Do You Have to Remove or Replace Wallpaper, or Can You Cover It?

Wallpaper serves as a canvas for homes or businesses, adding personality, texture, and style to certain spaces. However, there are times when property owners contemplate the decision to remove or replace their wallpapers. This decision is driven by different factors, such as changing design preferences, wear and tear, or the desire to refresh the look of a room. 

Choosing whether to remove, replace, or cover a wallpaper can be challenging for property owners and DIY enthusiasts. Each option comes with its own set of considerations, from the condition of the existing wallpaper to your design preferences and budget constraints. That is why, in this article, we are going to explore the pros and cons of these choices, helping you make an informed decision on whether to remove, replace, or simply cover your wallpaper to achieve the look you want for your space. 

Everything You Need to Know about Removing and Replacing Wallpaper Infographic

Removing Wallpaper vs. Painting/Covering It

When it comes to revitalizing the walls of your living space, you are faced with a fundamental decision: whether you should remove the existing wallpaper or opt for the alternative of painting or covering it. Both of these options have their advantages, and the choice you make depends on different factors, such as your personal preferences, the condition of the current wallpaper, and your budget.

Removing Wallpaper

  • Fresh Start: Removing wallpaper can provide you with a clean slate. It completely strips away the old design, allowing you to start anew with a fresh and blank canvas for your interior décor.
  • Design Freedom: Removing wallpaper gives you the freedom to choose from different wall treatments, including various paint colors, textures, and materials. Your design possibilities are virtually endless.
  • Addressing Damage: If the existing wallpaper is damaged, outdated, or peeling, it is better to remove it. Repairing or covering damaged wallpaper may not yield satisfactory results.
  • LongTerm Solution: If you are planning to stay in your space for the long term, investing the time and effort in removing wallpaper can be a wise choice, as it allows for a more durable and customized finish.

Painting or Covering Wallpaper

  • Time and Cost-Efficient: Painting or covering over existing wallpaper is generally quicker and more cost-effective than removing it. It can be a practical choice if you’re on a tight budget and have limited time. 
  • Texture and Pattern Retention: If you appreciate the texture or pattern of your current wallpaper but want a different color or finish, painting or covering it allows you to retain those elements while updating the look. 
  • Temporary Makeover: If you’re looking for a temporary change or live in a rental property, painting or covering the wallpaper can be an ideal solution. You can easily revert to the original wallpaper when needed. 
  • Test Before You Commit: While it is an excellent way to experiment with a new look, if you are unsure about a specific color or style, trying it out with the irreversible commitment of removing the wallpaper is a good idea. 

Alternatives to Wallpaper

If you have decided not to install new wallpaper after removing the old one, there are plenty of creative alternatives to consider for revamping your interior walls. Below are a few ideas to inspire your next wall décor project:

  • Paint: One of the most classic and versatile options is to paint your walls. There is an endless array of colors and finishes to choose from, from bold and vibrant to soft and muted. You may also consider techniques like ombre, blocking, or stenciling to add interest and character.
  • Texture: You can create depth and dimension with textured paint, which can mimic the look of stucco, suede, or other materials. You also have the option to install wooden or decorative paneling for a timeless, rustic, or contemporary look. Aside from these, you may also choose to install beadboard, brick, or stone veneer. 
  • Wall Decals and Stickers: Vinyl wall decals and stickers come in different designs, including floral patterns, quotes, and geometric shapes. They are easy to apply and remove, making them a great choice for renters or those who like to change their décor frequently. 
  • Peel-and-Stick Wall Coverings: These are an excellent alternative to traditional wallpaper. These include different patterns, textures, and faux finishes like tile, wood, or marble. 
  • Gallery Wall: You may also create a captivating gallery wall by arranging a collection of art, photographs, or framed prints. This will also allow you to show your style and personality.
  • Floating Shelves: It is also a good idea to install floating shelves to display decorative items, plants, or books. These can add both storage and visual interest to the walls. 
  • Faux Finishes: You may experiment with faux finishes, such as granite, marble, or concrete, to achieve the look of these natural materials without the expense of labor. 

Hiring Professional Wallpaper Removal Services

vintage wallpaper

Suppose you are contemplating removing wallpaper from your walls but are concerned about the time, effort, or potential complications involved. In that case, it is essential to know that professional wallpaper removal services are available to help. Hiring professionals for this task can offer several advantages, making the process smoother and more efficient. Below are some of the benefits of hiring the services of experienced wallpaper removal professionals:

  • Expertise and Experience: Professional wallpaper removal services have the knowledge and experience to handle different types of wallpaper, including stubborn or old adhesive. They understand the best techniques and tools for efficient and damage-free removal. 
  • Time Savings: We’ve mentioned that wallpaper removal is a time-consuming task, and this is true, particularly if you lack experience. Professionals can finish the task quickly, allowing you to enjoy your newly refreshed space sooner.
  • Minimized Damage Risk: DIY wallpaper removal can sometimes lead to damage to walls, especially if the wallpaper is delicate or the adhesive is stubborn. Professionals are skilled when it comes to minimizing the risk of wall damage during the removal process. 
  • Proper Equipment: Wallpaper removal usually requires specialized tools, such as chemical solutions or steamers. Professional services are equipped with these tools, ensuring effective and safe removal. 
  • Preparation for New Wall Treatments: If you are thinking of painting, installing new wallpaper, or applying other wall treatments after removal, professionals can leave your walls in prime condition for the next step. They can also provide guidance on wall preparation.
  • Clean and Tidy Work: Wallpaper removal can generate a fair amount of mess, including wallpaper scraps and adhesive residue. Professionals ensure a clean and tidy workspace, saving you the hassle of cleanup. 
  • Avoidance of Health Risks: Depending on the age of the wallpaper and the adhesive used, there may be health risks associated with its removal. Professionals are aware of safety measures to minimize exposure to potentially harmful substances.
  • Cost-Efficiency: While hiring professionals may involve an upfront cost, it can be cost-effective in the long run. DIY attempts that result in wall damage or require rework can end up being more expensive.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your wallpaper removal project is in the hands of skilled professionals can provide peace of mind. You can trust that the job will be done efficiently and to a high standard.
  • Customized Solutions: Professionals can assess the specific requirements of your wallpaper removal project and tailor their approach accordingly. They can adapt to different wall types, wallpaper materials, and adhesive types.

Painter worker peeling off wallpaper


The decision to remove or replace wallpaper or explore alternative wall treatments is a significant one that should be based on your unique preferences, budget, and the condition of your current walls. Keep in mind that removing wallpaper can provide a fresh start and allow for complete design freedom, while painting or covering wallpaper can be a cost-effective and time-efficient solution. 

Suppose you decide to hire professional wallpaper removal services. In that case, you can benefit from their expertise, time savings, minimized damage risk, and the assurance of a clean and well-prepared surface for your next wall décor project. If you need wallpaper removal services, we have interior painters in Danville, CA, who can help you. If you want to know more about our services, you may call us at 925-866-9610 or fill out this form to schedule an appointment.