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How to Remove Wallpaper Borders

Removing the wallpaper border can be pretty messy if you don’t know what you are doing. You might end up with a half-stripped border and the gooey mess of glue on your hands. Therefore, to avoid this situation and make your border removing process a breeze, we suggest you read this guide till the end.

All you need is a few tools that you might easily find lying around in your garage, some guidance, and you will be ready to go to war against those borders with stubborn glue. We will tell you three methods for removing the wallpaper border, choose the one you like:

Method 1: Removing Wallpaper Border using Heat

You can soften the adhesive used to stick the wallpaper border using heat, allowing you to remove it quickly. Here are the tools you will need for that:

  • Hair Dryer
  • Plastic Scraper
  • Steamer

Steps to Follow:

  1. Turn on the hairdryer with high heat and low air setting. If your dryer has only high airflow, you can use that as well.
  2. Hold the dryer at the distance of 8 to 10 inches from the wallpaper border
  3. Allow the air to blow on the border’s surface thoroughly, and the glue will soon start to get soft
  4. Now just peel the border gently, and it should start to come off
  5. If the bond is still tight on some places, use a plastic scraper to loosen it
  6. If you are using the steamer, then we suggest you work in small portions for best results
  7. Start steaming from the bottom and work your way towards the top.
  8. Once the border starts to loosen, use the scraper to take it off

Method 2: Removing Wallpaper Border using Moisture

If you don’t have the hairdryer or steamer available, you can also use moisture to loosen the bond.  Here are the tools you will need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic Scraper
  • Perforating tool

Steps to Follow:

  1. Pour warm water in the spray bottle
  2. Start spraying the border’s surface
  3. Allow the water to soften the bond by soaking into the border
  4. Once the adhesive becomes soft, start peeling off the border, you can also use a plastic scraper to remove the border if necessary
  5. If needed, apply more water to soften the bond completely
  6. If the border is covered with vinyl, then the water will not penetrate its surface because of the waterproof features of vinyl.
  7. So, in this case, we suggest you use a perforating tool to make holes in the surface and then apply moisture.

Method 3: Removing Wallpaper Border using Wallpaper Stripper

There are several wallpaper stripper solutions available on Amazon that you can use to remove the borders. But if you are not in the mood of purchasing one, we will tell you how to make one at home. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Water
  • White vinegar or fabric softener
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft cloths
  • Sponge
  • Plastic scraper

If you have white vinegar, then use one part water with one part vinegar. If the adhesive is stronger, use two portions of vinegar and one portion of water. If you have fabric softener, then combine one capful with four cups of water.

Steps to Follow:

  1. Fill the spray bottle with either white vinegar mixture or fabric softener solution
  2. Spray the solution directly on the border of the wallpaper. If the adhesive is stronger, we suggest you apply a thicker layer using soft cloth or sponge
  3. Now let the mixture soak into the wallpaper’s borders, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours. So we suggest you have your Netflix ready to watch an episode of Friends in that time.
  4. If after this time, the bond has not softened, apply the mixture again as needed to make sure the border stays wet
  5. Now gently start pulling off the border from the wall. You can also take it off using a plastic scraper
  6. Once the border is removed, dampen a cloth in warm water and give the wall a thorough wipe to ensure there is no wallpaper or glue residue.
  7. If you used vinegar for the process, its smell might linger in the area, allow it one to two days to dissipate

Additional Tips

  • If the adhesive residue on the wall is not coming off with warm water, use the stripping solution you made using white vinegar or fabric softener, soak a clean cloth in it, and wipe away. If you used the heating method to remove the border, then use additional heat to loosen the residue of glue and then wipe it away with a damp cloth.
  • If the border is pasted on to the wallpaper or if you don’t plan on removing the wallpaper, then we suggest that you be cautious when trying to weaken the bond of the border as it can also weaken the bond of wallpaper. We suggest that even after you are finished removing the border, wipe away any residue of stripping solution, so it doesn’t soak into the wallpaper.
  • Lastly, if you are planning on installing a new border, you should get the ones that are made to be easily installed and peeled when needed without any additional tools. This way, you won’t have to go through the entire process given above when you remove the borders the next time.

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