Skip to Content

How to Tell If Wallpaper Glue Has Been Removed

How to Tell If Wallpaper Glue Has Been Removed

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Buying a property and taking the time to fix it up is something that can be very fulfilling. You have the potential to turn your new house into everything that you want it to be.

There might be many things that you’ll want to change so that the house will look how you want it to. If some rooms in the house have wallpaper, then that could be a bit of a pain in certain ways.

The wallpaper is stuck to the wall using wallpaper glue. After you tear the wallpaper off, some people have a hard time telling if the wallpaper glue is removed or not.

You don’t want to try to paint or do anything else until you know that the glue is gone. So how can you tell if the wallpaper glue has been removed?

Keep reading to get more information about removing wallpaper glue. This should help you to have a good experience when taking wallpaper off.

What Is Wallpaper Glue?

Wallpaper glue is also sometimes referred to as wallpaper paste. This is the substance that you put on the walls when you want to get the wallpaper to stick.

It’s a type of adhesive that should work on many different types of surfaces. Most modern wallpaper glue is going to be mold-resistant and mildew-resistant as well.

Using wallpaper glue isn’t that hard overall. So long as you’re following the directions, it shouldn’t give you any problems.

Sometimes getting wallpaper adhesive off of the wall can be a bit annoying, but you’ll be able to do it so long as you approach things properly. It just takes patience and the right tools.

How Can You Tell If Wallpaper Glue Has Been Removed?

So you’ve taken the time to remove the wallpaper and you’ve tried to remove the glue. How are you supposed to tell if it has actually been removed?

The easiest way is to simply spray water on the walls and allow it to soak in. After doing this, you’re going to want to run your hands over the wall.

Try to feel the wall and see if there are any sticky spots at all. If the glue is truly removed, then the surface should be smooth.

A wall that still has glue on it will feel either slimy or sticky. If the wall doesn’t feel smooth, then you’ll just have to keep plugging away at trying to remove the adhesive.

Tips for Removing Wallpaper Adhesive

Removing wallpaper adhesive is something that will take some time. If you want to get the job done, then you’re going to need the right tools.

Before getting started, you’re going to want to hit up the local hardware store and a department store to get some supplies. You’ll need dish soap, work gloves, sponges, clean towels, vinegar, baking soda, a spray bottle, a bucket, and a drywall knife.

It’d also be wise to cover the floor with towels or a tarp. This is to protect the floor from getting wet.

You should probably cover any electrical outlets to avoid any potential danger. It’s also wise to move any electronics away from the area so that nothing gets ruined.

Once all of the preparations are complete, you’ll be able to move on to the next step. Put your work gloves on and get ready to start removing the wallpaper.

Mix up a Solution

Mixing up a solution is necessary so that you can remove the wallpaper. Grab a bucket and fill it with hot water.

Add two or three drops of liquid dish soap to the mix and then place one teaspoon of baking soda in the bucket. Mix things up and then soak a sponge in the liquid when you’re ready.

Use your sponge to start rubbing the wall. You should start to loosen up the wallpaper so that you will be able to pull it off.

Pull the wallpaper off of the wall and wipe the glue away at the same time. Continue to do this until you’ve removed all of the wallpaper.

Sometimes you might encounter stubborn sections where the wallpaper won’t come off easily. In this situation, you might need to use the drywall scraper to get the job done.

Once the wallpaper is all gone, you’re going to want to go ahead and rinse the soap off of the walls using clean water. Dry the surface using a clean towel and then check the walls to see how they feel.

If the walls feel smooth, then you’ll be done and you can do whatever it is that you want to do to the walls. It’s likely that there will be some sticky parts of the wall, though.

This is especially true if you’re trying to remove wallpaper that has been stuck on the walls for decades. You might need a more powerful solution to help you finish things off.

Mix up a Special Spray

Mixing up a special spray can help you to reach the finish line. Mix up one cup of white vinegar and a gallon of hot water in a bucket.

Once everything is mixed, you can fill your spray bottle. Spray the wall and then rub it with a sponge to try to remove the glue.

Continue doing this until all of the glue is gone. The vinegar mixture should do a good job of cutting through the glue.

Note that this could be a tedious process. Sometimes it can be tough to get rid of the last remnants of wallpaper adhesive, but you should get good results if you keep at it.

There is an even more powerful mixture that you can try out if necessary. It’s possible to mix up hot water, fabric softener, and baking soda to make a powerful spray that can eliminate tough bits of glue.

You’ll need to use one tablespoon of baking soda and four tablespoons of fabric softener to make this spray. It should get the job done if the vinegar spray isn’t quite enough to get through the glue.

