Piranha Wallpaper Removal

Removing wallpaper used to mean hours spent soaking paper with a sponge, then scraping to remove bits of paper and glue.

What is a Piranha?

Tools like the Piranha wallpaper scoring tool make the time spent removing wallpaper go much quicker, allowing you to repaper or paint your walls in a matter of hours rather than days.

The Piranha wallpaper removal tool is a round plastic tool that features small, sharp blades that are released when the tool is pressed to a wall in a circular motion. These blades score the wallpaper, allowing water or chemical strippers to penetrate the surface of the wallpaper and reach the liner and glue underneath.

Why Use a Piranha?

Washable, vinyl and foil or other coated wallpapers are often difficult to remove. Soaking these papers with water or chemical wallpaper strippers rarely penetrates the paper's surface. Scoring the paper is the best way to allow water or strippers to reach the liner and glue behind the wallpaper, but doing this with a razor blade or other single-bladed tool is time consuming and painstaking. Tools like the Piranha, which contain multiple sharp edges, are capable of scoring larger areas of paper quickly and are safer than sharp, exposed blades.

Tips for Using a Piranha to Remove Wallpaper

Remove as much furniture from the room as possible before removing wallpaper. Cover the remaining pieces.

Start from the top down when scoring wallpaper with a scoring tool like the Piranha. After scoring the paper, cover the baseboards, and consider covering the floor with a plastic drop cloth, which will both protect the floor and allow for easy cleanup of wallpaper stripped from the walls.

Turn off electrical outlets at the circuit breaker before applying water or a chemical agent to the wall to loosen the paper.

While commercial wallpaper removal chemicals are available at most home improvement stores, often paper can be removed by soaking with water alone, or with a mixture of three parts water to one part vinegar. Water alone or a water and vinegar mixture can be applied by wiping the walls with a wet sponge or cloth, or by spraying it from a spray bottle. Follow manufacturer's directions when applying wallpaper removal chemicals.

When applying a water/vinegar solution or chemical wallpaper remover, use eye protection and gloves. Apply water, water/vinegar solution or chemical wallpaper removers from the top down. Allow paper to soak for at least 30 minutes before removing. Use a plastic scraping tool to remove paper, liner, and paste from walls. Wash down walls before repapering or painting.

About the Author

A writer and information professional, J.E. Cornett has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lincoln Memorial University and a Master of Science in library and information science from the University of Kentucky. A former newspaper reporter with two Kentucky Press Association awards to her credit, she has over 10 years experience writing professionally.