How much does it cost to remove wallpaper?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to remove wallpaper?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to remove wallpaper?

$0.80 – $3.00average cost per square foot
$320 – $1,200average cost per room (400 SF of wall surface)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$0.80 – $3.00 average cost per square foot

$320 – $1,200 average cost per room (400 SF of wall surface)


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Sarah Noel
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Sarah Noel
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Wallpaper removal cost

Wallpaper removal costs $0.80 to $3.00 per square foot or $320 to $1,200 on average for dry stripping and steaming. The cost to remove wallpaper with soaking and scraping costs $3 to $8 per square foot. The total cost depends on the accessibility, wall type, and wall conditions.

Wallpaper removal cost
Wall square footage Average cost*
25 $20 – $75
50 $40 – $150
100 $80 – $300
150 $120 – $450
200 $160 – $600
300 $240 – $900
400 $320 – $1,200
500 $400 – $1,500
750 $600 – $2,250
1,000 $800 – $3,000

*For stripping or steaming. Minimum service fees of $75 to $200 apply.

Woman removing wallpaper with a scraper
Woman removing wallpaper with a scraper
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Cost to remove wallpaper by room

The cost to remove wallpaper is most expensive for living rooms, basements, and any room with vaulted ceilings.

Cost to remove wallpaper by room
Room Wall square footage Average cost*
Living room 500 – 700 $400 – $2,100
Kitchen 250 – 350 $200 – $1,050
Bathroom 200 – 300 $160 – $900
Foyer 150 – 250 $120 – $750
Bedroom 300 – 400 $240 – $1,200
Attic 200 – 300 $160 – $900
Basement 400 – 600 $320 – $1,800

*For stripping or steaming with 1 to 2 workers per room.

  • Living room wallpaper removal is typically uncomplicated but can be more challenging if furniture can't be moved, ceilings are vaulted, or if there are multiple or vintage wallpaper layers.

  • Kitchen wallpaper removal is often complex, with potential challenges from appliances, mold, and the need to navigate around corners, insets, and cabinetry.

  • Bathroom wallpaper removal is more challenging due to potential mold and the need to remove fixtures like toilets and bathtubs, which could increase costs.

  • Foyer wallpaper removal can be costly due to built-in features, high ceilings, and staircases. Removing wallpaper from two-story or stairwell spaces typically costs the most.

  • Bedroom wallpaper removal is typically straightforward, since moving furniture is easy. Larger bedrooms and vaulted ceilings have higher prices. The presence of doors, windows, and closets can also complicate the process.

  • Attic ­wallpaper removal can be challenging due to accessibility issues and unique angles. Additionally, the presence of windows and varying room dimensions may influence the removal process.

  • Basement wallpaper removal costs vary by the number of doors, windows, and other features. Unique architectural elements and room dimensions can influence the complexity and cost of the removal process.

Cost of wallpaper removal by method

The cost of wallpaper removal depends on the method. Stripping and steaming are the most common options. Soaking and scraping is more expensive but is sometimes the only option for wallpaper that's difficult to remove.

Wallpaper removal cost per square foot by method - Chart
Wallpaper removal cost per square foot by method - Chart
Wallpaper removal cost by method
Method Cost per square foot
Dry stripping $0.80 – $1.00
Steaming $1.00 – $3.00
Soaking and scraping $3.00 – $8.00

Dry stripping

Dry stripping wallpaper costs $0.80 to $1.00 per square foot on average. This common method relies on a putty blade to scrape up corners so that workers can pull off the old wallpaper. Dry stripping only works if the walls had been previously primed before they applied the wallpaper.

Steaming

Steaming wallpaper costs $1 to $3 per square foot on average. This chemical-free method uses the steam from boiling-hot water to loosen the adhesive, making it easier to peel off. Steam helps dissolve the glue and works well on all walls, except for wood paneling.

Soaking and scraping

Soaking and scraping wallpaper costs $3 to $8 per square foot on average. Workers score the wallpaper with a rough brush and then apply a chemical solvent on the wallpaper. The solution soaks through to dissolve the adhesive, and they scrape off the wallpaper while wet.

This method is the last resort to remove very old wallpaper on un-primed walls. Chemical solvents can dissolve multiple painted wallpaper layers or wallpaper with excessive adhesive or plaster behind it. This labor-intensive method works for both porous and nonporous wallpapers.

  • Several applications may be necessary to remove the wallpaper backing and the old adhesive on multiple layers of wallpapering.

  • After removing the wallpaper, workers clean off adhesive residue. They also check if the wall needs a new skim coat of putty or plaster before sanding it to make a smooth finish.

