Question

I need non toxic wallpaper remover. My kitchen has wallpaper from 1979 or 1980.

Asked by Gina Arcaute
Sacramento, CA

Please help me. Thanks

Answer

Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Answered by Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Bainbridge Island, WA

A Kitchen That Works LLC

June 3, 2013

Dear Gina,

Wall paper removal can be tricky. Non-toxic removal techniques include using a steamer (rent or buy) and/or removal solutions.

What works for you project will depend on a variety of factors including:

  • the type of wall paper,
  • the type of glue used and
  • the age of the wall paper installation.

It has been literally decades since I removed wall paper from a wall, but I used a steamer. The steamer had hit and miss success. In some sections of the wall it worked like a charm but in others it damaged the sheet rock paper (requiring a complete replacement of the sheetrock). My technique was probably a bit flawed at the time. It is best to start at a corner and pull the paper back at a 45 degree angle.

In the event you would prefer a solution approach, try mixing two parts white vinegar with warm water and apply the solution directly to the paper with a sponge or rag in an effort to dissolve the glue. Using a putty knife, peel back the paper with the glue, use the putty knife at a 45 degree angle to remove any additional glue.

If you find your results are not adequate, you could consider trying a commercial removal solution such as Simple Strip. I have not personally used this product so this is not an endorsement.

Good luck!

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