Remove Wallpaper That’s Been Painted Over

If you do not already know how to remove wallpaper, simply review the steps before getting started. What you will see is that it is a very similar process to removing painted wallpaper. You will first need to gather all the necessary items, including:

  • 3-in-1 Scraper Tool or Broad Knife
  • Serrated Paper Scoring Tool (Or stiff wire brush)
  • Quality Wallpaper Stripper Solution (Or liquid fabric softener mixed with water and vinegar)
  • Wallpaper Removal Cloth
  • Ladder or Step Stool
  • Large Plastic Bucket
  • 2 Gallons Warm Water
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Protective Eyewear
  • Drop Cloths or Tarps

Keep in mind that you may require new drywall installation if you find that there are several layers of paint on top of the wallpaper. If there are only a few layers of paint, you may be successful at removing it without having to replace the drywall. Once you have all the necessary supplies, you are ready to get your hands wet! Here’s how to get started:

  1. Using medium pressure, score the outer layer on the wall with the paper scoring tool. Too much pressure can damage the wall so take your time on this part. You may also use a thick-bristled wire brush, or both. Choose the tool that you are more comfortable using and that produces the most results.
  1. Once you have scored the paint, spray on your wallpaper stripper solution, focusing on small sections at a time. Then allow the solution to soak into the wall for a few minutes. Spraying too much solution on at once can damage the wall, so don’t be too generous with the spray bottle. If you do not wish to use a commercial wallpaper stripper solutions, you can mix water, vinegar, and liquid fabric softener into a plastic spray bottle instead.
  1. After the solution has soaked into the wall for a few minutes, grab your 3-in-1 scraper tool (available at any local hardware or home improvement store for a lower price), and start with the sharpest edge. Get underneath the painted wallpaper and work slowly to scrape it away. Scraping in alternate directions will help expedite the effects.
  1. Expect this process to take several hours, or even days depending on the drywall or plaster used, the type of wallpaper adhesive, the square footage of the wall, the extent of paint on top of the wallpaper, and much more. After an abundant amount of dedication, patience, and effort, you will eventually get it all!