Wallpaper Removal

Wallpaper removal is an essential aspect of renovating and updating commercial properties. Whether it’s an office building, a restaurant, or a retail store, interior aesthetics play a crucial role in creating the right impression. Old, peeling, or outdated wallpaper can significantly detract from the professional appearance of a commercial property in San Ramon. This article explores the process, considerations, and benefits of wallpaper removal in commercial spaces.

Understanding the Process

Even though removing wallpaper seems like it should be simple to do, it often turns out to be challenging, depending upon the type of wallpaper that is being removed and the skill of the person removing it. Since it can be challenging, it is common for commercial properties to hire a wallpaper removal service to complete the task. 

Part of the reason removing wallpaper can be so challenging is because older buildings often have wallpaper that has been on the walls for decades. It typically involves several steps to remove it:

  1. Preparation: This includes moving or covering furniture and ensuring floors are protected. Proper preparation is key to avoiding damage and ensuring a smooth process.
  2. Testing: A small section of the wallpaper is moistened to evaluate how easily it can be removed. This step helps in determining the right approach, whether it’s a simple peel or a more complex process requiring solvents or steamers.
  3. Removal Techniques: Depending on the wallpaper type and adhesive used, various methods can be employed. These include using chemical strippers, steaming, or dry-stripping. Each method requires specific tools and precautions to prevent damage to the underlying wall.
  4. Cleanup and Wall Preparation: After removal, the walls need to be cleaned and prepped for painting or new wallpaper. This might involve repairing any damage, sanding, and applying a primer.

Challenges and Considerations

The time required to remove wallpaper in a commercial property can vary widely depending on several factors. Firstly, the size of the area where the wallpaper needs to be removed is a primary determining factor. A larger space, such as a sizable office or a commercial building with multiple rooms, will naturally take more time compared to a smaller, single-room business. Secondly, the type of wallpaper and the method of application play a significant role. Older wallpaper or those applied with strong adhesives can be more time-consuming to remove. In some cases, wallpaper that has been painted over or multiple layers applied over the years can add complexity to the job, thereby extending the time required for removal.

Another factor is the condition of the underlying walls and the type of removal process used. If the walls are in poor condition or if the wallpaper removal requires careful handling to avoid damage, this can slow down the process. Methods like steaming or using solvents, which are often necessary for more stubborn wallpaper, can be more time-consuming compared to simply peeling off easily removable wallpaper. Additionally, if the commercial space is in use and requires work to be done after hours or in stages to accommodate business operations, this can extend the overall timeline.

In general, for a standard-sized room in a commercial property, wallpaper removal can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. However, for larger spaces or more complex projects, it could take several days or even a week. It’s important for property owners to consult with professional wallpaper removal services to get a more accurate estimate based on the specific details of their project. These professionals can assess the scope of work and provide a realistic timeline, ensuring minimal disruption to the business.

Pros and Cons of DIY Wallpaper Removal

wallpapers with spatula

Pros of Removing the Wallpaper Yourself

1. You are in control of the budget for the task. 

If you are removing the wallpaper yourself, or have employees doing it, you are better able to control the money being spent. You will be able to choose which tools to purchase for removing the wallpaper, and what products are needed if you decide to install new wallpaper, or if you will paint the areas where the wallpaper has been removed. You will be able to choose how many employees are working on the task and how long they will work each day.

2. You Can Work According to Your Schedule.

It will take a bit of time to remove wallpaper, and depending upon how many walls have wallpaper, it could take several weeks or months. But, if you don’t have a lot of free time, you can plan to remove the wallpaper in stages, or do one wall per day or room per day, until it is removed entirely. Of course, if you plan to do the work yourself, or have employees helping, you want to ensure they all understand the process of removing the wallpaper, so it is done correctly and with as little damage to the walls as possible.

Cons of Removing the Wallpaper Yourself

1. It Takes Time to Remove Wallpaper

As stated above, it helps to understand that even though you can remove wallpaper from your commercial property when you are free to do so, it can take quite a bit of time to complete one room. If your commercial property is an apartment or senior living facility, how much of an inconvenience will it be for residents? Granted, if you can wait to remove the wallpaper until the apartment or rooms are unoccupied, it would be best, but sometimes that’s not always possible.

2. It Can Cost More Than You Expect

When you’re removing wallpaper on your own, you may not realize the tools that are required to do the job. If you don’t already have these tools available, you will need to purchase them before you begin removing the wallpaper from your property. You may be surprised by the costs associated with having to get them at one time to begin the work.

