Wallpaper Removal: All You Need to Know

Wallpaper adds a stylish and decorative touch to your home. Unfortunately, over time, it would start to peel and look unsightly. While removing wallpaper may not be the most exciting task to take on, with the right tools and techniques it can be a straightforward and rewarding process. Here’s a guide on all you need to know about wallpaper removal.

Why Remove Wallpaper?

There are several reasons why you should remove wallpaper from your walls. With time, wallpaper can become outdated and become an eyesore. If you plan on painting the walls, you must first remove the wallpaper for a smooth and even finish. Removing wallpaper will also allow you to inspect your surfaces for any damage or repairs that may need to be done.

What Tools and Materials Do I Need?

Before you start the wallpaper removal process, you need to gather the necessary tools and materials. Here are some essential items you will need:

  • Wallpaper scraper or putty knife
  • Wallpaper removal solution
  • Bucket or spray bottle
  • Drop cloths or plastic sheeting
  • Stepladder
  • Sandpaper

The Wallpaper Removal Process

Prepare the room

First on the list is to clear the room of any furniture or objects. This will also be the step where you’ll need to cover the floor with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect it from wallpaper scraps or water (and ensure a quick cleanup).

Test a small area

Before you start the wallpaper removal process, test a small area of the wallpaper to see how it reacts to the removal solution. This will help you determine how much time and effort it will take to remove the wallpaper. If you bought different types of removal solutions, you’ll also be able to see which one is the most effective.

Apply the removal solution

Now that you’ve got the preparation steps down, it’s time to apply the wallpaper removal solution using a spray bottle or a roller. Let the solution soak into the wallpaper for the recommended amount of time before you start scraping.

Remove the wallpaper

Once the removal solution has absorbed into the wallpaper, use a wallpaper scraper or putty knife to gently scrape the wallpaper off the wall. Start at the bottom of the wall and work your way up. Also, be careful not to damage the wall surface. 

Repeat the process

If the wallpaper is not coming off easily, repeat the process by applying more removal solution and waiting for it to soak in before attempting to scrape it off again.

Clean the wall

Once you have removed all the wallpaper, clean the wall surface with a damp sponge or cloth. Mix hot water, liquid dish soap, and some baking soda, and use this as your cleaning solution. This should be enough to remove any glue residue from the walls. Once done, allow the wall to try.

Sand the wall

Now that you’ve got a blank canvas, use sandpaper to smoothen out any imperfections or rough patches on the wall surface. This will prepare your walls for whatever you have planned for it next.

Removing wallpaper can be a straightforward process if you have the right tools and if you follow the steps above. But if you find the process too challenging, you can always get professional wallpaper removal services to make it easy for you. 

Professional Wallpaper Services in Chicago’s Golden Corridor

Getting professional wallpaper removal services is the best option because they know how to do it efficiently and effectively. 

Professional wallpaper removers know the proper techniques for removing wallpaper without damaging the walls, and they have access to specialized tools and solvents that make the job easier and faster. Attempting to remove wallpaper on your own is time-consuming, messy, and frustrating, especially when you come across stubborn areas. 

By hiring professionals, you can save time, avoid unnecessary damage to your walls, and ensure that the job is done right the first time.

About D’Franco Painting and Wallpaper

At D’Franco Painting and Wallpaper, we understand the hassle and frustration that can come with removing outdated or damaged wallpaper from your walls. That’s why we offer professional wallpaper removal and installation services to help transform your home quickly and efficiently. 

Our skilled team has the experience and tools necessary to remove old wallpaper and prepare your walls for a fresh, smooth, and new look. We use high-quality materials and techniques to ensure a smooth and even wall surface for wallpaper installation. 

Whether you’re looking to update a single room or your entire home, our team is committed to providing excellent customer service and quality workmanship. Trust us to handle your wallpaper removal and installation needs with the utmost care and attention to detail.

For a FREE ESTIMATE, call us at (847) 349-4112. We look forward to speaking with you.

How much does it cost to remove wallpaper?

