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Home Renovation Tip: DIY Wallpaper Removal


All properties need maintenance on the interior and the exterior.  Painting the house is a job we’re happy to do often, maybe we’re more motivated by the task as we want to create a great first impression.

However when when it comes to renovating the walls inside our homes, it’s a job we prefer to delay for as long as possible.  What puts us off this job, is twofold. We need to clear the room of furnishings and personal items and that’s a clean up job best left for a rainy day so goes our excuse.  Plus it’s time consuming, arduous, and disrupts family life using the space.

Renovating a home’s interior requires a close eye to detail too, hence the walls are often ignored.  Swapping out furniture is far easier, and really who looks the walls? Umm maybe not anyone living in the house but, future buyers definitely will therefore all four surfaces in every room to be cleaned and prepared when you finally get into action.

To help you along here is a quick guide on how to achieve the best surfaces quick smart.  🙂

Clean Your Walls

Sugar soap all surfaces.  For walls, first clean them to take off the years of living grime that accumulate.  You may not see it but it’s there and failure to remove the dirt will hinder your progress.  Make sure you’ve cleared the room and walls of all furnishings so the entire surface is thoroughly cleaned.

Prepare to Strip Your Walls

Before you strip the wallpaper from your walls, prepare the room.  You’ll want to take some old towels and place them at the base of your walls. If you don’t want the towels to get too messy, you can place plastic drop cloths on them.

You should reserve an entire day to completely strip your walls of wallpaper. It’s a messy job but quite satisfying as you can see real progress being made.  The toughest part is always getting started, so commence the job early in the day and aim to complete it on one sitting.

Stripping Wallpaper

The first thing you’ll want to do to remove your wallpaper is to use a putty knife to edge the corners of your wallpaper off the wall. Once this has been done, there is an easy way to remove large sections of your wallpaper.   Grab the detached wallpaper in your hands and pull upwards towards the ceiling. You’ll feel resistance and need to continue to change your grip so it’s closer to the wallpaper still attached to the wall.

Continue to do this until your wall is completely cleared. Use a razor blade to edge off remaining glue and  if this doesn’t work, you can always use a stripper concentrate. Follow the directions should be on the product, it will to be of a particular concentration, i.e not too watery.  If you’re planning to use this concentrate, you should start from the bottom of the wall and work your way upward.

This is a messy job and soaking the wall will make it easier.   Plus if you really want to make light work of the task there are numerous products and tools available for home renovators, including steamers.   Use a wallpaper steamer guide to help you with your selection, you don’t want to get a dud.


Maintaining a home for future sale or just to have a home that looks its best, requires effort both inside and out.  Doing it yourself will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and save you money.  Plus as we never know what’s around the corner, for peace of mind, should you have to sell up quickly, you’ll know your home is showing it’s best side and sure to attract a great price.