How Much Does Wallpaper Removal Cost?

Typical Range:

$421 - $1,188

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,832 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated September 12, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Most homeowners typically spend between $421 and $1,188 to remove wallpaper, or an average of $786. Wallpaper removal costs around $1 to $3 per square foot in labor and roughly $50 to $100 in materials. Costs could range anywhere from $140 to $1,540 for same-size rooms based on the age and type of wallpaper, the number of paper layers, and ease of access.

Replacing old, dated, or damaged wallpaper can transform a room from dull and drab to fresh and modern. Removing existing wallpaper can be lengthy and labor-intensive, with several factors influencing the cost. Below is a breakdown of what you can expect to budget for this project.

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National Average $786
Typical Range $421 - $1,188
Low End - High End $200 - $2,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,832 HomeAdvisor members.

Average Cost of Wallpaper Removal by Room

Different rooms have different shapes and sizes, as well as extra features that could tack on additional labor costs. These include attached appliances, vaulted ceilings, and built-in furniture such as shelving and bathtubs. Here’s what your wallpaper removal cost could look like for these rooms.

Room Average Cost Range to Remove Wallpaper
Living room $230 – $3,080
Kitchen $180 – $2,050
Bathroom $120 – $1,080
Foyer $90 – $700
Bedroom $140 – $1,540

Living Room 

Removing wallpaper from the living room costs between $230 and $3,080. These rooms may have vaulted ceilings, multiple layers from previous wallpaper applications, or vintage wallpaper that might be more difficult to remove. 

Kitchen

Kitchens can be trickier when it comes to wallpaper removal, with costs ranging from $180 to $2,050. Extra labor charges might come from working around corners and insets and moving appliances. Kitchens are also more likely to have vaulted ceilings or vintage wallpaper, both of which can add to your bill.

Bathroom

Bathroom wallpaper room removal costs anywhere from $120 to $1,080. Prices might be higher due to the need to move toilets or tubs. Larger primary baths and those with vaulted ceilings will fall on the higher end of this cost range. Due to the chronically damp environment, it’s also common to discover mold, so you may need to budget extra to cover mold removal costs

Foyer

Foyers are smaller spaces that cost between $90 and $700 on average for wallpaper removal. Two-story foyers and those with stairwells will cost more.

Bedroom

Removing wallpaper from the bedroom costs around $140 to $1,540 and is fairly forgiving when it comes to obstacles. But it’s typically more spacious and might have vaulted ceilings as well. You’ll pay the most for primary bedrooms due to the larger size.  

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Cost of Removing Wallpaper per Square Foot

How much does it cost to remove wallpaper? Most contractors charge around $3 per square foot to remove wallpaper, possibly going as low as $0.60 per square foot for simple jobs. Costs may exceed this range if the project is more involved. For example, a contractor may charge a higher rate if you need to remove several layers of vintage wallpaper from an unprimed wall.

Below are the average costs for these square footage. Be sure to factor in an extra $50 to $100 for material costs. 

Total Sq. Ft. Average Cost Range to Remove Wallpaper (Excluding Materials)
20 $12 – $60
50 $30 – $150
100 $60 – $300
200 $120 – $600
300 $180 – $900
400 $240 – $1,200
500 $300 – $1,500

Wallpaper Removal Cost Breakdown

Since wallpaper removal is a lengthy and involved process, most of your costs for this project will come from labor. Basic materials add a small percentage, while the need for scaffolding, ladders, and equipment rental will cost more.

Labor Cost to Remove Wallpaper

Labor costs fall between $1 to $3 per square foot but can go as low as $0.60 per square foot. For longer and more difficult jobs, prices may go higher than $3 per square foot.

Materials

Material costs for removing wallpaper typically fall between $50 and $100. You may see material costs on your bill for things like scrapers, wallpaper strippers, scoring tools, and possibly equipment rental for steaming and taller ceilings.

Professional Wallpaper Stripping or Removal Costs

The removal method can impact your wallpaper removal cost. Stripping the wallpaper is the most straightforward and inexpensive, while soaking and steaming will increase your project price.

Cost to Strip Wallpaper

Stripping is the simplest and least expensive wallpaper removal method, generally costing between $0.60 and $1.50 per square foot. There is little prep work or cleanup required, which saves labor costs.