Are you a homeowner with wallpaper in your home? If so, you’re not alone! But, do you love it? At D’Franco Wallpaper, we love installing wallpaper. However, if you’re not fond of the wallpaper in your home, you may be wondering how much it will cost to have it removed. While the cost of wallpaper removal can vary, this guide will give you an idea of the approximate cost to remove wallpaper in your home.

Should I remove wallpaper or just paint over it?

This is a common question among homeowners. At D’Franco, we typically recommend removing the wallpaper before painting.

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Why? Because wallpaper is porous, meaning that moisture from the paint can cause the wallpaper adhesive to re-wet and loosen from the wall. This can result in the wallpaper falling off the wall, leaving you with a wet paint and wet wallpaper mess. Trust us, we’ve seen it happen! To avoid this issue and ensure a professional looking paint job, it’s best to remove the wallpaper before painting.

When can you paint over wallpaper?

At D’Franco, we prioritize  a smooth and seamless finish. Our experienced team offers wallpaper removal services, with an estimate based on square footage and our knowledge of similar wallpapers. However, in cases where the wallpaper is not coming off easily, we may recommend an alternative solution.This may happen if:

  • Wallpaper was installed directly over drywall
  • Incorrect adhesive was used
  • Wallpaper is from the 1980s and has a vinyl film
pump sprayer for wallpaper removal

Our recommended solution in these cases is for us to:

  • Prime the wallpaper using Guardz or Shellac primer (which will cause any loose areas to bubble up)
  • Cut out these bubbled areas
  • Skim coat any seams or cutaway areas
  • Re-prime for a solid surface 
  • Apply your desired paint color for a polished finish

While this may not be the ideal path, we’ve had success with this method in our own homes as well as other customers’ homes. You can trust our team to achieve the look you desire.

What can I expect the cost of removing wallpaper to be?

The cost of wallpaper removal can vary greatly, with prices ranging from $1.00 to $4.00 per square foot. Factors that can affect the cost include 

  • Ease of removing the wallpaper
  • Any necessary repairs to the walls after removal
  • Height of the walls
  • Type and amount of wallpaper being removed
  • Also, if the project generates a lot of trash, a dumpster rental might be necessary adding to the cost.

We understand that every home and project is unique and will provide you with a detailed, personalized estimate based on your specific needs. Our experienced team can efficiently and effectively remove your wallpaper while providing transparent and fair pricing.

What tools are needed to strip wallpaper?

Removing wallpaper can be a daunting task, but with the right tools, the job becomes much simpler. We have years of experience in wallpaper removal and have refined our methods to make the process as efficient and effective as possible. When tackling the project yourself, the following tools are essential:

  1. A spray bottle filled with a diluted wallpaper stripping solution
  2. A bucket of hot water and a sponge
  3. A wallpaper steamer
  4. A drywall scraper (or putty knife)

These tools are all you need to get the job done. First, spray the solution onto the wallpaper and let it sit for a few minutes. Then use the sponge and hot water to remove the top layer of the wallpaper. If needed, use the steamer to soften the remaining adhesive and use the scraper to remove any stubborn pieces. In many cases, you can simply use your fingers to remove the wet wallpaper backing. Once the wallpaper is removed, clean the walls thoroughly with water.

So if you’re looking to strip your wallpaper, these are the tools you’ll want to have on hand.

Ready for your wallpaper to be removed?

We can help! Let us know if you need advice or help with a project. You can call us at (847) 349-4112, text us at (847) 349-4112  or email us by visiting our email form on our contact page. We would love to see how we can help you love the space in your home, with fresh paint, wallpaper, or painted cabinets.

Scraping wallpaper residue
How to Strip or Remove Wallpaper

As a paint and wallpaper contractor, one thing we have to do is strip wallpaper. One call we frequently receive is “How can I remove wallpaper? Do you have any tricks?” We don’t have any tricks, just years of experience in wallpaper removal we can share with you.

