Wallpaper is a great way to transform the aesthetics in your home, but it’s not for everyone. Whether you’re thinking about replacing the wallpaper in your home or removing it to pain the walls, having the right tool for the job is absolutely essential.
A wallpaper steamer using hot steam to loosen the adhesive securing the wallpaper to the wall. It’s a much faster alternative to scraping it off by hand, and the results are generally better as well. If you’re not sure you’ll get much use out of the device, you can always rent one.
If you’re looking for a wallpaper steamer, Home Depot is a great place to start but you’ll also find plenty of options on Amazon. In this guide we’ll discuss what a wallpaper steamer does, where to find one, and what to look for when you’re ready to start shopping.
What Does a Wallpaper Steamer Do?
A wallpaper steamer is a fairly simple device that uses steam to remove wallpaper. After scoring the wallpaper, you press a heated metal plate against it and release steam to soften the paper and loosen the adhesive underneath it. This process makes it much easier to scrape the wallpaper off.
Using a wallpaper steamer involves the following steps:
- Fill the steamer with hot water and let the device heat up.
- Create small perforations in the wallpaper using a wallpaper scoring tool.
- Starting at the top of the wall, hold the steam plate against the wallpaper until it softens.
- Move the steam plate to an adjacent area while scraping the softened wallpaper off.
- If you need to take a break, place the steam plate in a heatproof pan.
Every wallpaper steamer is unique, so it’s important to read the manual before you start. Popular models at Home Depot and other home improvement stores are fairly easy to use, but you could be burned by the hot steam if you don’t know how to use the tool properly.
For smaller jobs, the Wagner 715 or Wagner 725 wallpaper steamer at Home Depot could work well. These models are priced under $75 and include both large and small steam plates. The downside is the limited tank size. For bigger jobs, the Wagner 915 is an ideal choice. It runs for 45 minutes before a refill is needed, holds up to 40 ounces of water, and offers fingertip steam control for precision.
Should You Rent or Buy a Wallpaper Steamer?
When it comes to removing wallpaper, a steamer is typically the fastest, most effective method. If the wallpaper is very old and already peeling, you might be able to pull or scrape it off by hand. In most cases, however, you’ll be left with leftover bits of paper and adhesive. This might not be a problem if you’re applying another layer of wallpaper anyway, but it creates an uneven surface for painting.
Wallpaper steamers are a great investment if you do a lot of home remodeling, but the price may be more than you’re willing to spend for a single use. In that case, wallpaper steamer rental might be a better option. Think about the scope of the project to determine what size wallpaper steamer you need, then compare prices for purchase versus rental to decide which is the most economical solution. If you decide to rent a wallpaper steamer, Home Depot rentals are a great option.
The 3 Best Wallpaper Steamers
While Home Depot is a great place to get tools like a wallpaper steamer, the options are limited. Amazon offers a larger selection, including some of the same models you’d find at a home improvement store. We’ve done extensive research and scoured customer reviews to choose our favorites.
Here are three of the best wallpaper steamers on Amazon:
When tough jobs require tough tools, the Wagner Spraytech 915e multipurpose power steamer is what you need. This multipurpose steamer uses chemical-free steam to remove wallpaper and can also be used to clean a variety of household surfaces.
The Wagner Spraytech 915e multipurpose power steamer features a generous 40-ounce tank that heats the water to 212°F in under 9 minutes. The unit runs continuously for up to 40 minutes and comes equipped with an 8-foot steam hose and a set of 18 accessories and nozzles. Whether you’re removing wallpaper, cleaning grout, or doing other tasks around the house, this is the tool you need.
In addition to being a powerful multipurpose device, this wallpaper steamer offers a number of convenient features. A self-contained storage compartment keeps your accessories organized and an integrated carry handle makes transport easy. It also has an LED light to indicate when it is heated.
Weight: 13.12 pounds
Capacity: 40 oz.
Runtime: 40 minutes
Make quick work of even the most stubborn wallpaper with the Black + Decker 2400 wallpaper steamer. This model quickly and easily removes wallpaper from any flat surface and includes a pad to help remove vinyl, multi-layered, and textured coatings as well.
The Black + Decker 2400 wallpaper steamer is economically priced and easy to use. With a 4-liter tank and a 60-minute run time, you may be able to finish small to medium jobs in a single go. This model features a large steam plate to help save time and it weighs just 5.4 pounds, so you won’t exhaust yourself while using it.
This wallpaper steamer is designed with several safety functions. A safety release valve prevents the unit from overheating and a boil dry safety cut-out helps protect the unit from damage caused by high temperatures. Just keep in mind that the plug is designed for European outlets, so you may need an outlet adapter if you live in the United States.
Weight: 5.4 pounds
Capacity: 4 liters
Runtime: Up to 60 minutes
If you’re looking for an option like the previous model but with a plug compatible with American outlets, the Wagner Spraytech 725 is a solid choice. It offers an incredible 2-hour run time on a full tank and a generous 12-foot steam hose and a power cord of equal length.
The Wagner Spraytech 725 has a 1-gallon tank and comes with two steam plates for large and small job. The tank includes built-in backflow protection and an enhanced casing to keep the surface cool to the touch. This steamer is easy to transport and the unique discharge valve design allows for faster filling than other models.
Weight: 5.15 pounds
Capacity: 1 gallon
Runtime: Up to 2 hours
Whether you’re removing wallpaper just to replace it or trying to achieve a smooth surface for painting, a wallpaper steamer will make the task much easier. Wallpaper steamers aren’t prohibitively expensive, but if you don’t plan to use it repeatedly it might be worth considering a wallpaper steamer Home Depot rental. For large jobs or frequent home remodeling projects, however, it may be well worth the price.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a wallpaper steamer, you can always start with a rental to get used to using it or simply follow our recommendations and choose one of the models we’ve reviewed above.