SimpleStrip: The Ultimate Product for Removing Wallpaper

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Not that long ago when I was rehabbing houses, there wasn’t a single job that I dreaded more than removing wallpaper. Even if you hired someone to do it, it was time consuming and expensive. And inevitably there was damage to the walls. In our business of buying “ugly houses”, wallpaper is kind of the norm in older, outdated houses.

Many years ago, there was no such thing as “sizing” for the walls. I grew up a great big older house built in the early 1900’s that had wallpaper everywhere; even on the ceilings. It was there when we bought the house, and there was never any thought of taking it down and painting the original plaster walls; at least not in my parent’s mind.

I can remember the wallpaper guy coming in with the great big steamer when it was time to “update” the wallpaper. He was there for days and days just getting the darn stuff off. What a mess! Wallpapering every surface in a house finally went out of style for many years, and painted plaster walls was the “in thing”.

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Wallpaper Makes a Comeback

Wallpaper made a big comeback again in the 1970’s and 1980’s. There were lots of big patterns, shiny wallpaper of all sorts, and who remembers that awful “flocked” wallpaper? (Probably not any of the younger investors)

Looking back, most of it was really ugly. But some folks loved it and when I walk into houses today that haven’t been updated in 30 or 40 years, I often feel like I’ve just entered a time machine. One of my first thoughts is always, “How much is it going to cost to get this stuff removed and the walls repaired”? Even though I am a wholesaler these days, I need to know that dollar amount for my end buyer who is always a rehabber or a landlord.

Also by this time, “sizing” had been developed for the walls. Sizing was designed to make the wallpaper come off more easily and it did help. The problem was that a whole lot of folks skipped this step entirely, and the ones that did use sizing often found out later that really didn’t work as well as they liked to say that it did.

But … and here’s the big thing; when the wallpaper started to come off it was always in small pieces and the drywall paper came off too. More times than not you had to end up skimming the walls to fix the damage that occurred in the process. After struggling with this process a few times, I gave up wallpaper permanently. There would be no more wallpaper in my house!

How to Remove Wallpaper with SimpleStrip

I recently heard about a product, and I had to pass along this information to all my fellow real estate investors that like me have struggled with this job. There’s a product out now that seems to work like a miracle for wallpaper removal, and it’s called SimpleStrip.

Simplestrip involves a simple 3 step process:

  • Score the walls
  • Hang the solution soaked “HydroSheets” for 15-20 minutes keeping them moist with the power solution
  • When the paper loosens at the corner, just peel the wallpaper off. I told you it was just like magic.

How Much Does it Cost?

This product is very affordable. To give you an idea here are some prices I got off the website:

The small project kit it is $54.95, and it includes everything you need to strip the wallpaper off of two 14×14 foot rooms.

  • 6 x Heavy duty HydroSheets (Reusable sheets cover 40 square feet)
  • 1 x Wallpaper Scoring Tool
  • 1 x 32 fl. oz Power Solution (Makes 8 Gallons) – Enough to strip 750 Square Feet (2 – 14x14ft rooms) Additional bottles are $11.99
  • 1 x SimpleStrip Pressure Sprayer

You can buy a large project kit for $79.95 that has twice as many HydroSheets (12) and twice as much solution. This will remove about 1500 square feet of wallpaper or four 14×14 foot rooms.

You can also buy just the additional things that you need such as the Power Solution or HydroSheets.

Still Skeptical?

I have to admit; I was at first but not anymore. Here’s a really short DIY video (less than 2 minutes) that will make a believer out of you.

If you want to give it a try yourself you can order online at The company also can be reached at (800) 742-0275. There are no affiliate links here; just information to pass along about a great product.

Has anyone already used this product? If so, tell us about your experience.

Photo: Randy Weiner

About Author

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.


      • I also heard jean jackets are making a comeback as well. I’ll take a pass on both…

        I’ve got a rental and I just painted over the wallpaper in one case. It came out looking OK, and it’s been probably about 10 years that way. No issues with peeling etc and no problems renting it. If I did sell it and was trying to get top dollar, I’d just sheetrock over it. I could tell from other rooms that the old plaster walls underneath were not in good condition.

  1. Sharon,

    Have you actually used this product?

    I’ve tried all sorts of these wallpaper removal products. The only difference between this one and the others seems to be the sheets.

    I still find scoring and steaming to work the best.

  2. Jenna Stonecipher on

    Want an even cheaper solution? Fabric Softener.

    Score the wallpaper.
    Mix fabric Softener and water 50/50 and put it in a spray bottle. (I’ve also used a bucket and sponge)
    Spray it (or sponge it) on the wallpaper for it to absorb. Repeat, if it’s extra sticky.
    Wait a 5 minutes.
    Peel it off.