Wallpaper can be removed several ways. Mechanically, chemically, physically, or with water.  You may have to use more than one of these wallpaper removal methods in order for the wallpaper to come off the wall.  For example, some wallpaper is made with two layers. The front or top of the wallpaper has the design/fabric/color on it. Then the backing of the wallpaper looks like a bleached paper bag. This means you may have remove the top layer before the backing will release from the wall.

4 Ways for Removing Wallpaper

1. Removing wallpaper mechanically

This is pure hard labor. It is very time intensive, and we really do not suggest this method. You are using your hands, or scrapers to remove the wallpaper.

There are actually tools and machines that can be placed on a wall that will perforate and then use an abrasive to take wallpaper from a wall- Paper tiger wallpaper removal tool.

The idea of this tool, is that it will make these tiny holes on the wallpaper which allow water or removal solution to penetrate through the wallpaper and allow the wallpaper removal solution to work though and under the wallpaper. We have had little use of this method, as our experience has shown that the wallpaper comes off in small bits, and the tool leaves small marks all over the wall- that you now have to fix.

2. Removing wallpaper with Chemicals 

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Here is wallpaper that had the top layer removed and we have added water to remove the backing seen here

It is one of the ways we have to resort to to get stubborn wallpaper from that wall. There are several brands of wallpaper strippers at paint and home improvement stores for you to use.

  • One is DIF gel- this product is sold in gallon jugs.  You simply roll it onto the wall like you would paint, and allow the chemical to work though the paper allowing the adhesive to re-wet which then releases the paper from the wall. There will be times that there are two layers of wallpaper. The top layer must be removed so you can see the wallpaper backing and get the adhesive so the chemical process of releasing the wallpaper can begin. This process can also be messy-all of that water and chemical has to go somewhere (E.g. carpet or hardwood or tile floors).
  • One other thing you can use is fabric softener. This one I have not tried, but I know others that swear by it. Fabric softener somehow also penetrates the wallpaper and allows the wallpaper adhesive to release from the wall.
  • My favorite product to use is a product called Safe and Simple. This product is placed into water then either sponged or sprayed onto the wall and after you wait (patience is required here) the wallpaper will relax and more times than not, pull right off the wall.
  • When using chemicals there may be the need to scrape the walls. Keep reading as we will discuss this in the water method.

3.  Physical removal

All of these removal types require some physical labor. However, IF the wall was sealed properly prior to the wallpaper application process, you may be able to grab a corner of the wallpaper and simply pull the paper from the wall.  I have been able to do this several times in residential jobs, but it’s more common in commercial buildings with 54″ commercial vinyl wallcoverings.

Sometimes this process causes significant damage to the walls. Commercial wallpaper that was not applied correctly, will rip the drywall surface from the wall. Which means you are skim coating and resealing walls.

4. Water removal

Water is my go to method to remove wallcoverings. I have a few ways water will work.

  • Using a 5-gallon bucket of hot water (the hotter the better from my experience) take a sponge and start wetting the wall. Again this is a method that does require patience. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then get it wet again, letting it sit for 5-10 minutes. You should see the wallpaper get darker as the water saturates the wallpaper. Test a part of the wall to see if it will come off the wall.  You may have to put more water, but this is the “greenest” method. Most of the time you will need some type of scraper to peel back the wallpaper.

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    Here we have started to scrape the wallpaper and glue from the wall

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    After adding more water to the walls, the paper is coming right off the wall.

  • Then there is steam. This process can be dangerous as you are working with steam and you can get burned. This method can allow for several layers of wallpaper to be removed at once. It also allows for more of the glue to come off the wall as well. Here is a video of removing wallpaper with steam for you to see how easy this can be.

There are a few issues with each wallpaper removal method we presented to you.

  • Wall damage will take place, some is previous damage you have to now take care of. You may have scraped the wall too hard and will now need to do some patching. You may have used too much water and paint comes off the wall.
  • If you do not use patience in these methods they will not work and you will damage your walls.
  • You may be allergic to the products used to remove wallcovering, the wallcovering itself, and/ or the previous adhesive used. We use rubber mechanics gloves most of the time.

