How To: Strip Wallpaper

If it’s just a single layer of wallpaper, then it can probably be pealed off dry, as is.

However, if there are multiple layers of wallpaper, with the top layer painted, removal can be more challenging, but, also entertaining. And with each layer that’s removed, you find yourself transported back another decade in time.

Tools Required:

  • Tiger (a cool NZ invention, available from Mitre10 for $20.00)
  • Trestle (or table, or similar to stand on)
  • Scraper
  • Pump Sprayer (available for around $10 from a hardware or plastics store)
  • Soapy Water


  1. Use the tiger to pepper the top painted layer of wallpaper with holes. This allows water to then penetrate through the paint, and soak the wallpaper and glue.


  2. Soak wall with pump sprayer (avoiding any electrical outlets).


  3. Peal off top-layer of wall paper, using a scraper for aid where necessary.


  4. Repeat steps 2, 3 for the remaining layers. (We did briefly entertain keeping the bottom layer, and creating a retro-room, complete with mirror-ball, but sanity prevailed).



Transforming our spare bedroom, into a damp, boarded-up cellar, took all of an afternoon. Unfortunately plastering, painting, and restoration will take a little longer.


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2 Responses to How To: Strip Wallpaper

  1. janice says:

    found your site very helpful. My problem is someone used a very strong glue to glue a border onto a painted wall and we are having a very difficult time getting the glue off the wall. Do you have any suggestions?

  2. michelle says:

    That sounds challenging, and soapy water probably won’t help. Might just have to get a bit destructive with a scraper, and plaster the damage afterwards…

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