Removing wallpaper is a process that can be hard if you don’t have the right method and easy if you do.

There is also the possibility of injury and harm to the furniture in your building if you don’t follow the correct procedure so you have to make sure to remove wallpaper from a wall safely and using precautions like putting down dust sheets.

There are also some steps that you want to make sure you don’t miss out on such as getting the wall you’re removing wallpaper from ready in order to get stripped.

Also, read on for a list of all the equipment necessary.

How to get your wall ready to remove wallpaper

It’s a good idea to remove as much of the room’s contents as you can before you begin. Push any objects you can’t remove in the direction of the room’s centre. Also, remember to cover them with dust sheets to prevent any damage.

wallpaper that has been removed

Lay down some dust sheets to protect from mess

When you start to remove wallpaper, especially if you are adding in new wallpaper at the same time, it can get messy and there is a lot of dust involved as the sheets start to rip and come off the wall.

If you have furniture and flooring around you should cover it with dust sheets so you’re able to reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do in the future.

Get your room ready

Getting a room ready includes clearing up a room and removing as much as you can from the area where you’re taking wallpaper off the wall.

Push everything into the middle of a room so that you can reach the wall easily.

Don’t forget to switch off the electricity

Removing wallpaper from the walls of a property involves water because you may have to use a steam machine. As a result, it can get dangerous if you don’t turn off the electricity from the main fuse box in the house.

So you can see what you’re doing, open the windows in a building for natural lighting to use external sources of light such as torches.

Give yourself plenty of space

Clearing the walls is an obvious step but be sure to take all mirrors, shelves and pictures off of the wall before you start and cover any plug sockets with plastic sheeting.

Prepare the equipment you’ll need

To guarantee that you’re able to remove wallpaper correctly and safely, it’s critical to have the appropriate tools on hand. 

Dust sheets, a step ladder, safety goggles, masking tape, and plastic sheeting to cover outlets and switches are a few necessities to have when painting or decorating. 

You’ll also need a bucket, a sponge, safety gloves, a cloth or rag, garbage bags, and a stripping knife. Of course, the tools you require will depend on the particular project and approach you take. 

But having these supplies on hand will guarantee that you’re ready for anything that goes wrong or crops up as you remove wallpaper from a building. 

What method is the most effective for removing wallpaper?

When it comes to removing wallpaper from the walls, there are two main types of methods that are most effective. The most popular way is by using an electric steam stripper and next up is using a chemical stripping solution.

In general, if you have a large surface area of wall, then using a steamer machine is your best option as you can strip wallpaper from the walls in a smaller time frame.

a man removing wallpaper

Safety precautions when using a chemical stripper

When using a chemical stripper, safety should be a top priority. To stay safe, it is important to keep all chemicals and adhesives out of the reach of children. 

Additionally, wearing safety goggles can protect your eyes from falling debris, and wearing protective goggles is important when working with chemicals and heat. 

It is also important to open doors and windows to keep the room well-ventilated and avoid inhaling harmful fumes. 

Finally, it is essential to have someone around to hold the ladder while working with chemicals to prevent any accidents. By following these safety precautions, you can minimise the risk of harm while using a chemical stripper.

How can you remove wallpaper with a chemical stripper?

To remove wallpaper chemically, follow the below steps to make sure you’re efficiently removing wallpaper and also staying safe as you do so. Begin by preparing the solution and end the process with cleaning the walls.

Mix the solution correctly

To mix the solution in the correct way, be sure to follow the instructions that come on the box of the solution spray. 

Put spray on the walls

Spraying the walls with the chemicals is the next step in stripping the walls of their paper. Once the spray is on the walls, let it absorb into the walls for a few minutes or up to an hour.

Scrape the walls

In this step, it is important to apply the right amount of pressure to the walls so as not to damage the plaster behind the wall but still make sure the wallpaper is able to come off.

Using a stripping knife, use a bit of force but not too much and slowly get rid of the wallpaper from the wall.

You may need additional spray in this process and you may need to go back to areas to ensure everything is taken off completely.

You do not want to leave any residue of wallpaper left as when you go to apply new wallpaper or paint the walls, there will be a lump in the wall that will ruin the aesthetic.

Remove spray from the walls

Finally, using a sponge and perhaps a cloth, remove all of the spray from the wall before you do anything else. You may also need to wait for a while for the wall to dry as you cannot remove everything just using a sponge.