Here are a few videos of how to remove wallpaper

Do you have a question regarding wallpaper removal we did not answer? If so, please let us know! We also have other YouTube videos that we did not list here but can be found under the D’franco Painting & Wallpaper channel that may help. We can be reached at (847) 349-4112, Ask for David!

Removing Bathroom Wallpaper

Do you have wallpaper in your bathroom? Are you considering removing bathroom wallpaper and live near Elgin, St. Charles, or Huntley, IL?

Removing Bathroom Wallpaper

Existing wallpaper in the bathroom.

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Bathroom wallpaper to be removed.

Like all good things, wallpaper styles come and go. This wallpaper install, which depicts a fox hunt, ironically in a home that is near a fox hunting area!

Due to a leaking water fixture, the room was undergoing a remodel, so the owners decided to remove this wallpaper. The call was made- we answered- “please remove the wallpaper in the bathroom.”

With our tools in hand, (steamer, piranah wallpaper scraper, sponges, bucket) we get set to start removing wallpaper!!

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Wallpaper stripping tools.

It begins with getting the steamer ready with water, plugging it in, and waiting for it to start producing steam! once the steam starts coming out, we place the steamer to the wall and let the heat and moisture to reactivate the wallpaper adhesive.

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Steamer in action

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Scraping off the wallpaper and adhesive

The stripping tool made by Piranah works very well to gently scrape the surface between the paper and the wall and make for an excellent surface ready to reinstall wallpaper or paint.

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Wallpaper scraps

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Wallpaper being stripped

This job was a little more difficult than some other jobs. Sometimes the wallpaper will come off in layers, this one did not. It took quite a while to get the wallpaper wet enough to release from the wall.

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The wallpaper almost all removed

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Wallpaper almost all is gone

As the wallpaper is almost all removed, the walls are very clean, some minor repairs to be made, but the room already looks much brighter!

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Clean Walls after Removing Bathroom Wallpaper

Once the wallpaper is all removed, the next task is to wash the walls. Before you paint, the walls will need to be cleaned of all wallpaper paste residue. If you do not, the new paint will crackle on the wall- you don’t want that! Now that they are washed, allow to dry overnight, make any repairs to the walls, if there are any, then you can start painting!

Let us know if you have any questions about wallpaper removal! Check out some of our other wallpaper blog articles…

Take a peek at using Wallpaper as an accent in your home.

Maybe wallpaper for a ceiling?

Let us help you love the home you live in!

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Wallpaper

If you have a wallpaper removal project in your home, then you want to know…

“How much does it cost to remove?”

Since there are numerous types of wallpaper, removing wallpaper is not always easy. It is also not a simple answer as to how much will it cost.

So what do you need to know?

  • When was it installed?
  • Was it installed professionally?
  • What kind of wallpaper is on the walls now?
  • Which room is it in (kitchen/bedroom etc)?

wallpaper removal cost

That may seem like a lot of questions but these are all things we need to know when you call us and want to get an estimate.  The age of the paper can tell us the type of primer and glue that was used to install. Who installed it will indicate how the walls were prepared prior to installation. The type of paper can help is indicating how it will come off the wall. Then the room tells us the difficulty.

We did a podcast you can listen to about wallpaper removal cost.

If you want to try and remove the paper yourself you can see a few videos we did on our YouTube channel.

We usually say the cost to remove is about .95 per square foot, and an average room will have an allowance of 2 hours to clean walls and patch any areas that may have been damaged.

This may seem vague- but it protects us both. The last job we did, we could not see how much glue was on the walls from a test pull. Once removed, it took 2 men 12 hours to clean the walls! We do our best to let you know of the cost, problems before we get too much into the job but sometimes we just do not know the answer.

I hope this has given you some background information to get you started, and the videos or podcast has helped too. Give us a call or text and let us know if we can help you out and answer any other questions.

Remember- We are here to help you love the house you live in!

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Wallpaper

It depends! The cost of wallpaper removal depends on the wallpaper installation.

Here are two videos I want to share. You will see the difference. You will understand why I say it depends.

