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You will find everything you need to know about the 2020 cost of wallpaper removal with materials and the cost to hire a contractor here.
Wallpaper removal can be stressful. A lot of time and patience is required by the task. In some cases, wallpaper is difficult to remove and may render one’s effort fruitless. And if the job is done wrongly, it can cause you to damage your walls.
Those who would prefer to sit back and watch people do it for them because they don’t have the time or the ability should hire a professional wallpaper removal service. This service is also available with lots of painting companies such as Dallas Paints.
How Much Does it Cost to Remove Wallpaper?
There are so many things that affect the overall cost of wallpaper removal. Even though many professionals will try to add these factors into their estimate, they cannot determine every issue in advance.
Some are obvious, like the number of wallpaper layers, vaulted ceilings that will need scaffolding or special ladders, tight spaces such as bathrooms, and so on. Some unsuspected cases are not as clear until further checking.
There could be harmful chemicals like lead, asbestos, arsenic, and many more underneath the paper, the primer, or adhesive used to keep it down.
Many of these harmful or very deadly chemicals bring a premature end to the project, especially products that contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) until the hazard is contained by professionals. Professionals must get these clean-up process completed.
That is why you may pay an extra amount of dollars for your wallpaper removal project before new wallpaper can be hung or paint can be applied.
However, with no special conditions or preparation, expect to pay about $3/sq-ft for wallpaper removal. Many homeowners spend between $400 and $1,000, even though $750 is the national average.
This can hugely affect your new wallpaper removal cost as well as a painting project, so continue reading to find out the factors affecting the cost.
Cost Factors Affecting Wallpaper Removal
- Type: You won’t be charged much if your type of wallpaper is easier to remove. The easiest types of wallpapers to remove are the strippable and porous wallpaper and should be over $0.75 – $1/ sqft range. The more difficult wallpapers to remove are the acrylic, vinyl, woodchip, and other non-porous wallpapers.
- Layers of wallpaper: If there are many wallpaper layers, more effort will be required for removal. In some cases, steaming and soaking are required to remove several layers.
- Age: The adhesive on older wallpaper is usually weak but can strongly adhere to the wall. The strength of the adhesive of the wallpaper is also a cost-determining factor.
- Type of walls: It is easier to remove wallpaper from plaster walls than from drywall. This results from a strong bond between external surfaces of drywall, giving more room for damage. Plaster doesn’t easily get damaged because its bond is not that firm.
- Height of walls or stairwells: Additional cost will be charged if you have vaulted ceilings, and your contractors are working in stairwells. This is because there will be a need for ladders or scaffolding, which will also increase the time. There may also be a need for extra scrapping for unique corners in these spaces.
- Damage to existing walls/wall condition: You will spend more on your project if there is existing damage to the walls during wallpaper removal. There will be a need to repair this damage by filling cracks, holes, sand, and many textures. This is more prevalent with drywall.
- Paint on wallpaper: If the painting has been done over wallpaper, especially oil-based paint, the removal process will be tough and time-taking. This will increase the cost of the project.
- Moving furniture and other items: If you have the wallpaper behind cabinets, bathtubs, appliances, furniture, then you will need them to be removed. This will add more cost, possibly per hour at $40 – $55/hour.
Costs to Remove Wallpaper
There are many methods for wallpaper removal. The cost will be based on the quantity of wallpaper, the removal method, the type of wall behind it, and the use of the wall after wallpaper removal.
Wallpaper removal costs an average of $550 – $750, with $650 being the amount paid by an average homeowner for already painted wallpaper removal in a 12 by 12 bedroom. This is often done on plaster walls that only require a few filling of holes after wallpaper removal.
Typical Wallpaper Removal Cost
National Average Cost
Cost of Wallpaper Removal Per Square Foot
The cost will be lesser if traditional wallpaper is pasted on plaster walls, unlike vinyl-coated wallpaper applied on drywall. Higher ceilings and hard to reach places will cost more in the end.
Wallpaper removal price costs from $0.75 – $2 per square foot on average. Get ready for extra equipment or material fee at about $50 – $75 on the cost.
Square Foot Measurement
Cost of Wallpaper Removal Per Room
There are different shapes and sizes of rooms in a house. There may also be other conditions valuable that affect wallpaper removal costs. These may include appliances, vaulted ceilings, built-in furniture, and so on.
In addition, note that some rooms may not have more than one or two walls with wallpaper. You can deduct tub surrounds, doorways, windows, and closet openings to determine the wall’s exact square footage. Prices are not the same.
Below are some of the typical cost to remove wallpaper per room:
Wallpaper removal in a bedroom is often straightforward since all furniture can be moved away from the surfaces. Wallpaper removal cost in a 12 by 12 room with a door, 2 windows, and closet opening deducted should not exceed the range of $230 and $610.
The living room is also straightforward unless you have furniture items that cannot be removed from the wall or the ceilings are vaulted. About $340 to $900 could be charged for wallpaper removal in a 14 by 18 living room with one door and 2 large windows deducted.
A bathroom often contains moisture, so you need to watch out for mold behind wallpaper. In the presence of mold you will need to remediate. You may also need to remove toilets and bathtubs, causing the cost to increase.
It will cost between $130 and $340 to remove wallpaper in a 7 by 9 bathroom with door and tub surround square footage deducted.
