Aug. 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM ET
The sticky project of removing old wallpaper is a daunting one—but it's something you can totally tackle on your own. Here's how.
Before you get started, set up your work space. That includes covering the area with drop cloths and removing all the switch plates and outlet covers from the walls. Then make sure you cut the power to the room, advises the DIY Network. WikiHow suggests bringing in a halogen work lamp and a long extension cord if you'll be working in the evening. Next, use a wallpaper scorer to make holes in the paper that will allow your solution of choice to soak in.
There'a an all-natural, chemical-free and inexpensive way to remove wallpaper—and it makes use of ingredients you already have at home. According to About.com, you can mix equal parts vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to your wallpaper and and allow it to sit and soak in for 15 minutes. The acetic acid in the vinegar should work as a solvent to dissolve the paste.
Another approach that uses an ingredient you already have at home is the fabric softener method. The aptly named site Remove Wallpaper With Fabric Softener suggests mixing the softener with equal parts warm water and distributing it on the walls using a sponge, spray bottle or paint roller. Let it sit for 20 minutes before scraping.
No matter whether you use a commercially available wallpaper-removal solution or something you have at home, remove the paper by starting at a bottom corner and pulling a piece upward, according to the DIY Network. Aid the process by using a wide putty knife until it's all gone. Then mix a tablespoon of dish detergent with hot water in a bucket, and scrub the walls with a sponge to clean them. Rinse with water and a dry towel… and you're done!
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.