We were told the walls were primed. They were not.

Here is the second reason.

A picture may be worth a thousand words but the video says it all. The walls were primed.  The primer makes things so easy to remove wallpaper.

Prime the walls before you install wallpaper. Make sure you use a wallpaper primer, not paint or drywall primer.

If you don’t know, ask.

You can find some great information on wallpaper on the WIA (wallcovering installers association) website.

Please let us know if you have questions on wallpaper installation or removal. Email david@dfrancofinishes.com or call/text (847) 349-4112

We are here to help you love the house you live in.

Removing Wallpaper, Painting Walls and New Wallpaper

Do you have wallpaper removal needs? Are you ready for new paint and wallpaper?

Thanks to the great staff at the Hinsdale, IL J.C. Licht store, we were referred to a customer in Burr Ridge, IL that was in need of wallpaper removal, painting, and new wallpaper installation.  After performing an on-site inspection of work to be completed, we emailed our estimate to the client. Once approved and a deposit received, we scheduled the work and tasked the client to start selecting paint colors.


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Wallpaper requiring removal.

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View of old wallpaper from the top of the stairs.


Step 1: Remove Old Wallpaper

We start by removing the old wallpaper from the walls. Everything is going well, until the small powder room, which has multiple layers of wallpaper to remove. We had to use a steamer on most of the powder room walls. A steamer is not our first choice of tools to remove wallpaper but it does make the job easier. For the majority of the walls, we use Safe and Simple wallpaper removal solution and hot water. You add the recommended amount of solution to water, then dampen the walls with a sponge. The Safe n Simple goes to work to loosen the old wallpaper adhesive and the wallpaper will come off the wall relatively simple.


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The first layer of wallpaper revealed the 2nd layer.

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After all, wallpaper removed we started the cleaning off the walls.


Step 2: Prime and Seal Walls

After the wallpaper removal process is complete and the walls are dry, we sand the walls to remove any rough spots, paper, and adhesive burls left on the walls from the stripping process. The walls are then primed and sealed with GUARDZ wall primer and sanded once more. We patch and nail holes, scrape marks, cracks, etc. that are in the wall. Once the patches are dry we sand the walls and apply another coat of primer to seal the drywall compound and make sure we have a solid surface for paint to adhere to, look uniform and provide optimum coverage.


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Walls that have been sanded, washed, and some wall repairs

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The powder room walls washed, sanded, and primed.

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The walls are skim coated as they were in bad shape with holes, cracks, uneven areas, etc.


Step 3: Paint & Wallpaper!

Now that the walls are cleaned, sanded, patched, and primed we are ready for paint and wallpaper.


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Stairwell wall.

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Stairwell wall and powder room primed and ready for wallpaper.

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New Thibeaux wallpaper on stairwell wall and powder room wall.


That’s it!

The Happy customer gave us a great Google review and was more than happy in preparation for the family coming to visit after we were done.

Give us a call or text at 847-553-1726 to see how we may be able to help with your next project. If you’re deciding on what time of wallpaper to choose, I suggest you check out grasscloth wallpaper.

Check out a short video on this project as well!

Creating a Backsplash for Your Kitchen

What do you have in your Kitchen as a Backsplash? Are you looking at straight paint? Do you have monochrome tiles? How about wallpaper? In the Kitchen, we get many challenges on what a customer can do to spruce things up. Wood cabinets can be cleaned down, re-stained or maybe they can be glazed with another color. Adding new hardware to the doors, drawers and cabinets make a huge difference. Then there is the backsplash. It gets the most abuse. Next, to the cabinets, it is the 2nd most viewed area of your kitchen.

If you already have tile but do not like the color or style of the tiles, we can not only change the look of the tile, but we can repaint them, change the look, feel and color of the tiles.

If you have wallpaper-get rid of it and update it. You can update with simple paint but why not make it unique, make it something that is all yours, something that no one else has. With the use of the numerous plasters, hundreds of colors, and protective finishes, your choices are only limited by your imagination. We can help you find what you want.

Get a kitchen makeover this spring!

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