How to Remove Ceiling Wallpaper

A man removes wallpaper.
  • 3-5 hours
  • Beginner
  • 70-150
What You'll Need
Rubber gloves
Eye protection
Plastic sheets
Sturdy stepladder
Paint buckets
Spray bottle
Stirring stick
Hot water
Liquid fabric softener
Baking soda
Measuring cup
Wallpaper remover containing reactive enzymes
White distilled vinegar
Perforation tool
Broad knife

Ceiling wallpaper was popular many years ago but is typically not something new homeowners want because it is often quite unattractive. Ceiling wallpaper peels, cracks, gets very dirty, and becomes stained. All of these factors lead many people to remove wallpaper from their ceilings.

Doing so is a harder job than removing wallpaper from the walls because of the position you need to be in to remove it. The following article will show you how to remove ceiling wallpaper using some specialty products.

Step 1 - Prepare the Area

Removing ceiling wallpaper is a very messy project. For this reason, you will need to remove all of the furniture from the room. Once the furniture is out, you will then want to cover the floor with plastic sheets.

Step 2 - Initial Saturation

You will be working with some chemicals, so put on your gloves and eye protection. Make sure your work area's windows are open so you have proper ventilation. Pour some of the fabric softener in to the spray bottle. Using a stepladder, begin spraying the ceiling wallpaper with the fabric softener. Continue until the ceiling is completely covered.

Step 3 - Mix and Apply the Remover

The initial saturation process is performed to moisten the paper and the glue on the underside. You now need to remove the paper, but you first have to apply another layer of remover. Pour 3 gallons of hot water in one of the buckets. To this bucket, add the entire bottle of wallpaper remover along with 1/4-cup of fabric softener. Use the stick to stir the mixture until it is all combined. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the mixture, and stir it again.

Use the perforation tool to break the surface of the ceiling wallpaper. Use the paintbrush to paint the mixture you just made over the entire ceiling, starting at a corner. When you are finished, paint the ceiling again, starting at the same place where you began the last time.

Step 4 - Remove the Ceiling Wallpaper

Allow the mixture you just painted onto the ceiling to sit for 15 minutes. Start at one side of the ceiling and use the broad knife to scrape off the strips of ceiling wallpaper. Use the broad knife in the same direction as you applied the remover in Step 3. Remove each piece as it becomes loose. Continue until all of the wallpaper is removed.

Step 5 - Remove the Adhesive

With the ceiling wallpaper removed, you will then need to remove the adhesive. Apply the wallpaper remover to the ceiling with a paintbrush the same way you did previously. After several minutes, wipe the adhesive away with a sponge. Mix 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water, and then sponge it on the ceiling. This should remove any leftover adhesive.