Refresh Your Business Space with Professional Wallpaper Removal Techniques

Updating your commercial property’s appearance can greatly impact the customers’ perception of your company. Giving it a fresh and modern appearance can improve your brand image. It can also create a welcoming vibe.

If your commercial space has old or damaged wallpaper, it can make your business appear old-fashioned and neglected. Wallpaper removal is essential for achieving a fresh, modern look for your business space. When you get rid of your old wallpaper, it leaves the surfaces fresh and clean. You can paint the clean walls or cover them with new wallpaper. It can revitalize the look of your commercial space and align it with the latest design trends.

Recognizing When It’s Time for a Change

Signs that wallpaper needs replacement

  • Peeling and bubbles – Wallpaper starts to peel away from the walls, or you may notice bubbles forming.
  • Fading or discoloration – The wallpaper has lost its original color and appears faded or stained.
  • Tears and rips – Visible damage such as tears, rips, or scratches.
  • Mold or mildew – The presence of mold or mildew indicates moisture problems.
  • Outdated appearance – The design is no longer in style or suits the space’s aesthetic.

Benefits of removing old wallpaper in business spaces:

  • Fresh appearance – A new look can improve the overall aesthetics of the space.
  • Enhanced hygiene – Removing old wallpaper can eliminate mold, mildew, or bacteria that may have built up.
  • Improved air quality – New paint or wallpaper can reduce dust and allergens trapped in the old covering.
  • Increased property value – A modern, clean appearance can enhance the property’s value.
  • Easier maintenance – New materials may be easier to clean and maintain than old wallpaper.

Overview of Wallpaper Removal Techniques

Here are the different types of wallpaper and the appropriate removal techniques for each:

1. Traditional wallpaper – Typically made from paper or a paper blend and adhered with adhesive.

  • Removal: Use a scoring tool to perforate the wallpaper. Then, apply a wallpaper stripper solution or water to soften the adhesive. Wait a few minutes, then peel off the wallpaper with a scraper.

2. Vinyl wallpaper – Features a vinyl top layer that makes it resistant to moisture and easier to clean.

  • Removal: Peel off the vinyl top layer. The backing paper will remain on the wall. Use a wallpaper stripper solution or water to soften the adhesive. Then, scrape the remaining backing paper.

3. Peel-and-stick wallpaper – Comes with a self-adhesive backing for easy application.

  • Removal: It’s pretty simple – peel it off the wall slowly and carefully. Clean off the remaining adhesive with warm, sudsy water or adhesive remover.

4. Non-woven wallpaper – Made from a mixture of natural and synthetic fibers, allowing it to be breathable and easy to install.

  • Removal: Typically, this wallpaper can be peeled off dry without soaking. If it doesn’t come off easily, apply water or a wallpaper stripper to loosen the adhesive.

5. Foil wallpaper – It has a metallic or shiny finish, requiring careful handling to avoid tearing.

  • Removal: Use a scoring tool to perforate the wallpaper, then apply wallpaper stripper or water. Let it sit, then carefully peel off the wallpaper.

6. Fabric wallpaper – Made from cloth or natural fibers, often with a paper or vinyl backing.

  • Removal – Use a scoring tool and apply a wallpaper stripper solution. Let it sit to soften the adhesive. Then, carefully remove the wallpaper with a scraper.

7. Grasscloth wallpaper – Made from natural grasses and plant fibers, providing a textured look.

  • Removal: This requires careful scoring and the application of a wallpaper stripper. Allow the solution to soak in, and then remove the wallpaper carefully.

Regardless of the type of wallpaper, be careful not to damage the wall surface during removal. Use the appropriate techniques for each type to avoid causing unnecessary damage to the wall.

Preparing for Wallpaper Removal

Removing of old wallpapers from wall

Essential equipment and protective gear for wallpaper removal

  • Wallpaper steamer or spray bottle and water
  • Wallpaper scraper or putty knife
  • Drop cloths or plastic sheeting
  • Painter’s tape
  • Protective eyewear
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Ladder (if needed for reaching higher areas)
  • Sponge or cloth

Steps to protect flooring and furniture during removal

  • Cover flooring – Lay down drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect the floor from water, adhesive, and debris.
  • Move furniture – Remove or cover nearby furniture to prevent damage.
  • Tape edges – Use painter’s tape to secure drop cloths or sheeting to baseboards and walls.
  • Create a barrier – Hang plastic sheeting around the work area to contain dust and moisture.
  • Clean regularly – Wipe down tools and surfaces often to prevent excess moisture from spreading. 

Professional Wallpaper Removal Methods

Professional wallpaper removal can be done using different methods:

  • Steaming – This method uses a wallpaper steamer to soften the adhesive behind the wallpaper. The steamer applies heat and moisture to the wallpaper, allowing it to be peeled off more easily. It is effective for most wallpaper types and adhesives but can be time-consuming.
  • Chemical solvents – Chemical solvents are solutions specifically designed to dissolve the adhesive behind the wallpaper. They are sprayed or applied to the wallpaper and left to soak in. Once the solvent has penetrated the wallpaper, you can peel or scrape it off. This method is quick and efficient, but the area needs proper ventilation.
  • Dry stripping – This method is typically used for non-vinyl wallpapers that can be removed without steam or solvents. The wallpaper is scored or perforated, then peeled or scraped off using a putty knife or a specialized tool. This method is straightforward and doesn’t require additional moisture or chemicals, making it a cleaner option.

