5 Easy Ways to Remove Wallpaper from Bathroom Walls

Do you still use a bathroom that has wallpaper that you simply cannot stand?

Or is the wallpaper so old, you can’t help but think of ripping it apart?

Well, we have the best solutions for you. It’s not only possible to get rid of the wallpaper without damaging your walls, but you can also do it on your own.    

By following our simple guide in this article, you can easily remove the wallpaper from your bathroom walls.

First and foremost, let’s take a look at everything that you need to know and do. Let’s dive right in!

Before Removing the Wallpaper, Determine the Type of Wall

Removing the wallpaper from your bathroom walls is not very complicated.

However, the way you should do it varies based on the type of wallpaper you have and also the kind of walls in your bathroom.

In some cases, you can also just paste a new wallpaper over your existing one. However, if you really want to redo your wall, then we have solutions for that as well.

Before we discuss the steps that go into removing wallpaper, it’s important to understand what kind of wallpaper and walls you have to begin with.

The type of wall will determine the right type of method for wallpaper removal. Here’s everything that you’ll need to know about the two main types of bathroom walls: 

Plaster Walls

Plaster walls are commonly found in old homes, usually built 50 or more years ago.

These walls have a wood lath nailed in them and have two to three plaster coats covering them.

Plaster walls are much more solid and don’t make a loud thud when knocking on them.


Drywalls are the creation of the past 50 years or so; all the houses built during this time mostly have drywalls in the bathrooms.

Drywalls are made of a sheet of chalk-like substance with a cover of lightweight cardboard.  

These walls usually sound hollow when knocked. They are also less hard than plaster walls and can be damaged by the use of any scraping tool. 

How to Prepare Your Walls for Removing Wallpaper?

Before you get to remove your bathroom wallpaper, you need to prepare the walls and the bathroom.

First, clear the walls by removing all the hangers, stands, decorative objects, etc.

Next, protect other furniture in the bathroom by covering it with a sheet or any other protective layer.

To protect your floor and baseboards from getting damaged from the scraps, cover them with old towels or stick tape over the baseboard.

After you have taken care of everything and prepared the wall, you can follow one of the following methods to remove the wallpapers depending on their type:

Removing Strippable Bathroom Wallpaper

The right method of removing your bathroom wallpaper depends on the type of wallpaper it is.

The latest wallpapers are mostly strippable, so it is easier to remove them. You dont need to use any chemicals or water to remove these kinds of wallpapers.  

If the wallpaper that you’re trying to remove was installed within the past few years, then it is highly likely to be strippable.

If you’re unsure, you can check the bottom edge of the wallpaper around the corners. Take a puffy knife and use it to pry the edges of the paper.

If it comes off easily, then keep on pulling it. This means the wallpaper is strippable, and you can remove it with your bare hands.

Hold the edge of the paper on the wall and pull it out until it is completely stripped away. Repeat this process for each wall. Easy, right?  

Removing the Wallpaper with Water

This method requires you to get a liquid stripper concentrate; mix the liquid with hot water as per the instructions of the manufacturer.

Use a sprayer or a brush to apply this mixture on all the walls with the wallpaper that you want to remove.

Make sure you work your way from top to bottom. Allow the paper to soak in the mixture for a few minutes, and then use a scraper to strip it away.

Do one section of the wall at a time so that the paper doesn’t dry out before you have the chance to remove it. 

Removing Peelable Wallpaper

The newer wallpapers are also peelable, so they don’t require a lot of effort to be removed.

If your bathroom is relatively new, it means it might have peelable wallpaper. It works similarly to the strippable wallpaper.

First, you need to peel off the vinyl coat. Then, you’ll have to use water to remove the backing that is left of the wallpaper.

Make sure you get rid of the backing even if it seems like it’s in good condition.

Removing Washable Wallpaper

Washable wallapapers are harder to remove because they are completely merged with the wall.

First, you’ll have to penetrate the plastic film that’s protecting the paper. To let the water soak in, consider creating holes on the paper.

Then spray the water into the holes. Make sure you add as much water as possible and let it sit for up to 10 minutes.

Finally, use a putty knife to scrape the wall paper off.

Removing Wallpaper with Steam

If your wallpaper is an old stubborn affair, then you’ll have to use a tougher method to remove it.

Although we only recommend it as a last resort, you can use a steamer to strip the wallpaper off your walls.

This method is a little hectic, and you might need the help of one another person.

Let the streamer’s boiling water soften the bond of the wallpaper and the wall.

If the stream doesn’t reach the glue between the paper and the wall, then you’ll have to make punch holes in the wallpaper.

Make sure you properly follow the manufacturer’s instructions when operating the streamer and keep the power off.

Cleanup and Wall Preparation

Washing and Repairing the Walls

After successfully removing the wallpaper, begin by washing the walls. Use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean any leftover adhesive and dirt. Follow these steps:

  1. Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a bucket.
  2. Apply the solution to the wall using a sponge or cloth, scrubbing gently.
  3. Rinse the wall with clean water and let it dry completely.

Now, inspect the wall for any holes, slits, or damage. To repair drywall or plaster walls, follow this process:

  • Apply joint compound to fill any holes or dents, ensuring a smooth, even coverage.
  • Allow the compound to dry thoroughly before proceeding.

