Wallpaper removal- Steps to Remove Old Wallpaper

Wallpaper Removal- How to remove old wallpaper from my Indianapolis home.

Removing wallpaper, whether it’s old or fairly new, can be a big and often messy job. But it can be done. And the anxiety over the scope of the job shouldn’t stop you from removing wallpaper that you don’t like. The key to making sure the process of removing your old wallpaper goes as smoothly as possible is to be prepared. Having the right equipment, understanding the steps involved and a little patience is all you really need to make wallpaper removal a breeze.


What you need before you begin:

  • Drop clothes
  • Old towels
  • Bucket
  • Access to hot water
  • White vinegar, fabric softener OR a store bought product such as DIF
  • 5-in-one tool or Metal putty knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponge or Scotch-Brite pads
  • Patience


5 steps to removing old wallpaper in your Indianapolis home


  1. Prepare the area. Most people think of prep work as something you do before painting — but if you’re getting ready to remove wallpaper, it’s just as important to prepare the area before starting the work.


  • Protect baseboards and moldings with painter’s tape
  • Turn off or protect circuit breakers/outlets (you’re going to be using water)
  • Have plenty of old towels available to help absorb excess water
  • Remove switch plates
  • Protect furniture and flooring with drop cloths


  1. Some wallpapers remove easily. Some don’t. Try using a 5-in-one tool or thin putty knife at the edge or seam, to carefully separate paper from the wall. If you’re able to grab some of the wallpaper with your fingers, then you should be able to pull some of it off. Sometimes with older wallpapers, the vinyl outer layer will easily separate from the paper backing — if it does then continue slowly pulling off as much of the old wallpaper as possible. If there is no separation, then move onto step 3.


NOTE: Some recommend using a scoring tool or similar tool to make small tears or holes in the wallpaper that’s being removed. In theory, the openings allow water to seep and dissolve some of the adhesive. Flora Brothers do not recommend this approach as far too often it can be damaging to underlying wall surface.


  1. Next, follow the directions on the label of the wallpaper removal product — we recommend using DIF. It’s easy to use and smells like Windex as opposed to some of the harsher chemical smells that other products have. (Note, you can also make a homemade solution with water and twenty percent white vinegar OR one that’s half water, half fabric softener.) Mist DIF, or the homemade solution, over the wallpaper to be removed. Be sure not to spray a larger area than you think you can remove in about 15 minutes so the paper doesn’t dry out and absorb all the solution. Let it sit for 10- 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.

DIF Concentrate Liquid Wallpaper Stripper

  1. After the solution has set on the wallpaper, you’re ready to start the peeling process. Use your putty knife to loosen the paper. Tear it away from the edges, continuing until you remove all the wallpaper. NOTE: A lot of times there will be the wallpaper layer and then the paper backing layer. Once you remove the top layer/vinyl layer of wallpaper then wet down the wallpaper backing and scrape/peel off until removed completely.

Removing Wallpaper Indianapolis

  1. Take care of any leftover pieces of wallpaper or stubborn glue with a Scoth-Brite pad or sponge dipped in the solution. Do a final wash down/wiping of the walls with good ol’ warm water. Now, you are left with clean walls ready to take on their fresh new look — be it paint or wallpaper.


Does this process sound like too much of a daunting task to take on? Then CALL US! We would love to help remove that pesky wallpaper from your Indianapolis home and make it look beautiful again!

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