Removing wallpaper effectively requires a set of specific tools to ensure the process is efficient and minimizes damage to the underlying wall. The essential toolkit includes a scoring tool to perforate the wallpaper, allowing solvents or steam to penetrate and loosen the adhesive. A broad putty knife or a wallpaper scraper is crucial for gently lifting and peeling the wallpaper from the wall. For applying solvents or water, a spray bottle or a garden sprayer can be very handy, especially for larger areas. A steamer is another useful tool, particularly for stubborn, old wallpaper that is difficult to remove with solvents alone. Additionally, a bucket, sponges, and cloth are needed for applying water and cleaning solutions, as well as for wiping down the walls after the wallpaper is removed. It’s also advisable to have protective gear, like gloves and safety glasses, to protect against chemicals and debris. For high areas, a stable ladder or scaffolding may be necessary. Having these tools at hand can facilitate the wallpaper removal process, making it smoother and more efficient.

How to Know if You Need to Hire Someone

It is helpful to know when it is best to hire someone to remove the wallpaper for your property instead of doing it yourself. It also helps to know that a professional with experience removing wallpaper will already have the tools and will know the best way to remove the wallpaper quickly and efficiently. Here are some clear indications that hiring someone makes sense.

1. The Wallpaper Doesn’t Remove Easily

If wallpaper has been on the walls for years, it could be difficult to remove on your own. Another aspect of this type of wallpaper is that it will leave behind glue residue which is difficult to remove. If this is the case in which you find yourself, hiring an experienced wallpaper removal company to do the job will ensure the residue is removed and the wall under the wallpaper is undamaged.

2. Layers of Wallpaper to Remove

Some commercial properties choose to recover old wallpaper rather than taking the time to remove it before adding new. If this is the case, it can be difficult to remove multiple layers. With the right professional removal service in San Ramon, they have the knowledge and experience to remove those layers in less time than you would be able to do it. If you plan to add new wallpaper in the future, it would be best to remove the old wallpaper to avoid having a similar issue again. 

3. Wallpaper Added to Difficult to Reach Areas

Many commercial properties, regardless of if they are offices, hotels, or other facilities, have very tall walls in the lobby. Or the wallpaper was installed in areas on the wall that are harder-to-reach that your hand may not easily fit. Professional wallpaper removers or commercial painters in San Ramon, CA, will have the right tool to remove the wallpaper and install new, if needed.

Advantages of Using Professional Help to Remove Wallpaper

Hiring a professional wallpaper removal company for commercial properties comes with a host of advantages, paramount among them being expertise and efficiency. These companies bring a level of proficiency and experience that is hard to match in DIY projects. They are equipped with the right tools and techniques to manage distinct types of wallpaper, from the traditional to the more modern and stubborn varieties. Professionals are adept at assessing the best approach for removal, whether it involves steaming, chemical applications, or dry-stripping, ensuring the wallpaper is removed effectively without damaging the underlying surfaces. This expertise is particularly valuable in commercial settings where walls may be larger and surfaces more varied than in residential properties.

Another significant advantage is time-saving and minimal disruption to business operations. Wallpaper removal can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, particularly in larger commercial spaces. Professional companies can deploy teams to complete the job much faster than a DIY approach, often with the ability to work around the business’s schedule, thereby minimizing any disruption to daily operations. This aspect is crucial for businesses that cannot afford prolonged downtime or disruption.

Furthermore, professional removal companies often offer comprehensive services that include not only removing the wallpaper but also preparing the walls for their next finish, whether that’s new wallpaper, paint, or another treatment. This means the business owner receives an all-encompassing service that ensures the walls are not only stripped of old wallpaper but are also primed and ready for the next step in the renovation process. Additionally, when you hire professionals it provides peace of mind, as most reputable companies carry insurance to cover any potential damage during the removal process, offering an extra layer of security and protection for the business owner. In summary, while the DIY route might seem to be cost-effective, the benefits of hiring a professional wallpaper removal company – in terms of expertise, efficiency, and overall quality of work – are often well worth the investment for commercial properties.


Wallpaper removal is a valuable investment in the maintenance and aesthetic appeal of commercial properties. It’s an essential step in creating a welcoming and professional environment for customers and employees alike. By understanding the process and considering professional services, business owners can ensure a successful renovation project that breathes new life into their commercial spaces.

Call Custom Painting, Inc. at 925-866-9610 to discuss removing wallpaper at your facility. Or you can fill out the Contact form and we’ll get back with you to discuss your needs.