How To Remove Wallpaper

The removal of old wallpaper is something that we all hate to do but is essential before refreshing the room with new wallpaper or a fresh coat of paint. However, below we show you how to remove wallpaper with ease and minimal fuss.

Tweet Pin It
How To Remove Wallpaper
Darimo is reader-supported and we may earn an affiliate commission if you buy through links on our site. Find out more.

When you are finally ready to begin removing old wallpaper, you have the choice of two removal methods, which include using a steam wallpaper stripper or a chemical solution.

By far the most popular method to remove wallpaper is by using a wallpaper steamer, which consists of a tank, hose and steam plate. To use this method, you simply boil the water in the tank and use the steam that travels through the hose to the plate to penetrate through the wallpaper. This has the effect of loosening the glue behind the wallpaper so that it can be easily stripped off. It’s the “go-to” method for removing stubborn wallpaper such as woodchip and is perfect for removing wallpaper in large areas or across multiple rooms with ease.

The alternative method of removing wallpaper is to use a chemical stripping solution, which often come in a ready to use formula. It works by dissolving the adhesive and doing most of the hard work for you. It’s a great method to use for small rooms or feature walls and you can even make your own homemade solution with fabric conditioner too.

Regardless to the method you wish to remove wallpaper, below is the process for both methods along with extra information to make the removal go as smoothly as possible.

What Else Is Required?

  • Wide stripping knife or scraper
  • Telescoping ladders or step ladders
  • Wallpaper steam stripper or chemical stripping solution
  • Dust sheets
  • Utility knife or scoring tool
  • Durable rubber gloves
  • Sponge or wash mitt
  • Masking tape
  • Bucket
  • Bin bags

Depending upon the method you use to remove the wallpaper will determine how much of the above you’ll require.

Preparation Before Removing Wallpaper

Before you begin removing old wallpaper, you will want to prepare the room beforehand. The first bit of preparation should be to remove everything off the walls such as decorative objects, vents and so on. You will also want to clear other objects in the room and place everything in the centre and then cover it with a dust sheet for protection. You will also want to cover areas of the floor that may make picking up the removed wallpaper difficult i.e. carpet or rugs.

If you intend on using a wallpaper stripper, it’s also advised that you turn off the electricity to the room. The reason for this is the fact that water or steam may enter the sockets or switches and potentially cause the electricity to trip. It’s also advised that you protect any sockets or switches by using masking tape and plastic sheeting.

How To Remove Wallpaper With A Steamer

  1. Score the wallpaper with a utility knife/scraper.
  2. Fill the steamer with water to its max level.
  3. Turn on the steamer and allow time for it to boil.
  4. Work from the top down because hot water will gravitate downwards and penetrate the wallpaper.
  5. Hold the steam plate tightly against the wall for at least 10 to 15 seconds (as shown in the photo).
  6. Move the steam plate to the next section to be steamed and begin to scrape off the steamed area.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you are complete.

(We posted a video onto our Instagram page that shows us performing the above steps to remove wallpaper)

How To Remove Wallpaper With A Steamer

How To Remove Wallpaper Without A Steamer

  1. Score the wallpaper with a utility knife/scraper (as shown in the photo).
  2. Mix the stripping solution with hot water (the ratio required will be stated upon the bottle).
  3. Spray the solution upon the old wallpaper.
  4. Allow enough time for the solution to get to work.
  5. Use a short movement to remove wallpaper with the stripping knife or scraper.
  6. Apply more solution if it begins to get dry.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you are complete.

(The stripping solution you use is entirely up to you but we’ve had great success with the Bartoline Formula)

how to remove wallpaper without a steamer

Cleaning The Wall Afterwards

Once you’ve finished removing the wallpaper, you may be left with small pieces of wallpaper and glue residue on the wall (as shown in the photo). Rather than leaving the wallpaper and glue on the wall, it’s advised that you remove it to smooth out the wall’s surface in order to make it ready for further decorating that you have planned.

The most efficient method of cleaning the wall is to use a broom and simply brush the walls. Hopefully this removes all the small pieces that are left behind. If there is any stubborn residue left upon the wall, it’s recommended that you use a wallpaper stripper solution upon the wall. Once everything is removed, you can then use a sponge and water to finish off the cleaning process.

how to remove old wallpaper


Regardless of the method you choose to remove wallpaper, both are an easy DIY task to achieve. Personally, we prefer to use a steamer as it’ll be able to remove all types of wallpaper whereas sometimes a stripping solution may struggle. If you need any further assistance on how to remove wallpaper, feel free to get in touch.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

Follow #DarimoUK

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.