When we moved in, the bathroom had a wall paper border with a matching hand painted sink. Although I appreciate the efforts of the home’s previous owner. I prefer a less is more approach.
Having already removed wallpaper from other areas of the house, I knew just what I was doing. If wallpaper is hung over a well painted surface, removal is pretty straight forward, all you need is warm water in a spray bottle, a putty knife, a washcloth, and an empty garbage can.
If tackling multiple layers you may want to rent a steamer or use one of these things to help you saturate the layers. If your wallpaper was hung directly over drywall, with no priming or painting, just sit down now and cry. That’s what I’ve done.
Fortunately, my walls were pre-painted. I started by peeling off the top layer. This layer usually has a plastic like coating that prevents the water from penetrating.
Spray the white, back layer with warm water. I find cold doesn’t work as well. I also try to work in 2 areas simultaneously. While the water soaks into one side I scrape the other, then spray and trade back to the already saturated side.
Find the ‘grain’ of the paper. I found if I peeled left to right I could easily remove large swaths of the top layer at a time. From right to left I was only able to pull a short 3-4 inch section.
I also found that by spraying along the top of the border and letting it soak in from the top, I was able to remove an even larger area of the top layer.
After using the putty knife to easily peel off the bottom paper layer, I just used a warm, wet washcloth to wipe away any residue. Being extra careful to remove any and all residue.
I finished up my wall prep, by removing bathroom fixtures that I didn’t like, and patching all the remaining holes. I like to use this girly stuff that goes on pink, and turns white when it is ready to sand.
It’s white, time to sand.
The pink kind of spackle is paintable. Not all kinds of spackle are.
If you choose to use something different you must prime after sanding, before painting. Extra coats of paint will not make up for not priming. Yes I know this from previous DIY fails, thanks for asking.