How to remove the outdated wallpaper border in your RVDisclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase we may earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you. View our full-disclosure here.
I love our RV, but it didn’t always feel like “ours”. I sometimes forget that once upon a time it had floral bordered wallpaper in the kitchen and bathroom.
Yeah, definitely not my kinda style.
One question we get emailed quite often is how to remove the outdated wallpaper border, and the good news is it’s much easier than you may think.
However, before you start tearing at the walls of your RV you should know there’s a MAJOR difference between the wallpaper texture all of the walls have, and the bordered wallpaper added on top of that.
The interior walls of your motorhome are likely made of some sort of luan plywood that has a wallpaper texture adhered to them which is NOT removable, at least as far as I know. We just painted over ours.
This seems to be the case in most RV’s and campers, but I’ve seen some with wallpapered accent walls, so I would just look closely before attempting to pry it off.
How to remove the outdated wallpaper border in your RV
Here are the materials I used to remove the wallpaper border from our RV, but I’ll list some alternative options at the bottom of this post.
- Flathead Screw Driver or Paint Scraper
- Goo Gone (You could also use Krud Kutter, but NOT Goof Off!)
- Sponge or Rag
If you have any outlets where your border is, be sure to remove the covers first!
Eric and I planned to add a textured backsplash to our kitchen so we technically didn’t need to remove the wallpaper border in the first place. However, one day while working on another kitchen project I became curious about the border. Besides, it was an eyesore and I wanted to see what our kitchen would look like without it there.
I grabbed a nearby flathead screwdriver and starting at one edge of the wall I tried to lift the wallpaper.
Surprisingly it lifted off fairly easily and before I knew it I was unrolling the entire border in the kitchen. If you’re finding your wallpaper a bit more difficult to remove you can use a blowdryer to help loosen up the adhesive.
It took me less than 5 minutes.
I think Eric had run inside to grab something and when he came back the border was off.
I can’t remember if I was supposed to be doing something else, but I get sidetracked like that sometimes, woops.
While the border was super easy for us to remove, the sticky residue it left behind wasn’t so nice.
I grabbed some Goo Gone and a sponge and started wiping it down. I had to do this a few times and it worked pretty well. I later ended up wiping the wall down with some TSP as well.
In case you missed it, you can see our renovated tiny kitchen over on this post. Again, we didn’t actually need to remove the wallpaper in our kitchen, but at least it gave me some experience, haha.
Here’s a close up of the (painted) wood planked backsplash we installed later on:
Additional Options to Removing the RV Wallpaper Border Residue:
It seems that not everyone is so lucky when it comes to removing the wallpaper in their RV, so I wanted to share some additional options you may want to try.
Orange or Lemon Essential Oil
Some people swear by lemon, orange, or any other citrus essential oil for removing the residue. Bonus, it smells good! I wish I would have tried this out. If you do, definitely let me know how it goes!
I’ve heard that using Citrus Magic Air Freshener (not sure if the scent matters) can help remove the sticky residue.
Blowdryer or Portable Steamer:
If you’re having trouble lifting up the wallpaper border you can use a blowdryer or portable steamer to help loosen up the adhesive.
Spray Bottle with warm water and fabric softener mixed together:
If you’re having trouble removing the sticky residue left behind you can mix fabric softener with warm water into a spray bottle, spray the area, wait a few minutes and then wipe it off with a sponge or rag. Bonus: it will make your RV smell nice too.
After using Goo Gone you can wipe the area down with Alcohol.
This is another option that may help you remove the sticky residue.
You can try using sandpaper to smooth out the adhesive if the other options still don’t work
You can wipe your walls down with TSP, which is extra helpful if you plan to paint the wall afterward anyway.
I hope you found this post useful, did you remove the outdated wallpaper border in your RV and if yes, do you have any tips to share, we would love to hear about them in the comments below!