How to Remove Paint from Wallpaper? Easy Ways to Fix the Walls

Remove Paint from Wallpaper
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: August 15, 2023
  • Updated On: September 18, 2023

Painting a room can always bring a fresh perspective to any living space. But what if paint finds its way into the wallpaper? No matter if it’s a small splatter or a big blow to the wall, knowing how to remove paint from wallpaper can save you from costly wallpaper renewals. If you can learn how to paint over wallpaper, you can easily get how to remove paint from the wallpaper, it’s not a big deal. 

Let us walk you through some effective ways for removing paint over wallpaper to maintain your living space’s aesthetics. We will discuss how to remove dried paint from wallpaper or how to tackle stubborn acrylic paint stains.  

3 Different Wallpaper Types for Walls

Understanding different types of wallpapers can be a huge help.  Each wallpaper requires a different approach when it comes to removing paint from the wallpaper. 

Following are some of the most common wallpaper types: 

1. Vinyl Wallpaper

The vinyl wallpaper is made of printed paper with coated layered vinyl. This wallpaper is in use mostly because of its high durability due to its water-resistant nature. So it’s easy to clean vinyl wallpaper properly. 

However, during paint removal, you should be careful and try to avoid damaging the wallpaper. 

2. Fabric Wallpaper

These types of wallpapers are mold-resistant, porous, and can be removed easily. However, fabric wallpapers are not moisture-prone but more delicate than other wallpapers. 

If you try to remove paint from a fabric wallpaper carelessly, it can be easily damaged in the process. 

3. Paper-Based Wallpaper

These wallpapers are made of different types of materials, like mylar, bamboo, etc. Paper-based wallpapers are environmental-friendly, so you don’t have to worry much about replacing them from time to time. 

However, a paper-based wallpaper is most sensitive to humidity and moisture. When removing paint over wallpaper, you should avoid getting the wallpaper too wet as it can be damaged easily. 

7 Easy Steps to Remove Paint Over Wallpaper 

If you have got paint seeping into your wallpaper, or the general appearance of wallpaper is damaged due to paint, don’t worry! You can easily remove paint at home by following some easy steps: 

1. Gather the Appropriate Tools

No matter what kind of wallpaper you have, gather the following tools before starting the project:

  • Clean clothes: for wiping and blotting the wallpaper.
  • Plastic Scraper: to lift the extra paint gently without damaging the wallpaper.
  • Dish Soap: mix some mild dish soap with water to clean the wallpaper. 
  • Alcohol: get alcohol to dissolve paint stains quickly without damaging the wallpaper. 
  • Cotton Swabs: for cleaning delicate wallpaper edges and corners. 
  • Lukewarm Water: to clean the paper-based wallpaper.
Appropriate painting Tools

2. Assess the Damage to the Wallpaper

The most important step is to evaluate the damage to the wallpaper you are dealing with. You can look for the extent of the paint spill and how much time you will require removing paint over wallpaper. 

3. Scrape the Paint Gently 

Scape off any excess paint from the wallpaper’s surface using a plastic scraper. However, stay vigilant and don’t apply too much pressure. If not careful, you may damage the wallpaper even more. 

Scraping is an important step when you remove a painted popcorn ceiling as well. So if you have a popcorn ceiling, use an extra set of precautions. 

4. Use a Clean Cloth for Blotting

Now that you have scraped off the excess paint, use a clean cloth to blot the remaining stain. Do not rub vigorously at this step. It can spread the paint even further and you may create a mess. 

5. Use Alcohol for Removing Stains

If the paint stain persists even after blotting with a clean cloth, take a different cloth and dampen it with some alcohol. Before using it over the paint stain, test a small area of the wall to see if the alcohol causes further discoloration. If you see any discoloration, don’t use the alcohol.  

6. Use Dish Soap for Further Cleaning

The remaining paint stain can be removed using a mild dish soap mixed with water. You can use this mixture to gently blot the stain until it disappears completely. 

