We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.
During major renovations of old or outdated homes, one of the most challenging tasks is wallpaper removal. Dreaded by homeowners and professionals alike, dealing with wallpaper requires time, patience, and a little bit of luck to get every last strand removed. To keep the process manageable, the... right equipment can deal with wallpaper more quickly and efficiently than common everyday tools.
There is no one single type of wallpaper remover to buy. Instead, the right tool will depend on the type and amount of wallpaper you need to get off the wall. For simple jobs with wallpaper that easily separates, a good razor or knife will get through a single wall in no time. If you have troublesome wallpaper with an adhesive that will not strip away, a steamer or spray will be more effective.
To help you tackle the challenge of eliminating wallpaper, here are the best removal tools you can use on your next project.
The best wallpaper remover is something that will speed up the entire process. It will also tackle hardened wallpaper regardless if you have one wall or an entire home to do. After all, speed and efficiency are key when making a home feel new again.
When you have to remove outdated wallpaper, it is easy to get stuck or mess up without the right tools. With the Wagner On-Demand Steam Cleaner, you will get the job done right the first time.
This is one of the most straightforward and effective tools for removing wallpaper with strong adhesives. The device uses an internal reservoir of hot water to generate steam, loosening wallpaper without the need for brute force or harmful chemicals.
As a steam cleaner, it can also be used for other upkeep tasks that involve hard-to-clean messes. The cleaner includes two heavy-duty wheels for easy transport around the workspace.
Budget wallpaper removers are great for small projects or single walls and small rooms when you want to save some money. The right budget tool is easy to use time and time again.
The QEP Wide Razor Scraper offers everything you need to lift dry wallpaper edges up. It will also help separate the rest from the wall’s surface without switching to a different tool.
This scraper features a four-inch blade that works under the edges of wallpaper. A long handle with a cushion offers a comfortable grip for single-handed use. The handle is also long enough to work on higher areas of a wall without requiring a step stool.
Beyond wallpaper, the edge is delicate enough to be used on windows and floors for general scraping and cleaning as well.
The most basic wallpaper remover you can buy is a scraper. Based on the principle of “brute force is best,” a scraper physically separates wallpaper from the wall’s surface without the need for solvents or electricity. Since it requires some physical effort, this type of remover is best used for small projects or loose wallpaper.
The Zinsser Long-Handle Scraper makes it easy to scrape up wallpaper and wall debris with ease. Due to its 4-inch blade with an angled orientation, the tool makes short work of sticky substances. The handle is ergonomically designed with a cushioned grip to be used for long periods of time without pain.
Steamers are the tool of choice for most professionals when they face challenging jobs. When it comes to wallpaper removal, a steamer works on the hard-to-reach adhesive underneath the wallpaper to separate it from the wall itself. A good steamer requires no chemicals and comes with different nozzle attachments to adjust the size of the steamed surface, allowing you to hit large swaths of wallpaper at once.
The Wagner 715 Wallpaper Steamer can be considered a budget steamer given its small price tag and form. Since it does have a small water reservoir, the steamer quickly heats up the liquid to provide steam for around 70 minutes without a refill. The different nozzle attachments make it easy to fit the steamer in various spaces and to lift wallpaper without damaging the drywall underneath.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
Chemical solvents take a different approach to removing wallpaper from scrapers and steamers. By breaking down the adhesive backing of the wallpaper, the solvent can loosen stuck, porous wallpaper for easy removal.
This can save time and effort when working on large walls or entire rooms while ensuring more uniform results. However, if you are dealing with a non-porous wallpaper, a steamer may work better.
WP Chomp’s Super Concentrate Remover uses a safe chemical formula to penetrate into the wallpaper adhesive, breaking down the backing more quickly and uniformly than simple scraping can. The remover is easy to set up and comes in a 2-gallon container, providing plenty of liquid to use for large projects involving multiple rooms at the same time.
While chemical and solvent removers are popular methods to extract adhesive wallpaper from a wall, they can be messy if you are not careful. A wallpaper remover spray, on the other hand, includes the same type of chemical remover in a more controllable spray bottle.
When you have a small amount of troublesome wallpaper or some spot removal leftover, a spray remover is the best way to target individual sections of a wall without making a mess.
For easy wallpaper removal, the WP Chomp World’s Best Remover Spray features a large spray pattern with a wide coverage area. The remover liquid seeps through porous wallpaper and into the adhesive backing to break down the compound in a short amount of time. After application, you only have to scrape or peel away the wallpaper for a completely clean surface.
Sometimes, a thick layer of wallpaper is too hard to separate, even when using strong solvents or a steamer. If you have tried everything else to remove a section of wallpaper, the method of last resort method is often a scoring tool.
A scoring tool can cut into the wallpaper, removing debris or small sections of wallpaper to help physically remove the adhesive. Used with other removal tools, a scorer is a good addition to bring out for the toughest challenges. Keep in mind, however, scorers can leave marks or damage drywall, so use it with care.
The Zinsser 2976 PaperTiger is a unique wallpaper remover that acts by perforating and lifting the paper up in a single motion. With three separate cutting heads, the PaperTiger covers more surface area than a traditional scraper in less amount of time. Using large, circular movements, you can tackle more wallpaper for larger projects. The remover is tough enough to work on vinyl and painted wallpaper as well.