Addressing Challenges in Wallpaper Removal

Removing wallpaper can be a challenging task due to several common issues:

  • Multiple layers – Often, there may be multiple layers of wallpaper, making removal more complex and time-consuming.
  • Adhesive residue – Wallpaper adhesives can be stubborn, leaving behind sticky residues that can be difficult to remove.
  • Surface damage –The wall beneath the wallpaper may be damaged during removal, especially if the wall is not properly prepared.
  • Moisture issues – Adding too much water during the removal process can damage the wall. Too little moisture, on the other hand, may make it harder to remove the wallpaper.
  • Inconsistent adhesion – Different wallpapers and adhesives may react differently to removal methods. This makes it challenging to find a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Old wallpaper – Older wallpapers may be particularly tough to remove. They could be more firmly attached or may not respond well to modern removal techniques.
  • Tools and techniques – Finding the right tools and techniques can be challenging. Using the wrong ones can cause damage or prolong the process.

Preparation for New Wall Treatments

After removing the wallpaper, there are several preparation steps needed before applying new wall treatments:

  • Clean the walls – Remove any remaining adhesive and debris using a sponge or scraper. A mild detergent and warm water can help loosen stubborn adhesive.
  • Repair damage – Inspect the walls for damage, such as holes, cracks, or gouges. Fill these imperfections with spackle or joint compound, then sand them smooth.
  • Prime the walls – Apply a primer to the entire wall surface. The primer helps create a uniform base for the new wall treatment and seals porous areas.
  • Sand – Sand the walls lightly to create a smooth, even surface. Doing so will also help the new paint, wallpaper, or other wall treatments adhere better.
  • Inspect and repeat — Inspect the walls for any remaining imperfections and touch up as needed. Repeat sanding and priming if necessary.
  • Remove dust – Wipe down the walls with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris from sanding.

Once these steps are completed, the walls should be ready for the new wall treatment, whether paint, wallpaper, or another option.

Choosing a New Wall Treatment

Removing old water damaged retro style wallpaper with rolling spike scoring tool

After removing your old wallpaper, choose a new wall for your walls. It refreshes and modernizes the look of your business space. Consider current trends in wall design and the appropriate materials to meet your business needs.

Current trends in wall design

  • Biophilic design Incorporates nature-inspired elements such as green walls, wood paneling, or plant decorations. These create a calming and welcoming environment.
  • Textured walls – Use textured materials like textured paint, plaster, or 3D panels. They create eye-catching and tactile surfaces that add depth and character.
  • Accent walls—Use bold colors or striking patterns to create focal points. Accent walls can add personality without overwhelming the space.
  • Minimalist and neutral palettes—Choose neutral tones such as grays, beiges, and whites. These tones are versatile and can make the space appear larger and more modern.
  • Geometric patterns – Geometric shapes and patterns can add a modern, sophisticated look to a business space.
  • Digital prints and murals – Custom digital prints or murals can convey a specific brand message or create a striking visual impact.

Selecting the best materials for business needs

  • Durability – Choose materials that can withstand daily wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas. Look for options like commercial-grade paint or scuff-resistant wall coverings.
  • Maintenance – Consider materials that are easy to clean and maintain. For instance, washable paints and stain-resistant surfaces are practical choices.
  • Aesthetic appeal –The new wall treatment should align with the brand’s identity. It should also contribute to a positive atmosphere. Choose colors and textures reflecting the business’s style and values.
  • Acoustic properties – Depending on the business type, consider materials that can absorb sound and enhance acoustics. This is especially ideal in open-plan or noisy environments.
  • Budget—Consider the cost of materials and installation. Some options, such as custom murals, may be more expensive than regular paint or wallpaper.
  • Sustainability – Choose eco-friendly materials and finishes. They will align with environmental responsibility and possibly enhance indoor air quality.
  • Customization – Choose materials that allow for color, pattern, and texture customization to reflect the brand and create a unique space.

The Value of Professional Services

Benefits of hiring professionals

  • Expertise – Professionals bring specialized knowledge and skills to the task. They ensure high-quality results and adherence to industry standards.
  • Efficiency – They can complete tasks more quickly and accurately due to their experience and training. It saves you time and potential frustration.
  • Quality results – Professionals guarantee a level of quality that DIY-ers may find challenging to achieve. It provides reliable outcomes and peace of mind.

Cost vs. DIY

  • Cost – Hiring professionals can be more expensive upfront due to labor and service fees. However, this cost often includes quality work, warranties, and peace of mind.
  • DIY – Doing it yourself may seem cost-effective initially. However, it can lead to mistakes or the need for repairs later, potentially increasing overall expenses.
  • Analysis – Consider the immediate cost savings of DIY against potential risks and long-term costs. Investing in professionals can save time and money in the long run for complex projects.


Professional wallpaper removal ensures an efficient job with minimal surface damage. Leaving the walls clean and free of wallpaper allows you to refresh their look. New paint, wallpaper or other treatments can update and modernize your business space. It also creates a safe and welcoming environment for your customers and employees. 

Custom Painting, Inc. can give your commercial spaces a fresh, clean, sharp, and modern look. We can remove your old wallpaper and refresh the walls with new paint, wallpaper, or other treatments. Experience the Custom Painting, Inc. difference today! Call us at 925-294-8062 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.