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3 tips for removing peel-and-stick wallpaper

Two hands applying a sample of peel-and-stick wallpaper to the wall/Photography: Gabrielle Langdon/It may be even easier to remove peel-and-stick wallpaper than it is to apply it.

Have you been putting off your next project because the prospect of peeling off all that old wallpaper is too much to bear? Consider these 3 tips to make the process easier—and, of course, check with the manufacturer of your wallpaper for any additional instructions.

1. Know what you're working with.

If you inherited your peel-and-stick wallpaper—for example, you moved into a new apartment—first confirm that the material you're dealing with is peel-and-stick and not traditional vinyl or adhesive-backed wallpaper. (The latter may require a bit more work!).

See what you're working with by peeling back a small section of a top corner either by hand or with the aid of a small putty knife; if it's peel-and-stick, it should feel like peeling off, well, a sticker!

2. Peel slowly but firmly.

Particularly if you didn't install it yourself, you may be unsure of the potential damage that may lurk beneath. Prevent unnecessary impact to your walls and paint by peeling the paper back with gentle but consistent pressure.

If it happens to be reusable—such as a mural, which you plan to move to another area of your home—take care to peel it downwards with even pressure. Peeling it from different angles can cause the material to stretch out unevenly, rendering it misshapen or even unusable.

Having difficulty removing it? Some DIYers advocate for applying gentle heat by using a blow dryer, set to the lowest setting, across the surface to loosen the adhesive backing. But check with your wallpaper manufacturer first!

3. Get ready for the next round.

Once your walls are newly bare, it's time to decide what to do with them. (Just because peel-and-stick is easy doesn't mean you want to redesign them every weekend!) Eliminate buyer's remorse by getting your color and pattern right from the start—sample until you find the look that's right for your neck of the woods. 

ready to sample?

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