Wallpaper Removal & Cost

Question Icon
Posted by: from Mississauga
11/11/2011 at 9:59:21 AM

The 1600 sq/ft condo is wall papered. How much and how long should I expect to remove the wallpaper and repaint the condo?

Additionally, how easy or difficult it is to remove the wallpaper?


User Icon
Dave from 360renos in Navan
Date/Time11/12/2011 at 6:50:09 PM

Hi Khaled,

Generally wall paper can be fairly easy to remove. The trick is do you have the patience to remove it carefully as not to damage the drywall?

Get the first layer, the decorative layer peeled off by starting at a corner or seam and pulling it off the wall. Next spray the remaining backing with a mixture of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Let that soak in and then spray again. With a wide drywall knife start from the top of the wall, get behind the paper and run the knife behind the paper. If you have soaked the paper enough it will come off in strips and sometimes the entire width of wall paper will come off in one go.

You should post your project so that contractors in your area can offer you quotes and a recommendation on the amount of time the project will take.



613-429-5000 or

Cell 613-282-2124

User Icon
Date/Time11/14/2011 at 11:09:35 AM

I have to agree with Dave.

Keep in mind that to expect a fixed price for a job with so many unknowns is a big expectation.

I always tell my clients that an hourly rate is more fair to both the contractor and the home owner.

Good luck.

User Icon
Date/Time11/14/2011 at 11:29:17 AM

Good Morning:

Most wallpapers sold in the past 20 years have a vinyl coating. There is a tool called the "Paper Tiger" which puts minute holes in the vinyl coating while not harming the drywall. After using this tool, use either the soap solution as mentioned, or purchase a bottle of "wallpaper Remover" and soak the surface of the paper. The solution has to soak the glue under the paper. Once well soaked, use a broad scraper (carefully) to lift the paper off the wall. Hopefully it will come off fairly easily. Once the vinyl coating is removed, you have to make sure that all of the glue is off the wall to ensure proper adhesion for the binding agents in the paint that you are going to use. Paint will not properly adhere to any remaining glue and will result in failure.

As mentioned, try not to damage the drywall or you are now faced with repair, which has to be primed before the paint can be applied. Hopefully, the drywall was primed and or painted prior to the wallpaper being installed. Some builders go cheap and put the paper directly onto the drywall, which results in drywall repair prior to painting.

As mentioned in the second comment, there are so many variables, that it is unfair to any person bidding on your project to bid without knowing all of the variables that could be involved.

I would recommend that you go to your local reputable paint and decorating store and get them to suggest a couple of their better subtrades to review your project.

User Icon
Brent from Loves Painting in Fredericton
Date/Time11/14/2011 at 7:18:18 PM

I agree with the others. I used to guess how long it would take remove wallpaper and repair any damage and I was always off by 1/2 the time. I started charging by the hour and would give my customers a very consevative range. Most understand and are very willing to have you do it.

In most cases when a customer takes the wall paper off themself they usualy do not wash the wall well enough and you still have to add a couple of hours to wash the walls.

User Icon
Brent from Loves Painting in Fredericton
Date/Time11/14/2011 at 7:26:14 PM

Another thing that should be considered when painting a wall where wallpaper has been removed is the fact that old paint tends to be weakend and will blister when a fresh coat of high quality paint is applied. I usualy prime the walls with a bonding primer before painting. This does not always stop all blistering but cuts down on alot of it.

User Icon
William from All Things Wood in Langley
Date/Time12/3/2011 at 5:29:36 AM

Just hope the wall paper that was put on was applied 6 weeks after the room was painted in latex and that they used a sizing before application of the paper.

Also is the wallcover a residential prepasted run thru the water trough type or is it a commercial grade vynil.

If its residential prepasted and the issues were dealt with regarding sizing and timing its a piece of cake to remove it.Peel off the outside printed layer and squirt the paper backing left on the wall with downy 50'50 mix of water.Wait for it to bubble and release then putty knife it off the wall.Wash the residue off the wall with tsp solution, let dry thoroughly ,go to your paint.

If it is commercial grade your in for a bit of work.You'll have to peel it off the wall sand the drywall down thoroughly to allow primer base coat adhesion then go from there with your paint.

All else hire a contractor from this site and cut them a deal to do the painting as well as the removal in one quote,


Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.