Soaking and Scraping It Off

You might pay between $1 and $3 per square foot if your wallpaper isn’t strippable, as there’s much more work involved to remove it. Your local wallpaper removal pro will start by scoring the paper, then adding water or an agent to dissolve the glue. Once the paper is loose, the contractor will either peel the panels off the wall or use a putty knife to scrape the paper off, as well as any leftover adhesive. 

Steaming

Steaming wallpaper is a similar process to scraping but uses an electric steamer to loosen the paper instead of a liquid agent. If a contractor must rent a steamer, this could increase the cost by around $50.

Wallpaper Removal and Painting Cost

Wallpaper removal costs about $3 per square foot, or about $540 for a 144-square-foot room. The cost to paint a room ranges from $380 to $800.

Many local painters and handypeople provide these services, so you can hire the same pro for both jobs. Keep in mind that it may take a few days before you can paint since the wall may be wet after you remove the wallpaper.

Wallpaper Removal Cost Factors

Several factors play into the cost of wallpaper removal. Here are the variables that have the biggest impact on your final bill. 

Drywall vs. Plaster

Drywall soaks up water and requires extra care to avoid water damage, so this type of wall will typically cost more. On the other hand, plaster walls tolerate more water, making wallpaper removal generally quicker and easier. Your costs may be lower if you have this type of wall. 

Wallpaper Type

Different types of wallpaper have varying levels of difficulty when it comes to removal, with the easiest being modern peel-and-stick varieties. Traditional porous wallpapers have medium difficulty, as these allow liquids to easily penetrate for optimal steaming, soaking, or chemical stripping. The trickiest to remove is vinyl-coated wallpaper, which is non-porous and requires scoring beforehand.

Wall Condition

The cost to repair a wall after removing wallpaper may significantly impact the overall price of the project. This factor is most important for those who plan to paint afterward.

Wall Height

Higher walls mean higher labor costs for wallpaper removal. Aside from covering a larger surface area, additional charges may result from a pro having to use a ladder to reach.

Age

Older adhesives on wallpaper might be more difficult to remove, whether due to hardening or stronger formulas. Wallpaper can also become brittle over time and more difficult to strip away in one piece. For this reason, older wallpaper may carry higher labor costs for removal.

Wallpaper Layers

It's common for homeowners to layer new wallpaper over old wallpaper to change up the look. Since these additional layers make removal more difficult, they'll often incur extra labor charges.

DIY vs. Hiring a Wallpaper Removal Service

Wallpaper removal is a straightforward but messy and tedious process, especially for first-timers. While DIY saves money, it tacks on extra time and effort, plus it risks damage and imperfections from improper removal. Hiring a wallpaper removal service ensures a hassle-free job with flawless results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can a handyperson do stripping and removal?

Yes, a handyperson near you can take on the task of wallpaper removal. As a bonus, they can also take care of any needed wall repairs afterward, as well as other odd jobs around the house. If you have high ceilings, ask whether they own ladders or scaffolding to do the job or will need to rent equipment.

How do I know what kind of walls I have?

Determine whether you have plaster walls or drywall by doing one of the following:

  • Insert a thumbtack in the wall. Drywall is soft and will allow the pin to push through with minimal effort, while plaster walls are more rigid and difficult to pin without the help of a hammer. 

  • Feel your wall. Plaster is harder, colder, and smoother than drywall.

  • Tap on the wall. Drywall sounds hollow, while plaster doesn't. 

Plaster walls are typically found in older homes, so your home's age can also be a helpful indicator.

How long does it take to remove wallpaper?

Wallpaper removal can take several hours to several days or more, depending on the project. Vaulted ceilings, larger surface areas, hard-to-reach spaces, and multiple layers are among the top factors affecting how long it takes. In addition, unique-shaped rooms or walls that may need several repairs will also affect the project time span.

Can you paint over wallpaper?

Yes, you can paint over wallpaper in many cases, although it’s a better idea to remove it altogether. Try steaming the paper first to see if it easily comes off. If it’s extremely stuck on and will only come off in pieces, painting over it may be a viable option. Wash the walls first and prime them with an oil- or shellac-based primer for smooth, beautiful results.

How much does wallpaper installation cost?

Wallpaper installation costs between $320 and $780 on average, with most pros charging by the roll or foot. Prices vary based on factors such as the size of the room, the type of wallpaper, its material, and whether there’s damage to fix beforehand. Installation rates will increase if you opt for luxurious wallpaper brands, such as De Gournay, Calico, and Pierre Frey.