How to Remove Vinyl Wallpaper

  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100
What You'll Need
Spray bottle
Putty knife
Paint roller

Removing vinyl wallpaper can be a very difficult job if you don't take it off in the correct way. Vinyl wallpaper will often create a big mess when you try and remove it from the wall using conventional methods. It may come away in small strips, or the vinyl may become soft, making it harder to strip off of the wall. Rather than trying to use a steamer to get the vinyl wallpaper off of the wall, you can use a few simple steps to get rid of your wall paper quickly and easily.

Step 1 - Preparing the Wallpaper

Before you begin to strip the wallpaper from your wall, you will need to prepare it, so that you can remove it in the easiest way possible. Make sure that the wallpaper is as clean as possible, and that you have removed a small portion and looked at how much wall paper there is behind the vinyl. You will need to remove as many of these layers as possible at once, as this will reduce the amount of hard work that you have to do. Look at the direction of the grain on your vinyl wallpaper, and then mark an X in the surface. Press your knife into the center of this X, and lever off as much of the paper as you can.

Step 2 - Wetting the Paper

Once you have made the X in the vinyl wallpaper, start to soften it by spraying some of the water onto the wall from the spray bottle. Allow a few minutes for it to soak in, and then press your knife around the wet area. This should help you to get enough leverage on the wallpaper to pry it up. If you are still having problems finding a gap, try working from the top to the bottom, as wall paper is sometimes hung in this fashion. If the X is not deep enough to get rid of the paper in this way, then you may also consider using a Paper Tiger method, which involves scratching the paper deeply in several places, in order to provide edges which will allow you to lift the paper away easily.

Step 3 - Adding More Water

As you progress, you may like to use more water across a wider area, in which case your paint roller will make a perfect device for putting water onto the walls. Once you have wet the wall a couple of times, used your putty knife to cut through the layers. This may create a certain amount of mess, but will help you to efficiently cut through all the layers of vinyl wallpaper.

Step 4 - Clearing off the Last Edges

When you come to clearing the wall paper off the very top of your wall, you will need to use a step-ladder to get right up there. Don't try and stretch to the top, as this may cause strain or injury, but instead keep the wallpaper you are stripping at eye level.