Professional wallpaper removal company scraping off wallpaper
Professional wallpaper removal company scraping off wallpaper

Wallpaper removal cost calculator

Beyond the average cost to remove wallpaper, the following factors also affect the price:

  • Preparation & cleanup – Moving the furniture around before the work starts and disposing of old materials adds extra fees to the total cost.

  • Wall size & design – Larger rooms with high ceilings, stairs, and complex layouts increase costs due to the additional labor time needed.

  • Wallpaper type – Materials like vinyl, fabric, and older wallpapers may cost more to remove. If the existing wallpaper has a strong adhesive applied to walls that weren't sealed and primed first, then the removal will have higher labor fees.

  • Number of wallpaper layers – Multiple layers of wallpaper will take more time and effort to remove, increasing costs.

  • Asbestos removalAsbestos testing costs $250 to $850, including a full home inspection. Asbestos removal costs $5 to $15 per square foot. If your old plastic- or vinyl-coated wallpaper has a fibrous paper backing, then it's likely to have asbestos.

  • Type of professional – A handyperson charges $50 to $80 hourly to do the job. Hiring a painting crew to remove wallpaper as part of a bigger job can cost $25 to $85 hourly per person, depending on your area.

  • Wall repairs – Post-removal wall repairs such as patching small holes and smoothing over plaster or drywall cost extra. Drywall repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot extra for minor work.

  • Potential hazards – Older wallpapers may have lead paint or mold behind them, which requires the special equipment and care to remove and dispose of.

  • Accessibility – Hard-to-reach areas will increase the labor costs due to the need for special equipment, ladders, or a bigger crew.

  • Discounts – Some professionals offer discounts for larger jobs that include painting the wall afterward. Promotions are also available during slower business periods.

  • Additional services – Wall finishing after the wallpaper removal has these fees:

Get free estimates from wallpaper removers near you.
A woman using a steam wallpaper stripping tool to remove wallpaper
A woman using a steam wallpaper stripping tool to remove wallpaper

Wallpaper removal FAQs

Why do I need wallpaper removal?

Reasons you need to remove wallpaper typically include:

  • Updating the interior décor

  • Repairing underlying wall damage

  • Addressing water damage

  • Preparing surfaces before painting

  • Fixing loose or ripped wallpaper

How hard is it to remove wallpaper?

Removing wallpaper isn't hard to do yourself, but you risk peeling off or gouging parts of the drywall or plaster underneath it. You need good tools and special solvents for old wallpaper that won't come off. Professionals work more efficiently to save you time and prevent wall damage.

How long does it take to remove wallpaper?

The time it takes to remove wallpaper is 2 to 3 hours per room for dry stripping. Wallpaper removal by steaming takes 6 to 8 hours per room, and the chemical soaking and scraping method on difficult jobs can take several days.

What is the best way to remove wallpaper?

The 3 best wallpaper removal methods are:

  • Dry stripping with a putty knife that has rounded corners

  • Using a wallpaper steamer machine

  • Soaking the wallpaper with a chemical solvent and scraping it off

Can you paint over wallpaper?

You can paint over wallpaper in some cases if:

  • The wallpaper is completely smooth.

  • All areas of the wallpaper are perfectly flat and stick tightly to the wall.

  • The room isn't a bathroom, kitchen, or an area that gets damp.

  • You can apply caulk to all the edges and spread primer over it without issues.

However, you typically get better and longer-lasting results if you remove all the wallpaper completely and apply paint directly onto the wall. Very often wallpaper will peel over time or can react with the paint to alter its color.

Getting estimates from a wallpaper removal service

Before hiring a wallpaper remover near you, be sure to:

  • Compare 3+ estimates from licensed, insured, and bonded contractors.

  • Hire a wallpaper removal service that has been in business at least 5 years.

  • Check out their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Collect a detailed contract and warranty before the work begins.

  • Don't pay in full until the job is complete.

  • Avoid hiring the lowest bidder who may have lower-quality standards.

Questions to ask

Assess the expertise of the contractors by first asking them these questions:

  • How long have you been doing professional wallpaper removal jobs?

  • Can I see a list of your references from previous clients?

  • Which methods do you use to remove wallpaper, and what's your process?

  • Can you refrain from using strong chemicals if I'm allergic to them?

  • Will you check for mold or asbestos?

  • How many people are on your crew?

  • What's the cost if you remove wallpaper as part of a repainting project?

  • How long will this project take?

  • What's your payment schedule?

  • How much extra do you charge for site preparation and cleanup?

  • What can you do to protect the rest of my home from dust and accidents?

  • How much is wall repair work if the wallpaper removal leaves damages?

  • Are all fees listed in this wallpaper removal estimate?