DIY How To

How to Strip Wallpaper

DIY Projects - Stripping wallpaper using water

Wallpaper stripping is probably one of the most tedious jobs, but if you have decided on a change of paper, then to obtain the professional looking finish you are hoping for, needs to be carried out carefully and thoroughly. Stripping wallpaper basically comes down to scraping the paper off with a stripping knife, taking care not to damage the surface below.

Stripping wallpaper is a messy job, so cover the floor with dust sheets even if you have removed the carpets. This will prevent the old paper sticking to the floor surface, creating even more work.

Top TipIf you are disposing of the carpets or underlay then leave them down until the walls have been stripped saving the need to use dust sheets.

Strip wallpaper 1

Using warm soapy water (or water with wallpaper stripper) soak the paper thoroughly, don't try to do a big area as it will dry out before you have chance to strip it. Leave for between 10 or 15 minutes then see how easy it comes off.

Strip wallpaper 2

If the paper and backing is not coming off relative easily you can try scoring the paper first using the corner of the stripping knife. This will help the water soften the glue, take care not to score the surface below.

Strip wallpaper 3

When stripping the wallpaper, keep the angle of the stripping knife blade close to the wall, this will help to avoid digging into the surface below.

Strip wallpaper 7

If there are any small nibs of wallpaper left behind, wrap some medium coarse sand paper round a block of wood, and sand them away.

Safety AdviceWater and electrics don't mix!
Take care not to let water come into contact with sockets or light switches.

 


DIY Projects - Stripping wallpaper using steam

Wallpaper stripping is probably one of the most tedious jobs, but if you have decided on a change of paper, then to obtain the professional looking finish you are hoping for, needs to be carried out carefully and thoroughly. Stripping wallpaper basically comes down to scraping the paper off with a stripping knife, taking care not to damage the surface below.

Stripping wallpaper is a messy job, so cover the floor with dust sheets even if you have removed the carpets. This will prevent the old paper sticking to the floor surface, creating even more work.

Top TipIf you are disposing of the carpets or underlay then leave them down until the walls have been stripped saving the need to use dust sheets.

Strip wallpaper 4

Hold the plate against the wall for 15 seconds then move the plate to an adjacent area and instantly check to see how easy the paper comes off. If it has not fully penetrated try scoring the paper first using the corner of the stripping knife. Take care not to score the surface below.

Strip wallpaper 5

Once the paper comes off easily move the plate to the next area (don't leave on for too long or you may damage the surface below) while you strip the paper.

Strip wallpaper 6

If there are any small nibs of wallpaper left behind use short bursts of steam to loosen them and immediately scrape away. Be careful not to leave the steamer on too long as damage will be done to the plaster.

Safety AdviceWater and electrics don't mix!
Take care not to let water come into contact with sockets or light switches.

 

Safety AdviceSteam can cause serious burns. Wear eye protection and gloves. Keep children and pets away.

 

If the walls are studded take care not to saturate the surface or hold the steamer in place for too long, as the plaster can be easily damaged.
Likewise in old properties old lath and plaster can also be damaged if the steamer is left on too long.


DIY Projects - Stripping Vinyl Wallcoverings

Strip vinyl

Vinyl wall coverings can usually be stripped dry and will peel off the wall leaving the backing behind. Find a corner and using the stripping knife or similar tool, lift the edge of the wallpaper. Pull the paper towards you peeling along the top, once you have pulled down the entire top of the paper, pull the paper towards you and downwards to remove the vinyl covering. If the backing is left behind don't be tempted to leave this in place and paper over it, as most times when new paste is applied, it will start to come loose. It is easy to remove this backing by soaking with water.

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