Right for our next blog post we thought we would do a quick overview of the best way to strip wallpaper. Stripping wallpaper can be a right pain in the perverbale and varies with the surface you are working with. But if you stick to these basic principles everything should run nice and smoothly in your home DIY project.
How to strip wallpaper – get your tools
We would reconmend you pop to your local DIY store and pick up an essentail bit of kit before you start to strip your wallpaper. We use Dulux trade, but any local hardware store worth their salt should stock this item.
Apart from your trusty long handled scrapper all your going to need now is a bucket, some boiling water, a big big sponge, dust sheets, some plain brand fair liquid, bin bags and a box of tea bags.
If you are stripping a painted wall/lining paper you may also want to invest in one of these a wallpaper scorer. But if you dont want to splash out just make sure you score the paper using your scraper. You basically need to ensure water can seep through behind the wallpaper. Steamers in our opinion are just a waste of time and money. You will end up there for hours upon hours and get a bright red face to boot!…
How to strip wallpaper – Get your room ready
Hopefully to all of you with common sense out there we shouldnt really need to explain this step. But just in case we will give it a quick mention. Clean your room out as much as possible, lay dust sheets throughout your room ensuring they are right to the edge of the wall. Carpets dont seem to take to kindly to wet damp wallpaper for some reason! There are many ways to prep a room and a professional will always take their time to do it properly ensuring minimum disruption to the room. However for the purpose of this post doing it properly is a whole another story and for another blog.
Check out out post on how to decorate a room and protect your work area properly : Laying Dust Sheets and Masking up
How to Strip wallpaper – Score your paper
This all depends on the paper you have on the wall and if you have invested in the wallpaper scorer as recommended above or using a blade. You need to ensure the wallpaper has been scored to allow the water behind the paper and loosen it from the wall.
How to strip wallpaper – Soak you walls
Right now this part is extremley straight forward but its amazing how many people dont do this and dive straight in with their scrapper or steamer. Scraping away for hours to get every last inch of the paper off. Mix your fairy liquid with your boiling water and soak the walls… simple.. get the walls extremely wet and… go put the kettle on! Sit down, read the paper, check your phone do what ever you want. But leave the walls alone, dont get that scrapper anywhere near to them yet.
Depending on the amount of layers of wallpaper on your walls will relate to how many times you want to soak them. But we would reconmend between three and five times. Just ensure the waters soapy, very hot, the walls get very wet and you leave it at least twenty minutes between each soaking. All you need is a big old spounge and your away.
As professional painters and decorators we tend to soak the whole room in one go but dependant on your speed take sections at a time and by the time you have finished one section you will be ready for the next.
How to strip wallpaper - The strip
What you will find if you have soaked your walls properly is that the hot soapy water has got behind the wallpaper and disolved the paste. With the aid of your trusty long handled scrapper this paper should now just glide off with very little effort at all. If you start and find the paper is not almost falling off the walls… stop put your scrapper downa and soak that wall again and maybe time for another brew or two.
How to strip wallpaper – Keeping clean
As with everything in decorating, cleaning as you go it paramount. Everyone has their own method with this and do what ever works for you. But we reconmend bagging up as often as possible, it makes it easier in the long run.
How to strip wallpaper – Summary
Stripping a room may look a daunting challenge when you start but it does not have to be hard wall. By ensuring the hot water can get behind the wallpaper (whatever finish it is) and giving it enough time to soak through properly most rooms can be easily overcome.