How to remove wallpaper
Never worked with wallpaper before? Removing old wallpaper is not only rewarding, but will save you so much money versus getting in the professionals. Then, you are ready to paint or re-wallpaper.
Check out our step-by-step guide below with helpful tips on how to get you started with your redecoration. Removing wallpaper has never been easier, start to transform your walls and entire space today with our guide on how to remove wallpaper.
What tools do I need to remove wallpaper?
- Steamer (wallpaper stripper)
- Putty knife
- Dust sheets
- Safety goggles
- Protective gloves
- A jug of cold water (to fill the steam stripper)
Before you begin removing wallpaper
To ensure you get the best finish possible for your DIY project, please read our check list below for safety precautions and tasks to be carried out before starting to strip wallpaper.
- Clear and prepare the room, protect with a dust sheet.
- Turn off the electricity for the room, to protect outlets from steam or hot water.
- Cover all electrical outlets.
- Keep steamer and sharp tools out of children’s reach.
- Open windows and doors to provide good room ventilation.
- Safety goggles should be worn when stripping paper to protect eyes.
- Protective gloves should be worn, to protect against from heat, hot steam.
- A stepladder should be used when working at height.
How to remove wallpaper with an electric steamer
Step 1: Prepare the steamer
Fill the steamer with tap water from the jug, when the steam is released from the steam plate it is ready to use. Do not allow the steamer to boil dry.
Step 2: Score the wallpaper
While you’re waiting for the steamer, score the wallpaper in sections so that it’s easier for steam to enter the material. Scoring the paper at the top of the wall using a knife and straight edge will also help to prevent damage to your ceiling.
Step 3: Use the steamer
Hold the steam plate on the wallpaper for 10 seconds and you will see the paper start to soften and loosen the wallpaper from the wall.
Step 4: Start to peel the wallpaper
Strip the wallpaper using the putty knife.
Step 5: Work upwards
Continue working from the bottom of the wall to the top, until all wallpaper is removed.
Step 6: Keep everything cleared & clean
Ensure you’re clearing up the dust sheets regularly as once paper is dried it can stick to the sheets making it difficult to remove.
Why you should clean the wall after removing wallpaper
Once you have removed the large strips of wallpaper, you may be left with some smaller pieces and residual glue. To ensure a smooth wall for redecorating please see our removal tips below.
- Step 1: Scrape off any existing/small left over pieces of wallpaper.
- Step 2: Identify any stubborn areas of wallpaper and use the steamer to remove, such as areas where the edges meet the ceiling.
- Step 3: Rinse and clean the wall with a sponge and water. It’s important not to oversoak.
- Step 4: Dry the wall, leave to dry out completely before turning the power back on.
Once you've completed all of these steps, you're ready to redecorate.
It’s much easier to wallpaper or paint your walls when all existing wallpaper wall has been removed, as it avoids creases and air bubbles appearing when you hang the new wallpaper. It’s worth spending the time to prepare your walls correctly.
Please see our step-by-step guide on how to hang wallpaper to help you with this task and get the best results possible.