Tips and Techniques – Removing Wallpaper Glue!

Wallpaper when up looks beautiful.  The challenge is when it becomes faded and one wants to replace it either with wallpaper or with paint. While removing wallpaper is in itself a delicate task, the major challenge is removing the wallpaper glue!

After floors, it’s the walls of a house which create and leave a deep impact on your visitors. Sounds unbelievable? Well jig your memory a bit and recollect the houses you’ve visited in the recent pre-COVID past. We bet you’d remember the colourful and zesty wallpaper from these houses, right? When it comes to wall décor, wallpaper is fast emerging as a swift and swanky solution owing to time and energy constraints; and moreover besides a long display life, they also come in a huge variety of colours and designs.

But before embarking on ordering them, here’s sharing a quick look at their pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Wallpaper

Benefits of Wallpaper:

Some of the pluses of wallpaper vis-à-vis paint are:

  • Long shelf…umm ‘wall’ life of nearly fifteen-plus years
  • Extremely economic
  • Well-placed wallpaper lasts three times more than paint
  • Easy and smooth wall affixing thereby concealing many imperfections
  • Adds warmth and panache to a space
  • Options galore and that too in lovely designs, enamouring textures, and aesthetic prints
  • Can be applied to – all the walls of your house to weave a designer look; or to simply one wall to up-scale it as a feature wall
  • Offers an awesome selection of effects like – pearl and glitter, raised inks, suede, gels, beads, foils, embossed silk textures, natural grass cloth et al.

Drawbacks of Wallpaper:

When compared to paint, wallpaper has a few disadvantages too:

  • The application process is extremely time-consuming and demands a lot of patience!
  • Can’t be painted on or another wallpaper can’t be simply slapped on to the older one for want of a ‘new’ look.
  • Removing old era wallpaper is a mammoth hassle; but when it comes to today’s wallpapers i.e., those prepared in non-woven technology, they can be removed albeit in reams.
  • If you intend making it a DIY Project then it needs a lot of research on concerns like ascertaining that – your first strip is even; the design pattern is in sync; and there is some wallpaper hanging around the corners.

With wallpaper becoming a common décor in most houses, sprucing up your house entails removing the wallpaper and replacing it with a trendy one or alternatively painting the wall to a colour of your choice. But post removing the wallpaper, the glue poses a big problem as it doesn’t always come off easily. This has led to a lot of innovative glue-stripping solutions – while some have been runaway hits others have fallen flat on their face!

Here’s sharing some tried-and-tested hacks for removing wallpaper glue:

Removing Wallpaper Glue Prior to Pasting New Wallpaper

Preparing the Ground:

Prior to embarking on the wallpaper glue removal project ensure that –

  • You move all furniture and accessories out of the room.
  • Protect/cover with a plastic tarpaulin/old sheets – heavy or fitted furniture; carpeted or hardwood floors.
Covering Furniture with Plastic
  • Use painter’s tape to cover the electrical outlets in the room.
  • If possible, cut off the power supply to the room altogether.
  • Keep three-four dustbins.

Tried and Tested Hacks to Remove Wallpaper Glue:

Prior to papering or painting the wall, afresh it’s absolutely critical that the wallpaper glue is removed else the wall with the new wallpaper/paint may not turn out to be as attractive as envisaged.

There are several tried-and-tested methods for cleaning off the wallpaper adhesive:

  • Pick up a TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) solution from the neighbourhood hardware store; mix it with warm water and go ahead and use this solution to take out the glue from the wall.
Trisodium Phosphate to Remove Wallpaper Glue
  • Apply a popular wallpaper stripper to the adhesive stuck on the wall; thereby softening it to ensure that it can be easily obliterated.
Stripping Wallpaper
  • 100 grit sandpaper and a pole sander can be deployed to remove adamant glue; but many-a-times this may leave you with some uneven spots – do remember to fill these in with the help of sand, a knife and drywall mud.
Sandgrit Wallpaper
  • Another successful homemade wallpaper glue eraser can be prepared by adding a teaspoon of baking soda in hot water and then spraying this onto the wall.
Baking Soda and Water to Remove Wallpaper Glue
  • Put your fabric softener to a unique use! Mix four tablespoons of it with hot water spray onto the wall to remove wallpaper glue.
Fabric Softener to Remove Wallpaper Glue
  • Mix two cups of vinegar with warm water in a bucket and sponge the walls…vinegar generally causes the glue to dissolve.
Vinegar and Water to Remove Wallpaper Glue
  • A simple mix of soap and water used with the common brush will suffice to remove glue which is not very stubborn.
Soapy Water to Remove Wallpaper Glue
  • Try steaming the portion and watch the glue melt away and then simply wipe the walls with soap and water.
  • Wet-sand the area for effective removal of the wallpaper glue.
  • Use environmentally responsible citrus based products to remove wallpaper glue.
Citrus Based Products to Remove Wallpaper Glue

Restoring the Room:Remove all the painter’s tapes and the tarpaulins, and replace the furniture in the room and wipe it with a clean cloth.

Removing Glue While Adhering Wallpaper

Many-a-times while putting up wallpaper, excess adhesive may seep through the seams or you may accidentally get glue drips on the front of the paper.

Confused as to how to remove these hideous glue streaks? Relax … Gharpedia shows you how to accomplish this tedious task in a clean and quick way –


With the plethora of finishes and wallpaper materials, Gharpedia strongly recommends testing these suggested cleaning methods on a scrap of wallpaper or in a hidden area first to test for damage to the wallpaper finish.


  • Try wiping off damp glue with a microfiber cloth dipped in warm, clean water and wrung until only slightly damp. The method to follow here is – commencing at the top of the glue area and wiping downwards in gentle strokes. Do remember to use a clean portion of the cloth as the glue will transfer from the paper to the cloth.
  • In case, the glue has dried and is in a blob, use a plastic paint scraper to chip away the glue. Do remember to soften the glue with a warm and slightly damp microfiber towel as you get closer to the wallpaper’s surface so that it can be wiped away.
Plastic Paint Scraper
  • Dip cotton swabs in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and slowly and carefully saturate the glue with alcohol. Do remember to stall the alcohol from streaming down the wallpaper as it may discolour the same. After 10 minutes, use the paint scraper to chip away at the glue and complete the removal process with a damp microfiber cloth.

Application of any of these hacks will ascertain that there’s no glue left to mar the impact of your newly pasted wallpaper.

Whether you want to remove glue either while peeling off your wallpaper or while putting up new wallpaper there’s no rocket science, advanced skills or exotic tools involved in the process … you only need patience, energy, a cool temperament and time.

Hope the above techniques are of help to you in your aesthetic attempt to give your house a makeover by adding a dash of scintillating colour and riveting design to the drab walls of your room by putting up wallpaper. And hey … don’t forget to write in to Gharpedia for any creative hacks you have for removing wallpaper glue too!

Enjoy your weekend DIY project of implementing the creative cues in this blog to remove wallpaper glue …!

And before you leave, must read below mentioned articles:

10+ Types of Wallpaper for your Home Interior!
Home Wallpaper: All You Need to Know

Image Courtesy: Image 2Image 3Image 4Image 5Image 6Image 7Image 9, Image 10, Image 11

Author Bio

Huta Raval – An English Literature and Journalism Topper, Huta Raval has graduated from the L D Arts College, Ahmedabad. Post serving for 23 years in the NBFC and Public Library Sectors her desire for ‘writing the unwritten’ brought her to the creative field of content writing. Her clientele comprises of NGOs, Blogging Platforms, Newspapers, Academic Institutions, et al.

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