Before you start remember that wallpaper removal is usually labor intensive and can bring about critical damage to your walls if it is not done right. Most removal damage is due to the lack of a wallpaper primer before the walls were wallpapered, resulting from the glue being absorbed into the wallboard. The top layers of wallboard (paper) will try to come off with your wallpaper backing. If this occurs in large areas, call a professional.
You can get many differing types of wallpaper on the market nowadays. Some are dry stripable, solid vinyl and fabric backed papers can usually be removed by purely pulling them from the wall with no wetting.
Most residential wallpapers are of a ” vinyl coated “type. Vinyl coated papers are by far the most common used in residential homes. The vinyl face of these papers are usually “dry stripable” meaning the face will separate and leave only the paper backing on the wall. Start by removing as much of this vinyl face as possible. Look for a loose corner, you may need a putty knife or scraper to get you started.
After all of the vinyl face is removed, the paper backing should also be removed. The paper backing will need a wet removal. Fill a five gallon bucket to about half full with warm water, add about a cap full of fabric softener. Shut down the electrical power to the room. Apply this solution to the wall using a paint roller or garden sprayer, a sponge may be used in corners. Wet a four or five foot part of the wall and ensure the wall section remains saturated with the solution for about ten minutes. Take off the wet backing using a four or six inch putty knife or scraper.
After all of the backing is removed, finish cleaning the walls using a hand sponge and fresh solution of fabric softener and warm water. Permit the walls to dry out and apply a wallpaper primer if you plan to re- wallpaper the walls. If you plan to paint, apply an acrylic primer/sealer to your walls before painting.
One of the major things to remember when using a solution to strip your wallpaper off is, Don’t spray or saturate electrical outlets or switches with your solution, shut down the electrical supply to the room before wetting the walls. You do not want to cause any damage to your electrics. This is an incredibly costly mistake to make. Damaged electrical wiring is pricey to put right. This is messy work so ensure that you do place rolled towels or bed sheets along at the base of the walls prior wetting them so that you can catch the solution run-off.