Before you start stripping old wallpaper off your walls, make sure you also learn how to remove wallpaper glue. Trust us, you’ll be happy you took the time. The last thing you want to do is spend hours scraping every last bit of dated floral paper away from your walls only to find that your plan to paint them got derailed because of leftover wallpaper adhesive. The wallpaper stripping process, which involves soaking the wall surface with water or a liquid stripper and then scraping with a putty knife, removes the paper, but leaves a stubborn, sticky residue. (There’s a reason some people just paint over it.) To get back to the drywall and a smooth, clean surface that’s ready for painting, you’ll need to get rid of the glue once and for all. Read on to find out how to remove wallpaper glue so you can finish your wallpaper stripping project like a pro.
If you’re a fan of DIY projects, you’re in for good news. The easiest way to jump on removing wallpaper glue is through a simple, homemade solution that will soften the glue and make it easier to scrape away. To get started, gather the following materials. If you don’t have anything on the list, a local hardware store will.
Like with wallpaper removal, you’ll be using hot water, among other supplies, to remove the wallpaper glue. If you haven’t already, move as much furniture out of the room as you can (or if that’s impossible, to the center of the room) to keep it from getting wet. Since the process involves plenty of water, cover floors—or at least the work area—and any remaining furnishings with plastic tarps. Use painter’s tape to cover all the electrical outlets, light switches, and vents. It’s also a good idea to turn off the power to the room. (Safety first!)
To get a smooth, clean wall, mix hot water, some liquid dish soap, and a tablespoon of baking soda together in your bucket. This solution is going to help soften the glue enough that it will be easy to wipe or scrape away.
If you find that the glue doesn’t come off easily when the solution is applied to the walls, add vinegar to the mix—about one cup of vinegar per gallon of water. Distilled white vinegar, in particular, is usually the go-to for most home improvement projects. Particularly difficult glue may require commercial wallpaper stripper, but the vinegar method should do the trick.
Now is when the hard work really starts. There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that the glue removal process is tedious and time-consuming. If it gets hard, just think about how good your new wallpaper or paint job is going to look when all is said and done.