How To Remove Wallpaper Border

Wallpaper border, also known as border paper, was a stylish trend in the 1980s and 1990s; it was used to add style to the entire border of your room.

But, now, wallpaper border has fallen out of style in preference to the painted room, and many homeowners are want to take their rooms into the twenty-first century. The simple solution is to remove their wallpaper borders.

You can remove a wallpaper border in only a few steps. It will take some time and a bit of elbow grease, but you can remove wallpaper border from your room.

How To Remove Wallpaper Borders

We guide you through how to remove wallpaper border using our tried and trusted removal methods. Along the way, we share some expert tips that we have learned from years of work.


What You Will Need:

  • Dish soap or liquid fabric softener
  • Drop cloth
  • Putty knife or wallpaper scraper
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Wallpaper scoring tool
  • Perforation tool
  • Sponge
  • Wallpaper steamer (optional)
  • Hair dryer (optional)

1. Gather your tools

Before you start removing the wallpaper border, you will need to make sure you have everything ready. Take a look at the list above and gather everything you will need. You can find ost items can either around the house or at your local hardware store. Once you have everything ready, you can begin to prepare the area.

2. Prepare the area

Removing outdated wallpaper border is a messy task. Small sections of paper may be littered around the room as you strip the existing wallpaper off of your walls.
You can minimize the clean-up that you will have to do later by preparing the room before you begin the removal process.

Lay down a plastic sheet or drop cloth on the floor to catch any paper. Remove any furniture that you do not want to be damaged. Cover any remaining furniture with a plastic sheet.

3. Score the wallpaper

If you are worried about your old wallpaper giving you too much trouble, use a wallpaper scoring tool. The perforating tool will poke tiny holes in the wallpaper, making it easier for the wallpaper stripper or another solution to wet and reduce the adhesive.

Expert tip #1: Do not put too much pressure behind the scoring tool, even on stubborn spots. The tool can damage your wall if you press too hard.

4. Locate the seam and lift the corner

Next, use a wallpaper scraper or a putty knife to find the edge (also known as the seam) of the wallpaper. Thankfully, it is relatively easy to find the seam of the wallpaper border because the paper only covers the top border of the walls, not the entire wall surface.

Once you have located the edge of the border, gently push the corner of the plastic scraper under the edge. Pull the corner of the paper away from the wall using the knife. You are ready to peel away the border.

5. Peel away the wallpaper

After you pull back a large section of the wallpaper border with the putty knife, slowly peel the paper away from the water. When peeling the wallpaper, apply even pressure to the putty knife. Even pressure will help ensure that the paper does not tear.

6. Use wallpaper remover or steamer (optional)

If you cannot lift the old wallpaper, the wallpaper adhesive is likely to blame. You can use a steamer, wallpaper stripper, or hair dryer to help loosen the adhesive under any unpeeled section of wallpaper.


A wallpaper steamer will make it easier to get your plastic scraper underneath the wallpaper border. The hot water in the steamer will heat and loosen the glue. As a result, the wallpaper will come away from the wall easier.

Hair Dryer

If you do not have a steamer, consider using a hair dryer on high heat. It will do much the same as a steamer; heat the adhesive and make it more pliable and easy to remove.

Stripping Solution

A good alternative to a steamer is a wallpaper remover. You can make your own remover with a spray bottle filled with a mixture of hot water and soap (fabric softener or soap is fine). After you spray the mixture, the hot soapy water will soak into the paper and loosen the glue underneath.

Expert tip #2: If you choose to use the spray bottle method, make sure to mix 1 part hot water and 1 part fabric softener or dish soap.

6. Remove the wallpaper glue

After the wallpaper border has been removed, you will need to remove the glue residue from the wall. We recommend that you spray the warm water and soap solution onto the wall, then use a sponge to rub it in. The warm water and soap will loosen the layer of glue, which you can remove with the sponge.

8. Clean the wall

Most wallpaper borders will leave some sort of dirt, dust or grime behind when removed. It makes sense—the wall underneath the border has not been cleaned for years.
Take the time to clean your walls before you apply a new border or layer of paint.

9. Apply new paint (optional)

When you remove a wallpaper border, you may damage your painted wall. This is expected; wallpaper glue seals the wallpaper border to the wall and will pull on the wall’s surface, loosening the paint and taking chips away with it.

Painting may be needed after you remove a wallpaper border.

If the painted wall is not severely damaged, you may be able to get away with adding a new top layer. However, now may be a good time to transform your space.