A few months ago, my husband and I spent weeks looking at houses and found our dream house! We saw so much potential in this particular house, even though it was covered head to toe in wallpaper downstairs. Don't get me wrong—I'm not anti-wallpaper. I think it could make a great statement as an accent wall with a bold design or color, but this wallpaper didn't really go with our style, and it made all the rooms seem extra dark. So we did what anybody who is clueless about wallpaper removal does—we went right out to the hardware store and bought a steamer. We ended up testing several different methods before we found our system, and—spoiler alert—you probably don't need a steamer! This was our favorite method.
Step Two: Spray the wallpaper with water. You can try seeing if your outer layer will peel off easily immediately, but if not, you'll probably have to wait about ten minutes for it all to soak in. Rather than spray a little bit, wait, and peel. You can spray all of your walls, and then by the time you're done spraying everything, you've probably passed enough time and can start back where you first sprayed and try peeling the outer layer off. Go, you!
Step Three: Peel the outer layer off. Get it done! It feels great! Next, you have the adhesive layer, which is a lot harder, so get yourself a coffee or something and gear up. If your outer layer is being stubborn, you might want to try re-spraying it and waiting ten more minutes.
Step Four: Spray the adhesive layer. Make sure and spray every inch so it all soaks in! You will also have to wait this one out, too, so do what you did before: spray all your walls, and then come back to where you started, and peel it off. It feels amazing when you peel off whole sheets at a time. So rewarding!
And you're done!
These are the tools we found worked the absolute best. We grabbed this Piranha wallpaper scorer here, and the Piranha wallpaper scraper here, but there are probably other comparable products out there that would work just as well. For our sprayer, we used a garden sprayer! We filled it with hot water, pumped it up, and found that it worked really well to spray a large area evenly. Extra tip: a lot of people suggested we use fabric softener with the water. We did try that but didn't really find much of a difference between using just water, and fabric softener and water, although it might work on wallpaper that is being a lot more stubborn than ours was. 🙂
Wallpaper removal is not as scary as it sounds! We actually had fun working on our walls and getting them ready for painting. Any wallpaper removal tips you'd like to share in the comments? xo. Sarah
Credits // Author: Sarah Rhodes. Photography: Sarah Rhodes and Josh Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from The Signature Collection.