Save a Few Bucks With This Homemade Wallpaper Remover

Save a Few Bucks With This Homemade Remover

Mature man using scraper to scrape off old wallpaper
••• Dan Brownsword / Getty Images

You are really excited about your new house, except for one thing:  All that out-of-date wallpaper really has got to come down. It's a huge chore, and removing wallpaper is the bane of many a homeowner. You could hire someone to take it all down and leave you with blissfully painted walls, but that is an expensive proposition, especially if there is a lot of wallpaper to be removed. You can save a bundle by doing it yourself.

It will never be a fun job, but at least it doesn't have to be an expensive or chemical-laden job. Here's how to make your own effective wallpaper remover for next to nothing and get that wallpaper off the walls and into the trash.

What You Need

  • Vinegar
  • Warm water
  • A spray bottle or sponge
  • A wallpaper scoring tool

What You Do

Run a wallpaper scoring tool over the wallpaper that you wish to remove. It'll make little perforations in the wallpaper that will make it easier for your homemade wallpaper remover to penetrate the wallpaper paste. Then mix equal parts vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle or bucket and apply the mixture to the wallpaper liberally. Allow it to soak in for 15 minutes. Then use a scraper to remove the wallpaper. It should come off easily if you've used enough of your remover.

Why This Works

The acetic acid in the vinegar acts as a solvent and dissolves the wallpaper paste.

Benefits of Removing Wallpaper With Vinegar

  • Inexpensive
  • No harsh chemicals
  • No harsh smells
  • Non-toxic

Tips

  • If the wallpaper doesn't come off easily, score the paper again and apply another coat of remover.
  • Focus on a small area at a time. This will ensure that you have time to get the paper off the wall before the wallpaper remover dries.

    Another Option

    If you have a lot of wallpaper to remove, are trying to remove multiple layers of wallpaper, or are just having an especially hard time removing your wallpaper, consider investing in a wallpaper steamer. It uses heat and water to steam the wallpaper off the wall. You just hold the steam plate up to the wall for 10 seconds or so, and it loosens the wallpaper enough that it just peels right off the wall.

    It's a fairly inexpensive device and well worth the cost given all the time and frustrations it saves. If you're dealing with painted wallpaper, vinyl wallpaper, or lots of wallpaper paste, it's a real game changer. The vinegar trick is great, and when it works it works really well, but sometimes you just need something more to get the job done.