Steps for Stripping Wallpaper

steps stripping wallpaper

At Wallpaper Warehouse, we’re your go-to wallpaper experts. With years of experience helping clients get fantastic textured and designer wallpaper at great prices, we’ve seen just about everything there is to see in the world of wallpaper.

Unfortunately, from time to time you might have to consider removing wallpaper from a given room or area in your home. This process is called “stripping,” and how difficult it is plus how long it takes can be impacted by several factors. Let’s look at the important steps you should take if you’re planning to strip wallpaper.

Planning and Timing

For starters, stripping wallpaper takes some significant planning and timing considerations. A couple of these are in areas we’ll discuss below, so be aware that you’ll regularly be updating some of these areas as you move along.

In most cases where you’re doing at least one full room, we recommend setting aside a full weekend to make sure you have enough time to do everything right. The last thing you want is to only plan for a weekday afternoon, then get partway through the job and be forced to come back to it repeatedly when it takes longer than you thought.


Another big part of the preparation process involves protecting the other elements of your home near the wallpaper, namely floors, furniture and other wood items. Spend some time moving through the area and removing everything off the walls – including wall sockets and switches, which should be covered with plastic and tape if they can’t be temporarily removed.

If your room has too much furniture to remove it entirely, at least move it toward the middle of the room where it won’t be impacted. In addition, turn off the electricity in the room before you start the job, just for safety.


Once you’re set up, it comes time for one of the in-process planning areas we discussed above. You have to “test” the wall before you can move forward – this involves scraping away a small bit of the wallpaper to find out how many layers have to be removed. If you find several layers, you’ll have to add some time to your planning because this will take longer to strip away.

Strippable or Not Strippable?

As you’re doing this test, you’ll also find out whether your wallpaper is “strippable” – that is, whether it is designed to peel off the wall easily. All you do here is use a knife to pry the corner of the wallpaper away, then pull it downward at a slight angle using both hands. If it easily peels off in a long strip, and there’s no sign of sticking underneath, the wallpaper is strippable and you can cut some major time off your project.

If not, though, the wallpaper is not strippable and you will have to help loosen the adhesive. To do this, soak it in warm water with small amounts of cellulose paste and liquid detergent, then score the wallpaper using a fork to let it soak in. This will make it easier to scrape off after.

For more on stripping wallpaper, or to learn about any of our discount wallpaper offerings, contact the pros at Wallpaper Warehouse today.

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