Below is a step by step guide to stripping the wallpaper in your domestic property. If you are reading this as a commercial customer, the methods may be different. For the below method, you will need some sheets, a scrapper, something to stand on, water, bucket, flat brush/sponge and a little elbow grease (don’t worry, not too much). As a company, this is the method we use and very rarely do we use a steam stripper. If you are using one, be careful, not to leave it in the same spot for too long as you may blow the plaster.

  • Clear as much of the area of possible allowing room to work.
  • Depending on the type of wallpaper will depend on the type of stripping knife you can use.
  • Traditionally there was only one type but now there are different types which, depending on the type of paper may make it easier. I personally like to use a beeline scrapper irrespective of type (due to experience) but caution must be taken as people who rush tend to cause damage to the wall and as such more work is created in the long term (more filling). With most domestic wallpapers a normal wallpaper scrapper would suffice though.
  • Generally speaking, it is best to start where there is any loose paper (in a corner or on joint). If the paper is all still sound, start with a joint rather than the middle of the length.
  • If the paper is loose, peel as much of the top layer off as possible ideally without using any tools. Hopefully it will come off in sheets (nothing more satisfying when stripping wallpaper) but it is does not, use the scrapper to strip a small bit off and hopefully you can begin to peel off more paper.
  • Don’t worry about the ‘under layer’ at this stage, repeat step 5 until all the top paper is off.
  • Once this has been done, I personally would bag up all the paper and hoover up/sweep up all the paper whilst it is dry.
  • From this stage, I would use a dustsheet (any old sheets would do or some old curtains) to cover up the floor area about a metre from the wall.
  • Hopefully, you are looking at a wall that has just backing paper on. From here, you need to get a bucket of warm water and a very large brush (Flat brush approx. 6 inch). A large sponge would suffice if you don’t have a brush. Apply the water from top to the bottom liberally (so water runs down the wall whilst you are doing it. Don’t worry about having to refill your water.
  • Generally speaking you need to leave the walls about 15 minutes to let the water soak in. As such depending on the size of the room/wall, you maybe able to get around the whole area before any stripping takes place.
  • This is the point where a lot of people get their timings wrong so the process takes a lot longer.
  • If sufficient time has been left, the paper should feel damp and a scrapper should glide up the wall taking the layer of paper off with ease. If not, STOP. Touch the paper and if the paper is dry, re wet and wait, if it is still wet, wait. The more times you wet in the better.
  • Repeat this process and hopefully, you will complete the wallpaper stripping with ease.
  • Clean up all the paper before it sticks to the floor.
  • Once the walls are dry you will need to sand down all the walls and apply sugar soap if you are painting.

Good luck and remember that wallpaper stripping doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult.

Just remember that these are our personal views based on previous knowledge and experiences and is in no way the definitive method to carry out the works. Other decorators may have a different method, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one way is right or wrong.