How to Remove Wallpaper


When it comes to removing wallpaper, everyone seems to have his or her own theory about what technique works best. But Deb C. at the Edina Hirshfield’s decided to put the four most common techniques to the test; vinegar and water, fabric softener and water, plain water and DIF Wallpaper Remover concentrate and water.

And this was no easy test; the room Deb was working on had wallpaper that had been painted over. And any true do-it-yourselfer knows this is one of the ugliest jobs to tackle. For her experiment, she used each of the four wallpaper-removing concoctions on each of her four walls. Any guess as to which one worked the best???

Even Deb was surprised to find that the DIF and water combo reigned supreme. “I was really expecting the fabric softener and water to be the best since I had always heard so many success stories from others. But if the DIF and water can remove wallpaper that has been painted over as easily as it did, I know it can remove just about any other type of wallpaper.”

DIF is a liquid wallpaper stripper, available at Hirshfield’s. Just buy a spray bottle, mix the DIF liquid with very hot tap water, according to directions, and spray it over the wallpaper that’s being removed. Let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes, reapplying if it begins to dry out.

Using an inexpensive tool, such as The Paper Tiger, to lightly score the wall surface before applying the wallpaper stripper will improve the penetration of the solution and speed up the process.

For extra hard jobs, Deb recommends covering the wall with plastic after you have sprayed the DIF and let that sit for about two hours to contain the moisture and let the mixture soak in longer. Then use a stiff, non-flexible scraper to remove any lingering tough patches.

After fully removing the wallpaper, take medium sandpaper and use it like a washcloth over the walls and rinse well with clear water so they are completely clean before painting or, dare we say, re-wallpapering!

1 Response
  1. Amy

    I feel like you guys wrote this post just for me. I had good luck with the fabric softener and water treatment, but I’m going to try the DIF again with the plastic overlay like you recommend. Anything to make that dreaded task go faster!

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