How To Strip Wallcoverings

1. Find a loose corner and pull upward. If there are no loose corners, use a putty knife to pry one loose and pull. If the paper comes off easily, your home free. Just keep pulling until it’s all off the walls.

2. Dilute wallpaper remover in water, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Wash the walls, working from the top toward the bottom of the walls. Rinse the walls with clear water and let them dry completely.


1. If the wallcovering doesn’t pull off easily, it’s time to bring in the big guns. Cover the floor with drop cloths, and then dilute wallpaper remover in a bucket of water, following the manufacturer’s directions.

2. Run a perforating tool over the surface of the wallcovering. (It creates holes that let the remover solution penetrate the surface to loosen the adhesive.)

3. Use a pressure sprayer to apply the remover solution. Let the solution soak into the covering, according to the manufacturer’s directions.

4. Scrape away loosened wallcovering with a wide drywall knife. Be careful not to damage the wall behind the paper, and make sure you remove any backing paper or other layers.

5. Rinse adhesive residue from the wall with remover solution. Rinse with clear water and let the walls dry.


To check the cleaned wall for remaining adhesive, holes, or other flaws, illuminate the wall from the side, using a bright light. Inspect the walls carefully, making sure they are completely clean and repaired before painting or hanging new wallcovering.