Why not use this mixture to begin with? Well, it’s not the safest thing to use.

You need to use this special mixture sparingly, and you should only use it on small sections of the wall at a time. It’ll be necessary to only spray what you can rub off in a few minutes.

If you use too much of this spray on the wall, then it could cause damage to the wall itself. It’s not that hard to avoid complications, but you’ll just need to be sure not to soak the wall with this spray.

It Might Be Wise to Wear a Mask

Some people might not find this to be completely necessary, but it could be wise to wear a mask while doing this job. Not only will the wallpaper glue be smelly sometimes, but it can also potentially contain toxic fungicides.

You don’t really want to breathe toxic fungicides in. Wearing a mask should protect you well enough that it won’t be an issue.

When you’re getting rid of the wallpaper and the adhesive residue, it’s important to dispose of everything properly. You don’t want your pets or your kids touching the stuff since it can be dangerous.

Pets might try to eat bits of the paper, and this could be catastrophically dangerous. If you’re removing old wallpaper, then it’s hard to say what chemicals could be present.

Prepare a garbage bag and be sure to throw away residue and wallpaper as soon as you strip it from the wall. This will prevent you from encountering any issues.

What Happens if You Paint Over Glue?

Painting over wallpaper glue is something that you’re trying to avoid. Most people who remove wallpaper plan on painting the walls.

You want to make sure that the glue is off of the walls before you start to paint. If you accidentally paint the walls while some of the wallpaper adhesive is still present, then it won’t work out well.

The paint won’t stick to the wall properly when the glue is there. You’ll find that the paint will peel off very easily, and it just isn’t going to be what you want it to be.

Why does this happen? Well, the glue absorbs the water from water-based paints.

Water-based paints are the most common ones that people use indoors. They don’t smell and they’re environmentally safe.

It totally prevents the paint from adhering to the wall when wallpaper glue is present. You’d be able to remove the paint simply by brushing it with your hand.

This is why it’s imperative to take the time to remove all of the adhesive before you start painting. Using the water spraying method should make it easy to check if any glue is present on the walls.

Some people might make the mistake of not checking parts of the wall that are harder to reach. Try to be thorough and check the high and low spots of the walls to ensure that there isn’t any glue that will keep you from being able to paint the walls.

You Could Use an Oil-Based Primer

So what if you’re having terrible luck removing the wallpaper adhesive? Sometimes you might be dealing with a particularly hard to remove adhesive that just won’t go away.

In this case, you should still be able to paint the walls, but you’ll need to do something first. You’ll need to use an oil-based primer on the walls to get things ready.

When you use an oil-based primer, it will seal the wallpaper glue. This prevents it from being able to interact with the water-based paint.

Since oil can’t mix with water, it’ll keep the glue from being able to negatively impact the paint. You should be able to go through with painting the wall to get the job done.

In many ways, it makes sense to have oil-based primer ready to go. It can help you out in case you missed a small spot, but it’s particularly helpful when you’re dealing with stubborn wallpaper glue.

Final Thoughts

Removing wallpaper is something that can be a bit tedious, to say the least. Sometimes it’s outright frustrating when you’re having a tough time getting the glue to come off of the walls.

You want to try to exercise patience so that you can keep making progress. Use hot water, baking soda, and dish soap to scrub the walls so that you can remove the wallpaper.

It’s usually pretty easy to remove wallpaper using this method, but it can take some time. You should attempt to peel the paper off and scrub the adhesive away at the same time.

If you’re having trouble getting the wallpaper glue off of the wall, then you might need to use something stronger. White vinegar and hot water can be used to make a simple spray that will help to cut through the glue.

There’s an even stronger spray that utilizes fabric softener and baking soda that you could use if all else fails. This spray needs to be used a little at a time for safety purposes, though.

Eventually, you should be able to get the wallpaper off. Hopefully, all of the wallpaper adhesive will be removed from the wall, too.

To tell if all of the wallpaper glue is gone, you’re going to want to spray the walls with water. Let the water soak in for a bit and then touch the wall with your hands.

If the walls are smooth, then you’ll know that the glue is truly gone. The walls will feel sticky or slimy if the glue is still present.

Even if you can’t remove the glue entirely it’ll be possible to get the walls painted. You can still paint over the walls if you have an oil-based primer that you can use first.

This tutorial should help you to understand what you need to do. While it’s true that getting wallpaper removed is a pain, it’s not something that you can’t accomplish with a bit of patience and dedication.

Do your best to finish the process and don’t forget to wear gloves and a mask to be safe. You’ll be happy once you’ve painted the walls and everything looks how you want it to.

Share this post: