What’s The Best Way to Remove Wallpaper? Steamer or Spray?

Over the summer during my staycation, I tackled a solo living room makeover, which included removing wallpaper so I could paint.  I vacillated between renting a wallpaper steamer remover or using DIF wallpaper remover spray. The convenience and cost of grabbing a bottle of DIF spray at Wal-Mart won out.  The result: It worked well, but I stripped wallpaper for days on end, it seemed.


Benefits of Renting a Wallpaper Steamer Remover

The steamer is by far quicker and more efficient at removing wallpaper- especially if you have multiple layers to tackle.  It takes the paper off in large sheets, making it slightly less tedious than the spray.  For me, when I’ve rented a steamer in the past, the biggest benefit is that it’s on a timer – I only rented it for a day, so I had to hustle to get my project done. As it was, with DIF spray I lollygagged and it took me the better part of a week to get the walls completely clean. A wallpaper steamer remover costs about $30 a day to rent (depending on where you live), so if you only need it for a day, that’s a good deal. If you need it longer, you might want to consider just buying one – especially if you have multiple rooms to strip.  Inexpensive models run around $50 at Home Depot.


 Benefits of Using DIF Wallpaper Spray

DIF spray worked very well. However – it’s important to note that I only had one layer of wallpaper to remove in my living room. I had to buy three bottles of DIF spray at about $5 a bottle, from Wal-Mart. The biggest benefit of the DIF spray is that is was cheap and convenient – no rental agreements or fussing with equipment. But I found it to be quite a bit messier than the working with a wallpaper steamer – there were a lot of bits and pieces of paper left on the wall that needed an additional once over.












No matter if you use the wallpaper steamer remover or the DIF spray, you should wash the walls once they are bare, to remove grit and residue before priming and painting.  Also, have a razor blade handy for cutting away stubborn pieces of paper around the trim boards. I spent almost as much time on the edges of the walls as I did on the whole room. The results were totally worth all the effort, though!


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Do you have a preference for removing wallpaper?

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