Easy Way to Remove Wallpaper

We’ve been in our new house for a little over five weeks, and I’ve been busy figuring out the best way to remove wallpaper. I’ve seriously hit a brick wall in the decorating process mostly because of these wallpaper accent walls in every room. Except in the bathroom, where they are not accent walls. You can find wallpaper in every inch of both bathrooms that isn’t tiled. Ugh.

Wallpaper Collage

The two rooms we decided to update right away are the family room and kitchen. The family room has been updated (read…no wallpaper just paneling and we painted that) but the kitchen has been hard on me. This wallpaper was what was popular in the 60’s and was never taken off by the previous owner. She must have really liked it! I tried a steamer to remove the wallpaper but between the incredibly hot weather lately and the fact that there was water all over my floor…I gave up on that. I had a real fear of getting electrocuted! The easiest way I found to get wallpaper off the wall is the following:

  • Take off the “pretty” decorative part of the wallpaper. In my case, this is woven 1960’s wallpaper and the decorative portion comes off incredibly easy.
  • Use a spray bottle with warm water and drench the brown paper adhesive portion that’s left underneath.
  • Use a wallpaper scraper to scrape the brown paper off the wall.

wallpaper before

It took me about three hours to get the wallpaper off of one wall. But bonus, using water is environmentally friendly which is important to me when I have kids and a dog running around the place. And another bonus, it’s free which is better than spending $6 for a spray bottle of wallpaper remover.

Removing wallpaper is exhausting. But the complete change on the wall is so worth it. The removal can get messy, I kept a trash bag close by so that I can sweep everything up and throw it in there.

I still have to wash the walls before priming and painting but the fact that the old mustard yellow and green wallpaper is off the wall is a huge leap forward! Now I move forward with updating the rest of the kitchen, I chalkboard painted the fridge and now need to find dining room chairs and paint the dining room table which is a craigslist find. New lighting and cabinet pulls and this kitchen is all set…for now. Phase 2 includes painting the cabinets and getting new backsplash and countertops. I’m kind of into the mid century modern look though!

Wallpaper after

Do you have an easy way of removing wallpaper? Share your tips in the comments!

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