Sanding and Priming Surfaces

Sanding is essential for ensuring a smooth surface and proper adhesion for paint or new wallpaper. Use the following steps for sanding:

  1. Equip yourself with drywall sanding paper or a sanding block with medium-grit sandpaper.
  2. Sand the entire wall surface, paying special attention to areas where joint compound was applied.
  3. Wipe the wall with a clean, damp cloth to remove dust from sanding.

Once your wall is smooth, it’s time to prime. Priming creates a bond between the wall and paint or new wallpaper, preventing issues such as peeling or bubbling. Follow these steps for priming:

  1. Choose a quality primer suitable for your wall type (drywall or plaster walls).
  2. Apply the primer using a roller or brush, being cautious of drips or uneven coverage.
  3. Allow the primer to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Following these steps will ensure proper wall preparation after removing your wallpaper. Your fresh, clean wall is now ready for painting or the application of new wallpaper.

Finishing Touches

After successfully removing the wallpaper from your bathroom walls, it’s time to add the finishing touches to transform the space into a beautiful and relaxing retreat. In this section, we’ll discuss two key aspects to consider for your DIY project: painting and decorating.

Painting After Wallpaper Removal

Before diving into painting your bathroom, make sure to properly prepare the walls. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Repair any damages: Fix any holes or cracks on the wall with a putty knife and patching compound.
  2. Clean the walls: Use a sponge and mild soap to remove any leftover wallpaper adhesive or residue.
  3. Prime the walls: Apply a primer to ensure better adhesion of the paint and create a smooth finish.
  4. Choose the right paint: Opt for a paint specifically designed for high-moisture areas like bathrooms.

Now, you’re ready to paint your room.

Decorating Considerations

Once the paint has dried, you can focus on the decorating aspect of your DIY project. Consider the following tips for your bathroom revamp:

  • Select a color scheme: Choose a palette that complements the paint and evokes the desired atmosphere.
  • Invest in storage solutions: Opt for aesthetically pleasing yet functional pieces such as shelves, racks, or cabinets.
  • Incorporate textiles: Add softness and warmth to the room with towels, rugs, and shower curtains that coordinate with your chosen color scheme.
  • Accessorize: Incorporate decorative elements, such as artwork, plants, or candles, for a cozy and personalized touch.

By following these guidelines and incorporating your personal style, you’ll create a bathroom space that’s not only beautiful but also functional and enjoyable. Good luck with your DIY bathroom transformation!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most effective solution for dissolving wallpaper adhesive?

The most effective solution for dissolving wallpaper adhesive is a mixture of hot water and a wallpaper removal solvent. This liquid wallpaper remover can be sprayed onto the wallpaper to soften the glue, making it easier to peel off.

Can fabric softener be used to facilitate the removal of bathroom wallpaper?

Yes, fabric softener can be used to facilitate the removal of bathroom wallpaper. Mix equal parts of fabric softener and warm water, and apply it to the wallpaper using a sponge or spray bottle. This solution will help soften the adhesive, allowing the wallpaper to be easily peeled off.

What are the steps to remove wallpaper before repainting drywall?

Before repainting drywall, follow these steps to remove the wallpaper:

  1. Protect the floor with a plastic painter’s tarp.
  2. Score the wallpaper using a wallpaper scoring tool.
  3. Spray the wallpaper with a wallpaper removal solution.
  4. Allow the solution to soak in for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Use a scraper or putty knife to remove the loosened wallpaper.
  6. Clean the wall with soapy water to remove any residual adhesive.
  7. Dry the wall and, if needed, sand to achieve a smooth surface.
  8. Prime the wall and proceed with repainting.

Could you detail a method for stripping wallpaper using a steamer?

Stripping wallpaper using a steamer follows these steps:

  1. Fill the steamer with water and turn it on.
  2. Hold the steamer plate against the wallpaper for 20-30 seconds, allowing the steam to penetrate and soften the adhesive.
  3. Use a scraper or putty knife to remove the loosened wallpaper.
  4. Work in sections, applying steam and removing the wallpaper one patch at a time.
  5. Clean and dry the wall surface before proceeding with any further decoration.

How can vinegar be utilized in the wallpaper removal process?

To use vinegar in the wallpaper removal process, mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle or bucket. Apply the solution to the wallpaper, allowing it to soak into the material for several minutes. The vinegar solution will help dissolve the adhesive, making it easier to remove the wallpaper using a scraper or putty knife.

What are some expert-recommended tips for efficiently removing wallpaper?

Here are some expert-recommended tips for efficiently removing wallpaper:

  • Do a test strip: Before starting the entire process, test a small section of the wall to gauge how easily the wallpaper will come off.
  • Use proper tools: Invest in a good scraper, putty knife, or wallpaper scorer to make the job less tedious.
  • Stay patient: Wallpaper removal can be time-consuming, so stay patient and take breaks when necessary.
  • Start from the top: Work your way from top to bottom to avoid damaging the wall and making a mess.
  • Keep the area well ventilated: To avoid inhaling fumes from chemicals or steam, ensure the room is well-ventilated by opening windows or using a fan.

Final Thoughts

Removing wallpaper from bathroom walls doesn’t have to be complicated.

If you follow our instructions for each method, you can easily get rid of your old wallpaper

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