7. Rinse with Lukewarm Water

After you are done removing the stain, rinse the wallpaper with lukewarm water to remove any soap residue. 

However, keep in mind that this step is only good for vinyl and fabric wallpapers. You should try to avoid applying excessive moisture to paper-based wallpapers. 

4 Crucial Steps to Remove Dried Paint from Wallpaper

Removing dried paint from your wallpapers requires a slightly different approach. Following are the step to remove dried paint: 

1. Apply Heat to the Wallpaper

Evaluate the dried paint on the wallpaper and the time needed to remove it. It will also depend on the kind of wallpaper you have, as dried paint is more challenging to remove.  

After assessing, warm the dried paint using a hairdryer in a low-heat setting. It will soften the dried pain, and you can scrape it off. 

2. Do a Scraping and Blotting Cycle

After heating, the paint will soften a bit. Now you can use a plastic scraper to scrape it and a clean cloth to blot and lift the softened paint.

paint scraping on wall

3. Use Alcohol for the Stains

If the paint remnants are still there even after heating, scraping, and blotting, repeat the alcohol process discussed above to remove the paint stain. 

4. Repeat the Process If Deemed Necessary

The dried paint is almost stubborn and may take many rounds of scaping and blotting. So, repeat the process if needed.

5 Easy Steps to Remove Acrylic Paint from Wallpaper

If you have acrylic paint on the wallpapers, you are in for a tough job despite its durability. However, it’s a challenge when it comes to removing paint over acrylic paint. 

Let’s proceed with some easy steps: 

1. Time to Act Fast

If you have acrylic paint spilling and seeping into your wallpaper, act fast. The more time the paint spends on the wallpaper unattended, the more it will be hard for you to manage it. 

2. Use Blotting for Excess Paint

Do the entire blotting process to clean up as much of the wet acrylic paint as you can. However, avoid rubbing at this point to avoid the paint spread. 

3. Use Alcohol or Acetone for Stains

The stubborn acrylic paint can get dissolved using alcohol. You can get isopropyl alcohol or acetone to remove the excess paint and stains. 

However, these alcohols can damage your wallpaper, so try a patch test before proceeding. 

4. Rinse with Water

After using the alcohol, rinse the wallpaper with water. After that, use a clean cloth to dry the wallpaper. 

5. Try Poultice Method 

If you have stubborn acrylic stains on the wallpaper that won’t go away no matter how much you try, consider using the poultice method. 

Create a poultice mixture by mixing one part baking soda and one part water. Make a paste, apply this paste to the stain, let it rest on it for a while, and then wipe it away gently. Keeping your wallpaper clean is the general rule of installing the wallpapers

Restore Wallpaper as Good as New

Don’t worry if your wall has gone through a paint explosion. It doesn’t have to spoil the beauty of your wallpaper. Even if it’s wet paint, dried paint, or stubborn acrylic paint stains, you can work on the paint removal process to restore your wallpaper’s originality and aesthetics. 


  • How Do You Remove Dried Paint from the Wallpaper?
    You can easily remove dried paint from the wallpaper at home. Make sure to gather the necessary paint tools and supplies. Start by gently scraping the dried paints using a plastic scraper. After that, use an alcohol-dipped cloth to remove the paint stain, and then blot the area with a clean cloth. Rinse with water if the wallpaper is vinyl or fabric based, and voila! Your wallpaper is good as new.
  • What is the Easiest Way to Remove Paint Fast?
    The easiest way to remove paint fast involves using heat, as it can soften the dried paint and then you can scrape it off easily. 
  • How Can Alcohol Help in Removing the Paint from Wallpaper?
    Alcohol is a great supply to remove paint stains from the wallpaper due to its solvent properties. It causes fewer moisture-based problems so it serves greatly for delicate wallpaper. When using alcohol for removing paint stains, always do a patch test to ensure the alcohol doesn’t discolor or damage the wallpaper. 
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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.