How Wallpaper Remover Works

By: Echo Surina

Wallpaper removal isn't fun, but you can whip up a little something at home that can make the job easier. See more home construction pictures.
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Even if you're a do-it-yourself type who tackles home improvement projects with vim and vigor, you may find yourself putting off tedious projects like wallpaper removal from one New Year's resolution to the next. Have you been meaning to take down that country farm border in your kitchen that you now hate? Maybe the cows and roosters aren't so adorable anymore. Fortunately, removing it can be quite simple.

To determine if wallpaper removal is a project for you or the pros, consider the type of covering you're working with, the length of the project and the costs involved.


There are many kinds of wallpaper and essentially only two kinds of backing: Peel-away and non peel-away. The backing determines your options. To find out which one you have, find a discreet area on the wall and test a small section by gently tearing the wallpaper. If it comes off easily, the paper can be dry-stripped, so go ahead and rip away! Typically, newer coverings and those made with vinyl are easy to take down.

If you aren't so lucky, you need to dissolve the adhesive that's gluing the wallpaper to the wall. You can dissolve it with wallpaper remover, which can take several hours to several days, depending on the backing, room size and any complications that arise. Doing it yourself costs less than hiring a professional -- you only need to pay for tools and materials. However, hiring an expert can cost less if you're dealing with complications, like drywall that wasn't primed.

Turn to the next page to learn how to make your own remover and find out why this inexpensive alternative can be so effective.