIY - How To Remove Wallpaper! - Nest of Bliss
Your squirt bottle will come in handy for those awkward places the steamer can’t reach, fill the bottle up with hot water and just go ahead and soak those areas to scrape them off! You may also have a bit of ‘leftover’ around your baseboard, I find running an exacto knife along these areas works pretty good.
DIY - How To Remove Wallpaper! - Nest of Bliss
When you are finished you should be down to your gyprock or plaster! Congratulations! You deserve a drink!
DIY - How To Remove Wallpaper! - Nest of Bliss
I hope you found this tutorial helpful, I know how awful removing wallpaper can be, so make sure you are in a good mood, play some music, and make sure you have good company.
Remember to share on Pinterest so you can come back later!
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  1. Ohhh…my…. goodness… I can’t even imagine that amount of work! Yikes! You go girl! Excited to see the progress!
    Kim @ Sand & Sisal

  2. Hi Brandi, I believe this is my first visit. That’s quite a project. Good for you. I want to see more…..

  3. I’m in love with the thick moldings!

  4. I remember the days where I removed wallpaper, I can remember it wasn’t my favorite activity;). But what a difference in the pics even without anything done and no wallpaper. By the way, I know this is an old post and I wanted to say I think you are s strong woman and I am proud you made a hard decision in your life as opposed to not and not being true to yourself!

    • Andrea,
      Thank you so much for your kind words.. getting back into blogging has been difficult but I look forward to new posts in the future. 🙂

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