How to Remove Wallpaper: Prepping for Paint in Athens

Introduction: The Benefits of Removing Wallpaper for a Fresh Look

Removing wallpaper is like turning the page on your home’s design story. It’s an opportunity to start anew, creating a backdrop that’s perfectly aligned with modern aesthetics and your personal style. 

In Athens, where history resonates through architecture, many homeowners are choosing to swap out dated wallpaper for fresh paint, giving their homes an updated, clean look that stands the test of time.

Is it a Good Idea to Remove Wallpaper Yourself?

DIY can be a fulfilling endeavor, providing a sense of accomplishment and often, a more friendly bill. But when it comes to wallpaper removal methods, the task at hand can quickly escalate from a weekend project to a renovation nightmare. The decision to self-remove or call in the pros from Athens often hinges on the type of wallpaper, the size of the job, and the condition of the walls.


  • Potential cost savings.
  • Flexibility to work at your own pace.
  • Personal satisfaction of completing the job.


  • Time-consuming with the potential for unexpected challenges.
  • Risk of damaging walls if the wallpaper is difficult to remove.
  • Possibility of incomplete removal, leading to issues with paint adhesion.

Professional help is worth considering when:

  • The wallpaper is old and adhered strongly to the walls.
  • The space is large, with a significant amount of wallpaper to remove.
  • You’re unsure about the presence of lead paint or other hazardous materials.

Preparing for the Task: Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin peeling back the layers of your room’s past life, you’ll need to arm yourself with the right tools for the task. Here’s what should be on your list:

  • A reliable drop cloth to catch the mess and protect your flooring.
  • Fabric softener, which can be mixed with hot water for a homemade wallpaper removal solution.
  • Commercial wallpaper removal solutions if you prefer a ready-made product.
  • A scraping tool, like a putty knife, to gently lift and peel the wallpaper.
  • Rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes from the solution and loose paper.
  • Rags or old towels to wipe down the walls.
  • A paint roller or sponge to apply the wetting agent.

Having these items on hand will help ensure that your wallpaper removal process is as smooth as possible, setting you up for a successful transition to painting.

removing backing from the wall before wallpapering

The Best Way to Remove Wallpaper Without Damaging Your Walls

Removing wallpaper can be a daunting task, especially when you’re concerned about preserving the integrity of your walls. Here’s a step-by-step guide that can help you strip away the old to make room for the new, all while keeping your walls in top shape:

Identify the Type of Wallpaper: Start by determining whether you have strippable wallpaper, which can often be peeled off without water or chemicals, or if it’s traditional or vinyl wallpaper that requires more effort.

Test a Corner: Gently peel back a corner of the wallpaper with a putty knife. If it comes off easily, you have strippable wallpaper. If not, you’ll need to move on to the next steps.

Score the Wallpaper: For non-strippable types, use a scoring tool to make small punctures in the wallpaper. This allows the removal solution to penetrate and loosen the adhesive.

Apply Your Solution: Mix warm water with a few capfuls of fabric softener in a spray bottle. Generously spray the solution onto a section of the wallpaper, allowing it to soak in for several minutes.

Scrape Gently: With a putty knife or scraping tool, gently start to remove the wallpaper. Be careful not to dig into the plaster walls.

Work in Sections: Repeat the spraying and scraping process until all the wallpaper is removed.

Clean the Walls: Once the wallpaper is off, clean the walls with a sponge and warm water to remove any residual adhesive

Navigating Around Electrical Outlets and Switches Safely

When removing wallpaper, you’ll inevitably encounter electrical outlets and switches, which require careful handling:

Turn Off Electricity: Safety first. Ensure the electricity is turned off at the breaker box to prevent shock.

Remove Outlet Covers: Unscrew and remove all covers, placing them aside.

Cover Exposed Outlets: Use painter’s tape to cover the outlets and switches to prevent any water or solution from getting inside.

Proceed with Caution: When working around these areas, use a sponge to apply the wallpaper removal solution carefully, avoiding direct contact with the outlets or switches.

The Finishing Touch: Cleaning and Prepping Walls for Painting

Once the wallpaper has been removed, the real preparation begins. It’s crucial to thoroughly clean your walls to remove any residual wallpaper glue. You can concoct an effective cleaner by mixing a few drops of dish soap and hot water in a spray bottle. 

For tougher glue residue, a dedicated wallpaper stripper can be more effective. Apply the solution, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrape gently with a putty knife, and wipe the walls down with a sponge or cloth.

Next, inspect the bare walls for any damage or unevenness. Small holes or imperfections should be filled with spackle, sanded smooth, and then the entire wall washed down with a damp cloth to remove any dust – a critical step known as ‘tack cloth’ in the trade. 

Once the walls are clean and smooth, it’s time to prime. A primer will ensure a uniform surface that will help your new paint adhere better and last longer.

Calling in the Experts: How BCI Can Help with Wallpaper Removal and Painting

While the satisfaction of DIY wallpaper removal can be tempting, the process can be time-consuming and tricky, especially for beginners. Utilizing BCI’s professional services can offer a multitude of benefits. 

Our experts are equipped with the right tools, like wallpaper steamers and professional-grade strippers, to remove wallpaper efficiently without damaging your walls. With BCI, you can avoid the mess and hassle of DIY wallpaper removal and jump straight to the fun part – choosing a new color for your freshly prepped walls.

Are you ready to transform your space from outdated to outstanding? BCI Painting is here to help with all your wallpaper removal and painting needs in Athens. Say farewell to the old and welcome a pristine, painted haven with the help of our skilled professionals. Contact us now to kickstart your home’s makeover journey!