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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Flooring, Painting & Remodeling > Wallpaper Removal

Wallpaper Removal Cost

How Much Does Wallpaper Removal Cost?

low costDo-It-Yourself: $50-100average costOne Room: $250-$450high costHigh: Can Run $500-$1,000+
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The main factor determining how much time and/or money it will take to remove wallpaper is whether it was hung correctly in the first place. If not, removing it can be a long, messy and difficult process that may require repairs to the wall before a new covering (paint or fresh wallpaper) can be applied.

Typical costs:

  • Do-it-yourself supplies run about $50-$60 for a gallon of gel-type remover, a scoring tool, a wallpaper scraper, masking tape and plastic drop cloths. Renting an electric steamer is another $20-$40 a day.
  • Some professionals quote a minimum estimate which assumes all will go well, then charge for the actual time and materials needed. One pro estimates that "wallpaper that doesn't cooperate" takes 2-3 times longer to remove than wallpaper that "does cooperate." Many contractors will want to remove a small test area before submitting a quote.
  • Whatever the pricing method, the "if-all-goes-well" cost for hiring someone to remove the wallpaper from a 12-by-15-foot room runs around $250-$450 but can go $500-$1,000 or more if there are complications.
Related articles: Wallpaper, Painting an Interior, Painting a House, Bathroom Remodeling

What should be included:
  • This is actually a two-step process: completely removing the wallpaper including all residue, then preparing (and repairing as needed) the wall for either paint or new wallpaper. Be clear whether a quote includes both removal and prep work, or just removal.
  • Nonporous vinyl wallpaper, either fabric-backed or strippable solid-surface, is generally removed in a dry process, by loosening the edges and then pulling or rolling it off. The underlying paper backing and glue is then removed from the wall using the same wet process as other types of wallpaper.
  • For wet removal, methods can vary slightly but in general the wallpaper is scored using a tool that makes tiny holes to let water and remover soak in under the paper, loosening the old glue.[1] provides an easy-to-follow how-to video. Once the paper and glue is gone, any damages to the wall should be repaired, then the wall should be painted with an appropriate primer making it ready for a new coat of paint or fresh wallpaper.
Additional costs:
  • Multiple layers of ancient wallpaper can be tough to remove, adding to the time needed and nudging up the total costs. If the original wallpaper was installed on bare (unprimed) wallboard, it's nearly impossible to take it off without damaging the wall, with drywall repairs adding to the bottom line. And removing wallpaper from taller-than-average walls or in steep stairwells can bump costs up 15-25 percent, toward (or past) the high end of the scale.
Shopping for wallpaper removal:
  • Wallpaper removal is often included as part of a larger painting or wallpapering project. Referrals are available from the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers and the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America[2] (not all painters remove wallpaper, but some do while the others often give recommendations for local wallpaper removers).
  • Get several estimates, making sure you understand whether the quote is a flat fee, time-and-materials, per square foot, per roll of wallpaper removed or a not-to-exceed estimate. Request and check references, and be sure the contractor is properly bonded, insured and licensed in your state[3] . See if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[4] .
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