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BellaOnline's Frugal Living Editor


Easy Wallpaper Removal

Guest Author - Lili Pintea-Reed

Chip...Chip...Chip... Nothing is more tedious in Do-It-Your Self Home Renovation that stripping off old wallpaper. Unfortunately in our home, we had literally rooms full of the former owner's taste in beige vinyl. It was.. ummm...washable... but certainly not to my taste. The first year we lived here we got the living room and hall pulled down, and some inexpensive paint put up on the walls. However, this year I decided it was TIME. We were going to get the last of it down, and the walls painted the colors I liked. The one big hurdle was the dining room which in additon to 10 layers of wall paper, also had that fake "stucco paint" painted over the wallpaper too. Now "fake stucco can be a good wall solution if nicely done, but well..enough said.

My husband had been promising to get this down so I could paint in there for 5 years... Yes, five years. We are pretty temperate about home decor. He is a wonderful man who re-built our front porch rather than pull down the "fake stucco." But I decided it was TIME -- and started to tackle the job. It was horrible. The cheapest and easiest way to get wall paper down is to spray it with a mixture of vinegar and water done half and half. This will take off one layer of plain paper, or the underlayer of vinyl paper after you peel off the plastic. It was no match for "fake stucco" and ten layers of victorian wall coverings.

I priced some home repair fellows and --Yikes--- $400!!!

I priced a steamer (which I know is bad for my allergies) at $100 plus for a weekend rental --not counting solutions.

And then someone at my husband's work told him to try a mixture of half water and half fabric softner. This worked like magic on the wallpaer layers and loosened the stucco so it could be flipped off the under layer of wallpaper in big chunks. I highly recommend this to you if you are doing wallpaper removal. Here are the directions below.


1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Inexpensive Fabric Softner
Old Spray Bottle, Roller, or Cloth

Mix water and fabric softner and pour into spray bottle. Spray onto the wall paper to be removed. Let sit about 5 minutes, and try to see if the wallpaper peels free. It should scrape off easily with the scraper. If it still sticks, wait another 10 minutes and try again. Have cup of tea. Relax. Come back and check again. For vinyl wallpaper you will have to score it before you spray. This will let the remover solution penetrate.

With multiple layers of wallpaper you may have to peel it off layer by layer. My experience with vinyl wallpaper is that you peel off the vinyl layer, and then the paper backing layer.

When you have peeled off all layers, scrub the walls down with a vinegar/water solution. Let dry and paint.

(NOTE: I have only tried this on plaster walls. On wall board this my remove the paper covering of the wall board!! I don't know. Use with caution! Test a small inconspicuous area to see any bad effects first!!!)

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Content copyright © 2018 by Lili Pintea-Reed. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lili Pintea-Reed. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Jill Florio for details.


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