This is not a project that I have had to do before. Thank goodness. Actually, it wasn’t that bad. Granted, I was only removing a wallpaper border, but the technique would be the same. I approached this project with steamer in hand. I assumed that it would be as difficult as seen on TV, but I hoped otherwise. Fabric softerner to remove wallpaper

The border was a recent addition to an apartment that I had for rent. (Side note: don’t let your tenants put up borders or paint!) The new tenant asked for the border to be removed and I agreed to do the job. I am a fan of the show “Sell this House” with Roger Hazard. Roger recommended using fabric softener for the job instead of an expensive wallpaper removal solution. In fact, the fabric softener might actually work better.

Here are the steps that I needed to take. Hopefully they will work for you as well.

  1. The paper that was up was a product with a vinyl face (many are). Because of this, I needed to get through the vinyl surface. I used a paper tiger to perforate the surface.
  2. After the perforations were in place, I mixed 3 parts water with 1 part fabric softener. You can apply this solution to the border with a cloth or a sponge.
  3. After a couple of minutes, I was able to peel the surface of the paper off (the vinyl part). At this point, it looked like the job would be difficult since the paper was still on the wall.
  4. I then applied the fabric softener/water solution to the paper that remained on the wall. After a couple of minutes I started peeling with a putty knife and the paper came right off. There were a couple of areas that required a little more effort with the putty knife, but nothing too difficult. The key was simply making sure that the paper was saturated with my solution.

I had things easy since I was only removing a wallpaper border. If you are removing paper from an entire room, I would purchase a large paper tiger and use a sprayer or a paint roller to apply the fabric softener solution.

Good luck with your wallpaper stripping job. I hope that this saves someone a little time, trouble, and money.

Another how-to article on removing wallpaper