Painting over a wet well can ruin the new paint and adding new wallpaper to a wet wall can cause it to fall off.

You may have to dispose of the wallpaper paste you’re using if you don’t, as wallpaper paste can ruin if it is mixed with too much water because the wall didn’t dry in the correct way.

Using an electric steam stripper to get rid of wallpaper

An electric steam stripper remains one of the easiest ways to remove wallpaper from a wall. To get started all you’ll really need is the electric steam stripper. For more on how this machine works, have a read of this website. 

a man and a woman learning how to remove wallpaper

How can you use this and stay safe?

Wallpaper removal can be made considerably simpler by employing an electric steam stripper, but safety must always come first. 

Start by carefully reading the manufacturer’s directions before using an electric steam stripper to ensure your safety. 

Using heat-resistant gloves is essential for preventing burns to your hands. Also, you should never leave the steam stripper on while you’re not using it, and you should monitor the water level to prevent the steamer from boiling dry. 

In order to avoid mishaps, always remember to cut off the power and wait for the stripper to cool down before refilling the tank. 

You may remove wallpaper using an electric steam remover safely and efficiently by following these rules.

Add water to the stripping machine

This step is simple enough. Make sure the tool you’re using has enough water in it to be able to do the job you want property and throughout the steaming keep checking on the equipment to ensure it hasn’t run out of water.

Wallpapering involves using adhesive to bind the wallpaper to the wall and the water will help to break down the adhesive and the bond so the wallpaper is simple to remove.

Combined with the heat supplied by the stripping machine, wallpaper should easily peel off and make the process easy for those wanting to do any DIY themself like seen here.

Apply steam to the wall

When removing wallpaper, begin at the bottom of the wall and hold the steamer up to the paper for about 10 seconds, or until the paper appears damp. Make sure not to over-steam the plasterboard beneath. Then, using the steamer, work your way up the wall, removing loose wallpaper in an upward motion. This method is a safe and effective way to remove wallpaper without damaging the wall underneath.

Scrape the wallpaper off of the wall

While removing wallpaper, you should start by scraping off any wallpaper that hasn’t come off easily with a stripping knife. Use a scoring tool to puncture tiny holes in the wallpaper if the steam hasn’t soaked through completely. 

Be sure to collect old wallpaper as you work and dispose of it in your trash bags. If you don’t, it will dry and adhere to the dust sheet, making it challenging to remove. 

To take advantage of the steam as it rises, remember to repeat these processes across the entire wall or space, working in portions from bottom to top.

Give the walls a clean

So, it’s crucial to remove any remaining residue from your walls once you’ve finished removing the wallpaper in order to make sure they are smooth and clean and ready for the next step in the decorating process. 

Proceed by carefully removing any last few small pieces of wallpaper with your stripping knife, then thoroughly clean the wall with a damp sponge. 

To make sure the wall is as clean as possible so that the new paint or wallpaper you apply sits smoothly for a faultless finish, you might need to go over it a few times.

How to clean walls without wallpaper on them

Now that the wallpaper is removed and you want to add more paint to the wall or perhaps more wallpaper, you have to clean the wall without wallpaper to make sure there is a smooth surface.

This can be done alongside the removal of the chemicals on the wall or you can remove the chemicals first and then go over the wall again with a separate wash to make sure all the dust and grime from the wall is removed.

Dip a sponge in a mixture of water and soap and begin wiping the wall doing parts at a time. As you go, you may want to run your hand across the wall to ensure there are no clumps of old glue or paper you haven’t missed.

If the plaster behind the wallpaper is a similar colour to the wallpaper, it can become extremely hard to spot and this process could take a while.

removing wallpaper form a house

In conclusion

To wrap things up, there is always a chance that the wallpaper you are trying to remove is going to take a bit more effort than you expected. In this case, be sure to follow the steps carefully.

A wallpaper is typically removed using the two above methods of using chemicals or a steamer machine. However, there are other ways of removing wallpaper from wall to wallpaper such as using sugar soap to remove wallpaper paste

In addition to this and whatever method you choose, always make sure you’re operating safely by using the right safety equipment and making sure you do things like turn off the electricity in a room before you use a steam machine.

And when you go to put up new wallpaper, if you are adding the wallpaper into a high up place, be sure to use scaffolding to put up wallpaper too.

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Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.


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