How to Remove Wallpaper Glue from Walls

You’ve finally decided to update your home, starting with tearing out the wallpaper that you’ve had for over 30 years. You also need to remove the wallpaper glue ﹘ a tedious task that takes time and energy in order to achieve a smooth, clean wall. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you work, stubborn wallpaper glue often remains, which can be a problem if you plan to paint or wallpaper the wall. 
A hand wiping down a wall with a sponge.

The best way to remove wallpaper glue involves preparation and patience. To learn an easy way to get wallpaper glue off the wall, check out the following recommendations.

7 Steps for Removing Wallpaper Glue

1. Preparing for Removing Wallpaper Glue from Walls

Gather Tools and Materials

Prepare the Room

Before removing wallpaper from the walls, use this checklist for preparing the room. 

1. Avoid getting remover or old wallpaper on unwanted spaces. 

  • Remove the room’s furniture or move to the center of the room and cover it with a drop cloth. 
  • Cover the floor with a drop cloth. 
  • Remove items from all the room’s walls.
  • Use wide painter’s tape to cover the baseboards. 
  • Disconnect the power at the electrical panel and remove the electrical outlet and light switch socket covers, then cover with plastic, sealed with painter’s tape.

2. Turn off room fans. 

3. Close and use plastic to cover the AC/heating vents in the room to reduce airflow, which can more quickly dry out the remover.

4. Keep lots of trash bags on hand for the messy job of cleaning wallpaper glue off the walls.

2. Determine the Wall Surface and Wallpaper Type

The best way to remove the wallpaper and paste depends on the wall surface and the wallcovering type. 

  • Most homes have either drywall or plaster. To determine the wall surface type in your home, remove an outlet cover, which exposes the wall. 
  • To determine the wallpaper type, lift a corner of the paper with a putty knife, preferably at a seam. Slowly peel it back at a low angle. Do not pull the wallpaper straight out because this can damage the underlying surface, especially if it’s drywall. A dry-strippable wallpaper will easily peel back. If the wallpaper isn’t dry-strippable, you will need to conduct a test on a small area to verify the wallpaper remover solution will work. 

3. Test Remover on Small Area

If the wallpaper isn’t dry-strippable, determine on a small test area of the wallpaper (2-inch by 2-inch) if your wallpaper remover will work, applying the same procedure you will for the entire project. 

For both porous and non-porous wallpapers, ROMAN recommends applying a scoring tool with even-light pressure in circular motions over the test area. This creates light perforations that allow the remover to penetrate the wallpaper to the adhesive, efficiently. 

Next, apply the wallpaper remover to the test area, saturating the entire space. Wait 15 minutes before attempting to peel off the paper. If it easily peels off, you can begin the project. 

Scoring Wallpaper - Removing Wallpaper Paste

4. Score the Wallpaper 

Using a PIRANHA™ Scoring Tool, you can easily make tiny holes, allowing the remover solution to penetrate the wallpaper. The PIRANHA™ Wallpaper Scoring Tool features an exclusive oval, no-slip, soft-grip handle. The tool has four hardened, dull-resistant steel blades to avoid damaging the drywall. For plaster walls, its strength protects it from damage when removing wallpaper, unlike drywall, which you can easily damage when scoring or scraping, creating more work when you get ready to prep the walls for new paint or wallpaper. Also, drywall can become water damaged if you overwet the wallpaper. 

5. Spray Removal Solution on the Wallpaper

After putting on eye protection, soak the wallpaper with the ROMAN PIRANHA™ wallpaper remover, which effectively and efficiently breaks down wallpaper paste, releasing the wallpaper from the wall. Non-toxic and non-staining PIRANHA™ formulas are a safe product with no offensive odors.

A vital tip for removing wallpaper glue, only wet an area you can scrape off within 15 minutes ﹘ about a three-foot-wide, floor-to-ceiling section at a time. You don’t want the paste to dry out. If the remover soaks into the drywall for longer than 15 minutes, it can damage the drywall.

6. Scraping the Wallpaper

After the remover solution breaks down the wallpaper paste, use a PIRANHA™ Wallpaper Scraper to scrape clean the walls. 

The PIRANHA™ Wallpaper and Paste Removal Scraper has a perfectly honed blade, preset at the optimum angle for removing wallpaper adhesive residue without damaging walls. The wide blade prevents you from gouging the walls, while the roller, with an ergonomic-soft textured handle, lessens resistance and minimizes fatigue.

Starting at the seam, start scraping the wallpaper from the wall. If some old paste still adheres to the wall, apply more PIRANHA™ remover, wait 15 minutes, then attempt to remove the sticky wallpaper residue. 

7. Clean Up

After removing the wallpaper and old paste, use a PIRANHA™ Removal Sponge and removal solution to wipe down the walls of any residual paste.

How to Remove Wallpaper Glue with ROMAN Products

How to Remove Wallpaper Glue with ROMAN Products

ROMAN wallpaper removers can quickly and easily help you remove your old wallpaper and paste, simplifying your redecorating process. The ROMAN wallpaper remover soaks into the wallpaper, efficiently dissolving the adhesives, and making the wallpaper easy to remove.

ROMAN makes several quality wallpaper removal products to help you with the challenging process of removing wallpaper and paste in your home or commercial space. All products provide a fresh scent and are non-staining and non-toxic.


Easy-to-use, professional strength PIRANHA™ liquid spray wallpaper remover quickly penetrates and breaks down paste and its residue, leaving your walls clean and ready for primer. 


No-drip Piranha gel spray wallpaper and paste remover evaporates slowly, staying on the wall and remaining wet longer than liquid solutions, dissolving stubborn paste residues. 


Piranha Concentrate Wallpaper and Paste Remover (available in 1-gallon yields 20 gallons; 32-oz. yields 5 gallons) is a solution for stripping large quantities of wallpaper, ideal for contractors and professional paperhangers.

Get the Best Results With Specialized Products

Contact the professionals at ROMAN for more on how to clean wallpaper glue off the drywall and how to remove wallpaper glue from plaster walls.