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How to remove painted wallpaper

For some unknown reason, previous owner of my house  has installed wallpaper in the bathrooms. They also put some kind of satin latex paint on it as well. Just as you can image, wallpaper has now coming off from the seams. However in most places it is still sturdy so simple peeling won't work. I do have a steam machine which supposedly removes wallpapers, however paint worries me.


Any suggestions would be much appreciated.




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Posted 2012-07-10T04:34:05+0000  by yacc yacc




To remove wallpaer, water must penetrate down to the paste which is holding it to the wall. To this end, the paint on the paper must first be penetrated. Over the years, I have sanded such surfaces with 24 or 36 grit sandpaper. You do not have to get down all the way to the drywall, but merely breach the paint and the plastic coating and inks on the paper.


I would avoid the "Paper Tiger" device which is sold for penetrating wallpaper. These devices tend to go too deep and penetrate the paper of the drywall . This allows water to actually enter the drywall itself and cause damage..


Your wallpaper steamer should work fairly well after the paper has been breached. After the paper has been removed, you should then thoroughly wash the paste from the wall before patching, priming and painting.

Posted 2012-07-10T07:35:18+0000  by ordjen

Hello yacc.  Welcome to the Community!


As usual, ordjen gives solid advice.  If your walls are drywall, his sanding advice will work well.  You can get very low grit sandpaper from the Tool Rental department at Home Depot stores.  These are used in our floor sanders and you can cut up a sheet into pieces sized more suitable for scratching up your wall.


If you have plaster walls, then a Paper Tiger is easy and fast.  I use one on drywall as well, but just roll it around rather than pressing down hard.  It works for me in conjunction with a steamer.


There are many threads here on the Community about wallpaper.  Let me give you links to a few that are more relevant to you... 


I hope this helps,





Posted 2012-07-10T13:11:04+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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