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How to strip wallpaper

How to strip wallpaper

Welcome! If you want to know how to strip wallpaper, we’re here to help you! We’ve been stripping and hanging wallpaper for over 30 years. Here we’ll explain to you how to strip wallpaper using a warm soapy solution or a steam stripper.

Stripping wallpaper using stripping solution or warm soapy water

1. Firstly, if it is vinyl paper you will have to score the surface to help the water absorb into the paper. Similarly, if the wallpaper has been painted over, you would also score the paper. You can do this using a sharp blade or edge of a filling knife, there is a special tool one can buy if you want. It is important to note when doing this that you are careful that you are only scoring the surface of the paper as you do not want to mark the plaster underneath.

2. Next, damp down a section of the wall starting at the top and working down. Ultimately you want to soak the paper, but to spare your flooring you do it gradually. Let the solution do the work, repeating the damping process until the paper starts to lift. This may take time.

3. When you are ready to strip the section you have soaked, wet another section beside the one you are stripping, then with a suitable scraper carefully start removing the paper, using a pushing motion along the surface of the wall.

4. Continue wetting the next section periodically so it will be ready for you when you have finished stripping the section you are on.

5. Then continue this process till the walls are stripped.

Stripping wallpaper using a steam stripper

Always read safety instructions before using wallpaper strippers as they get hot and are dangerous!

1. Now again if you have vinyl wallpaper or it has been painted over, you do as above and score the paper with a blade. Using the same approach, you start at the top of the wall holding the now steaming plate against the wall. You will have to judge how long to hold it in the one place, it depends on the paper and the number of layers, etc.

2. Start with about 6 seconds, then move the plate to another section beside the one you want to strip, holding it against the wall while you strip the section you have steamed, moving the plate onwards steadily every 6 seconds or so, stripping behind it as you go, one constant motion if all is going well.

Stripping wallpaper is a bit of an unknown, one never really knows how it will go until you start. It is important not to overheat any one section, as you can lift the skim plaster underneath, especially if there are cracks in the plasterwork.

3. In both cases above; wait until walls are dry before sanding smooth. Then they are ready to paper again or, in this case lining paper was used and then the wall was painted.

Use a drop cloth to protect your floors. If you have wooden floors in your room, make sure you tidy up as you go keeping the paper off the floor, because if sticky wallpaper dries on your wooden floor it can be as hard to remove as it is from the wall!

More Wallpapering Tips

If you want to read more about wallpapering, from calculating the number of rolls you need to whether you can paint over wallpaper then check out the wallpaper section of our painting and decorating blog

A living room after the wallpaper was stripped by Impressions Painters and Decorators

A living room after the wallpaper was stripped and then the room was re-wallpapered by Impressions Painters and Decorators

Are you looking for reliable, expert wallpaper hangers in South Dublin with over 30 years experience?

If you are looking for a reliable, expert wallpaper hanger, then give Paul a call at Impressions Painting and Decorating on 0872704879 or fill in the contact form and we’ll call you back.

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