Wallpapers are usually found in the foyer. If there are built-in windows, shoe or cloth racks, doors, and more, the square footage could be less. Tough items that cannot be easily workaround could increase the cost.
Higher ceilings and staircases can also cause an increase in cost. Prepare to pay between $90 and $235 for wallpaper removal for a 6 by 6 entryway with a square footage of door deducted.
It may be difficult to reach an attic and have different angles to work on. This can increase the cost. Removal of wallpaper from a 7 by 10 attic with 2 windows deducted should cost you between $190 and $500.
Wallpaper removal in a kitchen could turn out trickier. The disturbance may be caused by appliances, and mold could be present. Prepare to pay between $290 and $770 for wallpaper removal in a 12 by 14 kitchen with a door and a window deducted.
There can be various sizes of the basement, as well as the number of windows doors, and other features. Wallpaper removal will cost you between $4865 and $1290 in a 24 by 24 basement after deducting 2 doorways and 4 small windows.
Type of Room
Wall Square Footage
Wallpaper Removal price
303 square foot
451 square foot
170 square foot
117 square foot
249 square foot
385 square foot
643 square foot
Average Wallpaper Removal Cost by Wallpaper Type
Many different types of wallpaper could be used in a home. Strippable wallpaper means the new style of peel and sticks wallpaper, non-porous wallpaper means vinyl-coated wallpaper, and porous wallpaper means traditional wallpaper. Porous wallpapers are easier to remove amongst all. Let’s briefly look at each of them.
This is usually the cheapest option. This method involves the use of a chemical stripper to loosen wallpaper. Then the wallpaper can be scraped off.
Wallpaper stripper is not expensive, and it costs $9 for a 12 by 24 area. Expect to pay between $0.75 and $1.50 as your cost to strip wallpaper.
This wallpaper removal method requires an electric steamer. The wallpaper will be perforated with small holes, and the adhesive is softening to loosen the wallpaper’s panel. In most cases, the wallpaper will just remove after that. Steaming costs you about $1 to $2 while the extra equipment charge is about $30 to $50.
Saturating and scraping wallpapers:
This method has been found to be the most challenging, as it is labor-intensive compared to others. Professionals fall back on this procedure when the steaming or stripping method cannot work.
It involves scraping after the wallpapers might have been perforated and saturated with treatment and allow to soak for some time to get the adhesive loosened. Saturating and scraping can cost $3 and above per square foot.
Type of Wallpaper
Removal cost per square foot
Saturating & scraping
$3 or more
Cost of Wallpaper Removal by Type of Wall
- Plaster: This type of wall is popular in older homes, making the wallpaper removal process easier. The most popular walls in modern homes are drywall and sheetrock, making it difficult to remove wallpaper.
- Drywall: Wallpaper removal from drywall is often difficult because there could be firm bonding between the wallpaper and the drywall’s top layer. The cost to remove wallpaper from sheetrock, a sample brand of drywall, can be higher, and there may be a need for additional wall repair. The price is between $1 to $2 or more for removing wallpaper from sheetrock.
Type of Wall
Cost per square foot
Plaster (depends on whether it is porous or non-porous)
$0.75 to $2
$1 to $2
Wallpaper Removal and Painting Cost
Immediately the wallpaper is removed, the wall is exposed, and a new covering should be applied. It is common to remove wallpaper and then paint the surface. You can save some money by hiring a professional that can handle both wallpaper removal and painting job.
Hiring someone to paint could cost between $2 and $4/sq-ft on the average. Since wallpaper removal costs from $0.75 to $2 per square foot, this increases the cost to between $2.75 and $6/sq-ft.
If repairing and texturing is required, the cost could be increased by $1.50 to $3/sq-ft. It is more likely that you will need texturing if you are hiring someone to handle your wallpaper removal and drywall painting.
Here are the expected costs for wallpaper removal and painting a room.
6’ by 6’
$320 – $700
7’ by 9’
$430 – $1,020
7’ by 10’
$760 – $1,810
12’ by 12’
$834 – $1,820
12’ by 14’
1,060 – $2,310
14’ by 18’
$1,24 – $2,710
$1,770 – $4,250
Extra Considerations and Costs
Several old wallpaper layers can be difficult to remove, considering the time required and adding the overall costs. It may be almost impossible to remove wallpaper that was originally applied on a bare wall without damaging the wall and drywall repair affects the overall costs.
Wallpaper removal from higher walls or on steep stairwells can increase the costs with 15% to 25% or more.
Permits and licenses:
There should be no permit required for this project. However, you must be sure to ask your preferred contractor for requirements, especially business licenses, insurance, as well as the company’s license if required by your sate.
You can do this project yourself and pay for materials only. Note that wallpaper removal is a time-taking and usually frustrating task. Professionals have the right experience and equipment to perform a quick and smooth job for you.
Prepare to receive different wallpaper removal prices from various companies as each of the company operates differently and charges differently on expenses. Make sure you obtain the prices in late falls, early winter to get more discounts on pricing from contractors as they are often less busy around that time. Prepare an additional 7% to 15% aside your calculated wallpaper removal cost.
Wallpaper removal is not an easy task to do, and you can end up with a broken back. Hiring a painter to do the work for you might be more cost-effective.
Painters will do a perfect job on wallpaper removal than how a novice would, so look around and make an appointment with a professional painting contractor and hire one for your job to save your back from any strenuous task.