There are several proven methods for wallpaper removal; each has its pros and cons, but some are definitely easier. Peeling is usually the least painful, followed by soaking and stripping. Dry-stripping is the next most time-consuming, and steaming the most work. The average wallpaper removal job costs between $360 and $560. The method of removal can affect the cost, as steaming takes longer than peeling and will therefore typically cost more. Peeling wallpaper off is usually the quickest method. To see if your wallpaper can be peeled off, try gently edging up a corner and carefully peeling the paper off the wall in strips. If you can’t peel, then you’ll have to score and strip it, either by dry-stripping or by soaking and then stripping. Plaster walls can withstand moisture and can stand up to soaking and stripping, but drywall should not be soaked. For very stubborn wallpaper, steaming may be necessary, which is time-consuming but effective. If you prefer not to attempt these methods yourself, wallpaper removal pros have the proper tools and experience to quickly take down wallpaper and also repair any damage to your walls.
The national wallpaper removal cost averages $360-$560, which will typically include multiple rooms. Pros often charge by the square foot to remove egregious wallpaper that is long past its prime. Wallpaper removal cost may range anywhere from 60 cents to $1.50 or more per square foot. A pro may estimate removal costs ranging between $160 and $300 for a medium-sized room. Costs can vary due to ceiling height, and some pros add a skim coat to make repainting or re-papering smoother. Here are some examples of average costs to remove wallpaper:
- Foyer: 36-120 square feet, $21.60-$180.
- Powder room: 16-36 square feet, $9.60-$54.
- Living or dining room: 120-252 square feet, $72-$378.
- Family room: 192-384 square feet, $115.20-$576.
- Bedroom: 100-224 square feet, $60-$336.
- Guest bath: 45-84 square feet, $27-$126.
- Master bedroom: 168-384 square feet, $100.80-$576.
- Master bath: 54-160 square feet, $32.40-$240.
Once the old wallpaper is gone, the average cost to install new wallpaper is $240-$350.
You can paint over wallpaper that’s in good condition and isn’t at risk of coming off the wall. This technique is particularly useful for those who don’t have the time or inclination to remove all the wallpaper in a room. Consider hiring an interior painter if you’ve never painted over wallpaper.
After removing wallpaper from your walls, you’ll need to add drywall plaster or joint compound, sand the wall, and wipe the wall’s surface down with a damp cloth. Afterward, your wall will be ready for primer and paint.