How To Remove Wallpaper

The removal of old wallpaper is something that we all hate to do but is essential before refreshing the room with new wallpaper or a fresh coat of paint. However, below we show you how to remove wallpaper with ease and minimal fuss.

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How To Remove Wallpaper
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When you are finally ready to begin removing old wallpaper, you have the choice of two removal methods, which include using a steam wallpaper stripper or a chemical solution.

By far the most popular is a steam stripper, which consists of a tank, hose and steam plate. To use this method, you simply boil the water in the tank and use the steam that travels through the hose to the plate to penetrate through the wallpaper. This has the effect of loosening the adhesive behind the wallpaper so that it can be easily stripped off. It’s the “go-to” method for removing stubborn wallpaper such as woodchip and is perfect for removing wallpaper in large areas or across multiple rooms with ease.

The alternative method of removing wallpaper is to use a chemical stripping solution, which often come in a ready to use formula. It works by dissolving the adhesive and doing most of the hard work for you. It’s a great method to use for small rooms or feature walls and you can even make your own homemade solution with fabric conditioner too.

Regardless to the method you wish to remove wallpaper, below is the process for both methods along with extra information to make the removal go as smoothly as possible.

What Else Is Required?

  • Wide stripping knife
  • Telescoping ladders or step ladders
  • Wallpaper steam stripper or chemical stripping solution
  • Dust sheets
  • Utility knife
  • Durable rubber gloves
  • Sponge or wash mitt
  • Masking tape
  • Bucket
  • Bin bags

Preparation Before Removing Wallpaper

Before you begin removing old wallpaper, you will want to prepare the room beforehand. The first bit of preparation should be to remove everything off the walls such as decorative objects, vents and so on. You will also want to clear other objects in the room and place everything in the centre and then cover it with a dust sheet for protection. You will also want to cover areas of the floor that may make picking up the removed wallpaper difficult i.e. carpet or rugs.

If you intend on using a wallpaper stripper, it’s also advised that you turn off the electricity to the room. The reason for this is the fact that water or steam may enter the sockets or switches and potentially cause the electricity to trip. It’s also advised that you protect any sockets or switches by using masking tape and plastic sheeting.

How To Remove Wallpaper Using A Wallpaper Stripper

  1. Score the wallpaper with a utility knife
  2. Fill the steamer with water and allow time for it to boil
  3. Work from the top down as hot water will gravitate downwards
  4. Hold the steam plate against the wall for 10 to 15 seconds
  5. Move the steamer to the next section and begin to scrape off the steamed area
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you are complete

How To Remove Wallpaper Using A Stripping Solution

  1. Score the wallpaper with a utility knife
  2. Spray the solution upon the old wallpaper
  3. Allow enough time for the solution to get to work
  4. Use a short movement to remove wallpaper with the stripping knife
  5. Apply more solution if it begins to get dry
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you are complete

Cleaning The Wall After Removal

Once you’ve finished removing the wallpaper, you may be left with small pieces of wallpaper and residue on the wall. Rather than leaving them, it’s advised that you remove them to smooth out the wall and make it ready for decorating.

The most efficient method of cleaning the wall is to use a broom and simply brush the walls. Hopefully this removes all the small pieces that are left behind. If there is any stubborn residue left upon the wall, it’s recommended that you use a wallpaper stripper solution upon the wall. Once everything is removed, you can then use a sponge and water to finish off the cleaning process.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

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