Tools for Taking Off Wallpaper

The necessary tools for removing wallpaper will vary depending on the removal process you choose. You'll need only a few supplies and to remove wallpaper.

  • Razor scraper: This push-type wallpaper-scraping tool (about 3 to 4 inches wide) looks like a putty knife but has a slot for replaceable blades so that you always have a sharp edge.

    The wallpaper razor scraper has a razor-sharp edge to help you get under the edge of the wallpaper.
    The wallpaper razor scraper has a razor-sharp edge to help you get under the edge of the wallpaper.
  • Paper scraper: This nifty gadget can scrape and perforate wallpaper applied on drywall. It has a round, knoblike handle attached to a scraping blade that cuts the paper. Solvents or steam can then penetrate to the adhesive layer but can’t damage the drywall’s paper facing.

    The wallpaper scraper scores the surface of the wallpaper to let the solvents get under the wallpap
    The wallpaper scraper scores the surface of the wallpaper to let the solvents get under the wallpaper layer.
  • Wallpaper steamer: Rent one (or buy a do-it-yourself model if you’ve just bought a fixer-upper!) to steam the wallpaper off of your walls.

    A wallpaper steamer is good for removing multiple layers of wallpaper or paper that has been painte
    A wallpaper steamer is good for removing multiple layers of wallpaper or paper that has been painted over.

Other wallpaper-removal supplies

  • Wallpaper removal solvent: Although warm water may do the trick, you can turn to commercial wallpaper removal solvents if you need to.

  • Spray bottle or paint roller: Use one or both of these tools to get the water/remover solution onto the wall.

  • Plastic and canvas drop cloths: You need both types to adequately protect your floors from the watery mess.

  • Wide masking tape: Tape the plastic drop cloths to the base molding to avoid ruining your floors.

  • Water bucket, towels, rags, and wall sponges: After removing the old wallpaper, wash down the walls well.

Tools for specific wallpaper projects

Dry-stripping

Dry-stripping is the simplest removal process and only requires a putty knife to loosen the edges of the paper.

Soaking and scraping

Soaking and scraping is perhaps the messiest method. It requires: a paper scraper, wallpaper remover, a spray bottle or paint roller to apply it with, and a wallpaper scraper.

Steaming off wallpaper

Using a wallpaper steamer is a major project, but very effective for stubborn paper. You'll need a paper scraper, a wallpaper steamer, a baking pan (to hold the steamer when you're not holding it), and a wallpaper razor scraper. To protect yourself, you should also have rubber gloves and a long-sleeved shirt.

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