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removing wallpaper with a wallpaper steamer

How to Remove Wallpaper With a Steamer

Learn how to remove wallpaper the easy way using a steamer.



If your home's walls are covered in funky 1970’s wallpaper, getting rid of it is the first step in bringing your walls into the 21st century. Removing wallpaper can be a painful, messy and time consuming project, but it doesn't have to be that way. With the Wagner 725 power steamer you'll get the job done way faster and without using any harsh chemical strippers. Here’s how to remove wallpaper using a wallpaper steamer.


wallpaper wall before steaming


room after removing wallpaper

Heat up Your Steamer

Start by gathering your materials to complete this project.

Fill up your steamer with water, plug it in, and let it warm up.

filling up steamer with water

Score the Wallpaper

While the steamer is heating up, use a wallpaper scoring tool in a circular motion to score the wallpaper. This allows steam to get through the paper to the glue on the wall. Don't press too hard, however, or you could damage the wall.

scoring wallpaper will make it easier to remove

Apply Steam to the Wallpaper & Scrape

The 725 Steamer comes with both a big steam plate for large walls and a small steam plate for smaller areas like around a bathroom sink or toilet. To remove the wallpaper, hold the steam plate over the paper for 1-2 minutes then scrape the wallpaper off with a wide putty knife. Don't push too hard or you can potentially damage the drywall beneath.

If the wallpaper doesn't come off easily, put the plate back on the wallpaper for another 1-2 minutes and try scraping again. After a few passes, you'll get a feel for how long you should hold the plate on the wall each time before scraping.

A woman using a Wagner steamer to remove wallpaper

Apply Steam to the Smaller Areas

For removing wallpaper from smaller areas like behind a sink or near trim, use the small steam plate following the same steps you did with the large steam plate.

Using a small steam plate to remove wallpaper in tight areas

Use the Steamer to Remove the Glue Layer

Once all of the wallpaper is removed, it's time to remove any remaining glue from the wall. If it's too dry and hard to wipe off, put the steam plate back over the glue to soften it again. After 1 minute of applying steam, wipe the glue off with a warm, damp rag. Make sure to remove all remaining pieces of glue to create an ideal surface for repainting or applying a new layer of wallpaper.

A woman using a wagner steamer to remove wallpaper glue

Repair and Refinish

Finally, apply spackle or joint compounds to any gouges in the wall. Now you're ready to paint or put up new wallpaper!

a woman repairing the wall with spackle
Products Used


Wagner 725 Wallpaper Steamer

Pitcher to pour water into the tank

Wallpaper scoring tool that perforates the wallpaper so steam can penetrate

Four to six inch wide putty knife to scrape the wallpaper off

Rags or a sponge to wipe the excess glue

Drop cloths to protect your furniture and floors

Spackle or joint compound to touch up any gouges in the wall

Gloves and safety goggles

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