My house has vinyl base material attached to the walls in the laundry room and bathrooms. This material is glued directly to the drywall. It is presently unclear if the glue was a pre-applied layer on the back of the base material or if the glue was applied in a separate step.

I want to know how to remove this base material with minimal damage to the underling drywall. Previous experience in another house has shown that the outright brute force removal of the base material will rip the paper off the drywall leaving a huge mess to repair.

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2 Answers 2


The problem is that the glue sticks to the paper better than the paper sticks to the gypsum. You need to weaken the glue.

As an experiment, try heating up a small patch with a blow drier and see if it works. If it does, go out and buy an electric heat gun.

  • I've accepted this answer because the idea to warm up the base material is a good one. Even if it ends up not working I'll be no worse off that just grabbing and ripping it off.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 3:40
  • 3
    Whether this works or not is based on the type of adhesive used. If they used something like Liquid Nails then when you heat it up, you make a big mess. The adhesive can spread and basically sticks to the drywall. Then you have to scrape the stuff off the drywall and its a big mess. I like just pulling because usually the adhesive stays on the trim and pulls drywall off. Easy to fill divots, not easy to clean up and fix a blob of adhesive. Can you tell I have made this mistake a few times?
    – DMoore
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 3:49
  • @dmoore that's why I suggested an experimental patch first. To see what he's getting into. Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 10:56

Buy tall trim to cover up the glue issues or just skim coat the whole area. You will spend more time tying to get this off clean then ripping and skim coating the area.

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