The Ever So Dreaded Wallpaper Removal!

The Ever So Dreaded Wallpaper Removal!

In the past couple of years we have seen a decent increase in the demand for the hanging of wallpaper.  With more styles available and the ease of odering through various online retailers people have come around again to enjoy a once thought of dying industry.  But perhaps the biggest reason wallpaper has come back is because it’s now easy to remove!

We recently wrapped up a wallpaper hanging job and it really made the dining space look great.


You can see it accented the wainscoting and complemented the beautifully neutral grey paint.  One of my favorite things about it is that the paper can be easily removed.  So, if trends change of if the homeowner wants a new look we can take the paper down in a couple of hours without really damaging the walls.  That is quite the difference from the paper that was manufactured years ago.

But what do you do if you have wallpaper that’s been in your dining room since 1982 and you can’t bear to look at it anymore?! Call us of course!  Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  We get plenty of calls asking to take down that dreaded wallpaper.  Some homeowners have attempted to take it down themselves and ended up throwing their scoring tool through the window.  So what do you do?

I wish there was a simple and universal solution to all wallpaper removal but simply put, there’s not.  From experience, it seems as if paper that was manufactured over 20 years ago was meant to go up and stay up.  Even when you get it off it takes half the sheetrock with it!  However, some wallpaper does come off with little hassle.  Overall, we have a method that cuts down on time and energy…

We just wrapped up a job before the holidays that had Victorian style wallpaper in the dining room.  The homeowner wanted the paper removed and the walls and trim to be painted to fit their more contemporary style.

To start, we lightly scored the paper to allow the DIF solution to penetrate through. DIF is a liquid solution that we add to warm water and spray on the paper.  Another product we use but is a little tougher to come by is Piranha.  Here is some information on both:

Once the solution soaks in for about 15 minutes we began to remove the paper.


After the paper was removed there was the layer of adhesive/glue still on the walls.  This is most common and typically the toughest to remove.  We sprayed down the adhesive and scraped it all away.  We then used a damp sponge to make sure there was no remaining adhesive.


Once removed, we inspected the condition of the walls.  They weren’t torn up but a good skim coat of spackle was needed in a lot of areas.  Most times we also apply an oil-based primer to guarantee no adhesive was left behind.



After a good sanding we applied the paint: Behr color Riviera Blue matched with Benjamin Moore Aura matte finish paint.  Aura is really the best paint we have come across and is worth the extra ten or so more dollars per gallon.



The job took two days to complete: 1 day for prep and 1 day for paint, which is about average for wallpaper removal jobs.  There’s no escaping the time it takes to get the job done right, but safe to say the results are quite pleasing!