How To Remove Wallpaper

When carrying out DIY work, there are some tricky jobs that just can’t be avoided. A great example of this is stripping old wallpaper – what goes up must come down. While we can’t make the job any more fun, hopefully this blog will make it easier!

There are two main methods that you can use for removing wallpaper: using a chemical stripping solution, and using a steam wallpaper stripper. Depending on how much wallpaper there is and how easy it is to remove. We’re going to run you through both techniques…


Prepare the Room

  1. Remove as much from the room as you can, as this is a messy job. For furniture that is too big to remove, cover with dust sheets and place in the middle of the room.
  2. Remove everything from the walls, including vents. For sockets and light switches, cover them with plastic sheets and masking tape.
  3. Although these are covered, turn off the electricity to the room for extra precaution, in case of water still entering the sockets.
  4. Use a socket tester to verify the power is dead
  5. To protect the floor, lay dust sheets up against the wall. As you strip the wallpaper, remove the scraps often as they can be hard to remove from fabric once dried.

Chemical Stripping Solution

Chemical stripping solution can be bought as a spray or as a bottle, and sometimes may need diluting so make sure to read the instructions before application. These products will loosen the adhesive, making peeling the wallpaper an easier job. However, these are easier for smaller areas with less wallpaper as it is pretty time-consuming!

  1. Firstly, score the wallpaper with a hobby knife, which will allow the solution to reach the backing paper and dissolve the adhesive more effectively. Take care not to cut into the wall.
  2. Following the bottle’s instructions, soak the paper in the solution, either using a spray nozzle or a sponge. Then leave it for 5-10 minutes to allow the adhesive to loosen from the wall.
  3. Using a 3-inch scraper, start to remove the wallpaper in short and sharp movements. In order not to scratch the wall itself, keep an even pressure on the scraper to keep it flat against the wall.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have removed all the wallpaper.
  5. Before redecorating the wall, it’s important that you clean it of any excess residue.
  6. Score the corners between the wall and ceiling to prevent the ceiling from being damaged. Once the majority of wallpaper has been cleared, use wallpaper stripper to remove stubborn wallpaper residue. Wipe the walls with a cloth or rag and check whether parts of the walls need repairing once they’re completely dry. Once these repairs have been completed, the room should be ready for decorating!

Steam Wallpaper Stripper

A steam wallpaper stripper is an electrical machine that comprises a tank and hose that are connected to a steam plate. The steamer more-or-less melts the adhesive. It’s much quicker and more effective than using chemical stripping solution, and is available to hire from our Sydenhams Hire Centres.

  1. Firstly, score the wallpaper with a hobby knife, which will allow the steam to reach the backing paper and dissolve the adhesive more effectively. Take care not to cut into the wall.
  2. Fill the wallpaper stripper with water, which will then be heated in the tank once turned on. When it reaches boiling point, it will start to send steam through the steam plate.
  3. Hold the steam plate against the wall for 10-15 seconds at a time, starting from the bottom to allow the steam to rise up the wall. Don’t hold the plate on for too long, or it will start to soak and damage the plaster underneath.
  4. When the wallpaper around the steam plate appears damp, begin removing the wallpaper with a 3-inch scraper from the bottom in short and sharp movements. In order not to scratch the wall itself, keep an even pressure on the scraper to keep it flat against the wall.
  5. Score the corners between the wall and ceiling to prevent the ceiling from being damaged. Once the majority of wallpaper has been cleared, use wallpaper stripper to remove stubborn wallpaper residue. Wipe the walls with a cloth or rag and check whether parts of the walls need repairing once they’re completely dry. Once these repairs have been completed, the room should be ready for decorating!

If you ever need help with any Painting or Decorating in your home, you’ve come to right place… Don't hesitate to get in touch with us about any of the products mentioned above - we will do our best to help you!

 

The above article was published on 29th July 2021, and is subject to change and further guidance. 

 

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