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How We Strip Wallpaper

While there are many variations of wallpaper and many ways to strip wall paper, we have found the “sanding method” works very well with non-strippable wallpaper.

Isn’t all wallpaper strippable?
Strippable wallpaper is composed of two layers of paper. With strippable paper the top layer is easily peeled away from the base layer of paper. In most cases once the base paper is sprayed with hot water and stripper the wallpaper paste softens. This softening allows it to peel away from the wall surface.  Non-strippable paper does not peel away to expose the base layer.

Why do I need sandpaper?
Wallpaper is best stripped by allowing moisture to get to the base layer. But most wallpapers have a clear coating that resists water and stains. Lightly sanding the surface of the non-strippable paper removes this water resistant coating allowing moisture to pass through to the paste.

Tools needed:
ShopVac with drywall filter, Orbital sander, 40 to 60 grit disk sandpaper, Garden sprayer, Liquid wallpaper stripper and a 4″ to 6″ spackling knife.

Steps Needed:

  1. Attach orbital sander to shop vac and lightly sand the wallpaper surface.
  2. Mix hot water and wallpaper stripper in the garden sprayer. Then lightly spray the surface of the wallpaper one wall at a time.
  3. Wait several minutes for hot water mixture to loosen the wall paper paste. If it starts to peel off in sheets then keep going! If it is still difficult to strip, then re-wet surface and wait several more minutes.

Happy Stripping!