  3. I just had to remove wallpaper border from a kitchen and bedroom. In the bedroom, it was just the stick-on stuff on semi-gloss walls. That came off easily. In the kitchen it was more difficult. I scored the border with a Paper Tiger, then moistened it with soapy water. The wallpaper itself came off first. Then I re-soaked the adhesive residue and scraped it off with a paint scraper. I found an upward motion worked best. It wasn’t too bad as actual wallpaper, however.

  4. I just started a house 2 weeks ago. Wall paper was in the entire dining room with 10 foot ceilings and another bedroom with 10 foot ceilings. There was also some on one wall in the upstairs bedroom. The wall upstairs was stripped of plaster because of damage so no problem there. The wallpaper in the dining room was barely on amd came off very easily. The bedroom however took forever. I tore off what I could dry amd then wetted it down and let it soak going over again. Then came back and peeled and scraped off the rest. Similiar method but this product seemed much more efficient.

    I was so happy once I pulled that last strip of wall paper off that bedroom wall. Then about a half hour later I pulled off some wallboard going up the stairs….. only to find more wallpaper well adhered. Now it is all gone 😉 ill have to try this next time 😉

    • Blake Clevenger on

      Can you do that… yes. Will it work? Sometimes. It really depends on how well the wall paper is stuck on. One time I tried it and the wall paper just started falling off once the texture got on the wall. I guess it made it heavy and the water in the texture was enough to release the glue a little. Getting it off is your best bet, it just work. Hopefully this proposed method will be easier.

    • Blake Clevenger on


      Can you do that… yes. Will it work? Sometimes. It really depends on how well the wall paper is stuck on. One time I tried it and the wall paper just started falling off once the texture got on the wall. I guess it made it heavy and the water in the texture was enough to release the glue a little. Getting it off is your best bet, it just work. Hopefully this proposed method will be easier.

      • Thanks for adding your insights. We really don’t texture the walls here so I don’t know about that. They do still texture the ceilings sometimes, and I know that mixture is a lot heavier than paint alone. I’m not surprised it came off. I personally think that painting over wallpaper is just setting yourself up for trouble in the future.


  5. I’m game to try this. In one of our previous Wallpaper Museum acquisitions, I threw in the towel and decided it was easier to remove the lath & plaster / gypsum board.

    It was here I discovered the only redeeming attribute of wall paper … it makes it possible loosen plaster from a lath wall a pull it off in big sheets rather than dusty little chips 🙂

    • Humberson –

      It is at least in some of the bigger homes I’ve seen. I had sworn off wallpaper completely due to the trouble getting it off the walls. This would provide a solution for folks that want to give it a try again.


  6. Wallpaper is definitely making a comeback, but only in smaller spaces I think. I had a couple properties where every single wall in the home was covered. Took a week to remove it all. I remember thinking there had to be a better way of doing it. I’ll give it a try next time.

    • Matt-

      I would definitely spend the money to try this product. I have removed more wallpaper than I care to admit, and none of it was fun. It usually came off in small little pieces, and on older homes the walls usually ended up having to be skimmed. Thanks for your comments.


  7. Sharon…you may have just saved a friend of mine from a small mid life crisis. He maintains a personal blog documenting the rehab of his home. You might like the recent posts. The last one even contains a calculator he built to quantify how much of your life can be wasted scraping wallpaper. He calls it the Wallpaper Mobile App (Misery Calculator)!

    Note – I have no affiliation with this blog.

  8. OMG Sharon this look almost too good to be true. It seems the last few rehabs we have been doing my contractors have run into wall paper nightmares. We are getting ready to start one that has wallpaper throughout so I am sending them this information now.

    Good timing and thanks. I will let you know how it goes.

  9. Robert Steele on

    I gave up on trying to remove wallpaper years ago. Now I just plaster straight over the top of it.

    The strangest wallpaper I ever saw was underneath another layer of wallpaper. It was gold and silver mushrooms on a green and orange background. Groovy man!

    • Robert –

      Now that just “screams the 70’s” doesn’t it? Silver was in a lot of the wallpaper, and orange and green were the “in” colors for carpet. Have you seen any old green appliances lately? Those were in about the same time. I just looked at a house yesterday that had green appliances, and the entire house hadn’t been updated (or cleaned) since the 70’s


  10. Amy Davidson on

    Perfect timing on this post — thanks! I’ve just ordered through It costs 4 cents more, but they’re offering free shipping.

    I’ll post again after I try it.

    Thanks again!!

    • Amazon has everything don’t they Amy? It’s just so easy to order from them too. Let me know how you like it.

      I went to my REIA meeting last night and someone said they had the same (good) luck using sheets of newspaper soaked with white vinegar. That wouldn’t cost much to use. But I was just trying to imagine the folks doing that job; they would smell terrible and have black newsprint all over them.


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