Removing Wallpaper and Adhesive

I want to remove some old wallpaper, then apply an orange peel texture to the wall. Do I need to remove all the wallpaper glue and prime the wall before applying the texture? -Nancy

Hi Nancy,

I would definitely remove the wallpaper adhesive before applying orange peel texture to the wall, since any glue that remains on the wall will yellow and eventually could bleed through the texture if it’s not removed first.

Priming the wall is also important, but it should be done after the orange peel texture has been applied and has dried. If you’re concerned about the old wall surface bleeding through, use a stain blocking primer when you prime the wall.

The biggest challenge, of course, will be removing all the wallpaper and adhesive. Here’s the wallpaper removal formula we use, courtesy of our friend Brian Santos, The Wall Wizard.

Start by preparing the wallpaper for removal by perforating the paper with a PaperTiger scoring tool, or by cutting horizontally through the wallpaper every few inches using a sharp utility knife.

To remove the wallpaper, mix in a 5-gallon bucket:

  • 3 gallons of hot water
  • 22 oz. of DIF wallpaper remover concentrate
  • 1/4 cup of liquid fabric softener
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda

Stir the mixture, then apply it to the wall using a pump-up garden sprayer. After thoroughly soaking the wallpaper, cover the wall with a layer of thin (0.7 mil) plastic, using a wallpaper brush to press the plastic onto the wall.

Let the wallpaper remover soak on the wall for at least three hours, overnight would be even better. The mixture will dissolve almost all the adhesive, allowing you to peel away the wallpaper with virtually no effort!

Good luck with your project,


Further Information


  1. I’m in the process of removing wallpaper in my bathroom. I had the top layer removed before reading your formula to remove both top layer and backing. I’m now going to use it to remove the backing. How do I apply orange peel. All of my other rooms in the house have orange peel and I don’t want the bathroom to be smooth.

    • Hi Shirley,
      Orange peel texture is usually applied to walls using a special drywall texture sprayer (which can be rented at many tool rental stores) and drywall texture mix. The walls are then painted with a roller after the texture has dried. You can also get an orange peel texture look by applying thinned drywall compound using a high nap roller (3/4″ or so nap). You can get a partial orange peel look by just using a high nap roller when you paint.


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