How to Remove Wallpaper Without Chemicals

Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

Hey everyone this is Karisa from Petite Modern Life! Today I’ll be sharing with you how to remove wallpaper without chemicals in 2 steps and how to prep wall for paint in 3 steps! You’ll be excited to tackle that obnoxious wallpaper in no time.

This post may contains some affiliate links. Please see our full privacy policy and disclosure here.

How to Remove Wallpaper — No Chemicals!

What you need:

Hand Pressure Spray Bottle: $7 from Home Depot or find it at your local hardware store

Scraper Tool: $7 from Home Depot or find it in the tiling section of hardware store

120 grit sandpaper + sanding block: ~$8 from Home Depot or find it at your local hardware store

Wall Spray texture: $13 *Optional, refer to steps below* from Home Depot or find it at your local hardware store

Stain Blocking Primer: $10-$25 depending on amount. *NOTE*Get Zero VOC! You don’t need the crazy smelling ones to seal in any residual glue, a zero VOC primer will make your painting so much more family friendly

Top Coat Paint of Choice

Once you have everything you need you can get busy!

Before you begin, remove all hardware and switch covers from the wall.

First, fill up your hand pressure spray bottle with warm to hot tap water. Add pressure then slowly evenly spray down ONE section of wallpaper, top to bottom.

Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

Wait 5 minutes for the water to soak in, then, starting from the BOTTOM, lift the corners with your scraper or fingers and evenly pull the wallpaper towards the ceiling. You should be able to get the top layer off in one pull.

Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

Next, use your spray bottle and evenly coat the bottom layer of wallpaper with water in the same manner. Give it about 2 minutes to soak. This time start from the TOP and using your scraper or your fingers, lift the edges and pull the bottom layer down and off. You might get lucky and get a huge pull of paper, or you might have to work it in pieces. We found that the come off MUCH easier when you remove in a downward motion.

Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

**NOTE** you may use your scraper to help remove the smaller pieces, but this will rough up the paint below causing you to have to sand more in the paint prep process. If you do need to use your scraper, we found scraping DOWNWARD will cause less harm to the wall and paint.

Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

Repeat this process with all the wallpaper panels. With just two people working, you can get a wall this size done in just an hour or two!

Once your wallpaper tops and bottoms are all removed, allow at least a few hours for your walls to dry before starting the wall preparation process. When they’re dry you’ll use your 120 grit sandpaper to smooth out the wall and remove any remaining glue by sanding hard in a circular motion. In areas where you’ve roughed up the paint, sand particularly hard or use your scraper to remove the jagged underlying old paint.

Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

**Note: If you neglect areas of jagged paint, your sealer and top coat will secure it to the wall, but you’ll still be able to see it if you look closely.**

After you’ve sanded, use a vacuum and damp rag to remove the dust from the wall. If you have parts of the wall where there is not longer any paint or texture on the drywall underneath, you can use a water base wall spray texture ($14) to add that texture back then paint over that. We decided not to, but it’s an easy fix if you want uniformity!

Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

Now you are ready to prime! Again, I encourage you to purchase Zero VOC stain blocking primer so you don’t have to deal with the awful odors of normal stain blocking primer! You’re just using it to seal in any glue or stain residue so the top coat can go on unhindered.

We only did one layer of primer before our two coats of eggshell top paint. And voila!
Remove wallpaper in 2 easy steps WITHOUT chemicals! And find out how to prep for paint!

It really can be that easy and chemical free! If you have questions ask below and I’ll try to answer as best I can.

Karisa's signature

Here are some other Petite Modern Life posts you’d enjoy too!

7 Steps to a Modern Bathroom Without Renovating
7 Steps to a Modern Bathroom Without Renovating
Amazing items and tips to be set for your new puppy!
Amazing items and tips to be set for your new puppy!
Beginner sewers laundry tote with Marimekko fabric!
Beginner sewers laundry tote with Marimekko fabric!

More things you can remove to give your home an update:

remove the large builder-grade mirrorHow to Remove a Large Builder Grade Mirror on Remodelaholic

remove the carpet from your staircase
staircase remodel

remove and replace basic flushmount light fixtures (aka “boob lights”)How to update a builder basic flushmount light - 2 ways @Remodelaholic

Remodelaholic is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Please see our full disclosure here.

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. Wallpaper is the devil!

    You can -seriously- boost the efficiency of your method by using HOT water and adding a half cup of white vinegar. The vinegar won’t damage flooring it dribbles on nor will it leave lasting, harmful fumes (although your room will smell like a salad for a short while). But the vinegar cuts thru the adhesive like a hot knife thru butter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.