Want to learn how to remove vinyl wallpaper the EASY way? You’ve come to the right place!
UPDATED December 2020
In case you missed it last week, I revealed the room that I plan to makeover as part of the One Room Challenge this fall. You can check out all the Before photos, as well as my mood board for the new homework/craft room makeover here.
So here we are in Week Two of the One Room Challenge™ ! Today, I’ll share a bit more detail about the design plan, then dig right into a DIY tutorial on how to remove vinyl wallpaper.
One Room Challenge Design Plan Details
Last week I shared the mood board that I created to give you an idea of the direction I’m headed for this space. Today, I’m going to drill down a bit into the design plan.
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Overall Style: I’m going for a clean line, minimalist modern feel. I’m accomplishing this by incorporating modern furniture, lighting, and accessories. I’m also planning to use Royal Design Studio’s Contempo Trellis wall stencil to create a focal wall that will anchor the homework/study zone.
Color Palette: I selected the color scheme for this space to be in keeping with our whole home color palette The main wall color will be a light neutral grey, with pops of navy blue and teal introduced via the wall stencil in the homework zone.
Want exact colors? You got ’em:
- Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
- Benjamin Moore Mountain Laurel (also used in our laundry room makeover)
- Benjamin Moore VanDeusen Blue
Homework/Study Zone: Continuing my love affair with the Elfa storage products, I plan to create a homework/study area using a custom Elfa design that consists of wall-to-wall shelving and a continuous desk surface that spans the entire wall. I’ll use an Elfa drawer system to divide the desk into “His” and “Hers” areas for my son and daughter.
Creative Zone: On the opposite side of the room, I plan to use an IKEA Kallax workstation to store all things crafty, and FINALLY have a large work surface to work on DIY projects, wrap presents, and all that jazz. Since my large stash of wrapping paper that once lived under the guest room bed has been displaced, I plan to create some sort of DIY wall-mounted storage solution on the wall within the creativity zone.
So that’s the plan in a nutshell!
To execute the plan, the first order of business this past week was a DIY wallpaper removal project. This is the wall that will soon be sportin’ that awesome stencil pattern, as well as the kiddo’s new homework zone.
Buh Bye black damask wall:
So….onto part two of this week’s post:
How to Remove Wallpaper Without Chemicals
If you’ve been around for awhile, you may recall me sharing my experience with wallpaper removal in the kitchen and powder room as we prepared to have our whole house painted. During that time, I learned a whole lot about how to remove vinyl wallpaper (more than I ever wanted to know).
I researched different methods for vinyl wallpaper removal. I was on the hunt for a method that was cost-effective (i.e., I didn’t want to purchase or rent a wallpaper steamer) & one that didn’t involve using harsh chemicals.
In that search, I came across people who recommended using various homemade wallpaper removers like:
- vinegar + water
- dishwashing liquid + water
- liquid fabric softener.
But none of these options appealed to me because of the residual smell or mess that comes with these methods.
The Best Wallpaper Removal Tool!
And then one magical day, I stumbled upon this unassuming video by Nitrokyosho and I felt like I hit the motherlode. You see, it turns out you only need these 2 things to easily remove wallpaper:
How to Remove Vinyl Wallpaper
Note that this wallpaper removal tutorial focuses on how to remove wallpaper from drywall. The effectiveness of this method may vary depending on the wall surface.
I’m not gonna lie. Removing vinyl wallpaper is a messy process.
So you need to begin the wallpaper removal process by prepping your space.
Clear the area and lay down tarps to protect your floor, just like you would in order to prepare for painting.
(this is the mess that will accumulate as you work your way through the project
There’s one crucial piece of info you need to understand if you’re working with vinyl wallpaper (which is the most common type nowadays). Your vinyl wallpaper is actually made up of two layers:
- vinyl outer layer
- inner paper layer (with an adhesive)
The main objective is to peel away as much of the top vinyl layer as possible in order to expose that paper layer that lies underneath. Once that paper layer is exposed, your mission is to soak the heck out of it with hot water (as hot as you can get it).
This process then reactivates the adhesive and enables you to peel off the bottom paper layer from your wall.
To get started on your wallpaper removal project, pick a spot to begin where paper easily comes up.
Spray hot water underneath the vinyl layer of the wallpaper, then wait for a few minutes.
Tear off a piece of the vinyl layer, exposing as much of that paper layer as possible.
Here’s a close-up of what that paper layer looks like once the vinyl wallpaper layer is removed:
Once again, spray that paper layer until it’s completely saturated with hot water.
Wait a few minutes and then work your putty knife underneath that second layer in order to remove it.
Once you’ve successfully removed a chunk (ahh, so satisfying), use your putty knife to remove as much of the glue as possible.
Now just “rinse and repeat” the process, working on either side of that original swath of vinyl wallpaper that you first removed.
A few more helpful vinyl wallpaper removal tips to keep in mind:
- Periodically empty and refill your water bottle in order to maintain a supply of hot water.
- Once you’ve taken both layers of paper off the wall, you’ll need to wash down the walls thoroughly with warm water and a sponge to remove any traces of glue prior to painting.
- The next time you apply wallpaper, remember the ordeal you just went through and make it easier on yourself when it comes time to remove the paper by applying wallpaper sizing prior to installation!
So now you know exactly how to remove vinyl wallpaper without using chemicals. So simple!
MODERN HOMEWORK/CRAFT ROOM PROGRESS: WEEK 2
I just love checking things off a list, and I was able to check off quite a few projects tasks this past week, including:
Sell bed Sell light fixture Donate/Sell CD collection Remove wallpaper Purchase & install new light fixture
- Repair & paint walls
- Apply wall stencil
- Purchase and install wall shelving & desktops
Purchase desk chairs
- Decide on craft storage/table configuration and purchase/build
- Build DIY wall-mounted wrapping paper storage solution
- Purchase accessories & arrange them in the space (clock, storage containers, etc.)
- Relocate craft items to new space
Not bad, eh?
And I’ll close with a grand shout out to Linda from Calling It Home (and media partner House Beautiful) for hosting this fabulous challenge!! Be sure to visit all the featured bloggers and the guest participants through the links below.
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