How to Remove Woodchip Wallpaper

If you’re wondering how to remove woodchip wallpaper, there is a good chance you’re currently doing up an old house and trying to bring it into the modern world.

Luckily, Speedy have all of the answers and tools you need.

Woodchip is either going to be visible on your walls or will become apparent once you’ve removed any top layers of wallpaper.

Rather than properly removing wallpaper, treating walls, and then painting or wallpapering, the in thing back in the day was just layering wallpaper on top of each other.

Of course, that was less effort for them, but means you now have to get rid of all of that wallpaper in order to achieve smooth, plain walls for decorating.

Speedy has wallpaper strippers available for hire, which should help get the job done quicker and easier.


What is woodchip wallpaper?

Woodchip wallpaper is two layers of paper, sandwiching a layer of wood fibre or wood chips.

It is able to hide cracks and unevenness, as it covers the cracks, and creates an (intentional) uneven surface.

Woodchip wallpaper is still available to buy, and some have tried to bring it back into fashion, but we aren’t so sure.

It was historically seen as an inexpensive solution to plastering walls. It was most popular back in the 1970’s, before Instagram and Pinterest came along to give us home décor inspiration.

It soon fell into disdain, however, with buyers even refusing to make an offer on a house if it has woodchipped walls.

Unfortunately, woodchip wallpaper was usually not removed when the next layer of wallpaper went on, so if you have bought an old house which needs some TLC, woodchip may not have been visible at first glance.

It can be hard to remove, so you need the right tools and a lot of time and patience.


The best way to remove woodchip wallpaper

Before you remove any wallpaper in an old house, it’s best to peel away a small section and assess what the wall is like underneath.

If there are loads of hairline cracks, you may need to remove the wallpaper manually and think about plastering once it is removed. But if it looks okay, a wallpaper steamer is the easiest way to go.


What you will need:



  1. Prepare the area

The first thing to do before carrying out any DIY is to prepare the area.

Stripping woodchip wallpaper is messy and involves water/steam. Clear away any electricals and cover the floor with protective sheets. Remove furniture from the room or cover it up if it’s too large to move.


  1. Score the wallpaper

Woodchip wallpaper consists of at least three layers, and there may be other lining paper or wallpaper under or over it too. So, for the steam or water to soak into the layers, you need to perforate the wallpaper.

Use the corner of your wallpaper scraper, or even better a craft knife or dedicated spiked roller, to do this. Be careful with sharp tools and use gloves.

Be generous here, but don’t put so much pressure on that you damage the plaster underneath.

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP: Finding it hard to score the woodchip? Soak it (more on this below), then have a go at scoring, before soaking again


  1. Prepare the removal method

If you’re concerned your walls are really damaged underneath and you don’t want to pay for a plasterer, you’re best making a soapy water solution of warm water and washing up liquid in a spray bottle.

Spray this onto the wallpaper, which will dampen it and make it easier to scrape away.

But for most, using a wallpaper steamer will be just fine, and a lot less messy. Steaming wallpaper can loosen it in seconds.

Read our guide on how to use a wallpaper stripper and follow the steps to getting it up and running. You can also watch our video guide on how to use a wallpaper stripper if easier.


  1. Scrape

The trick to removing any wallpaper is to scrape it away when it is still damp. So, focus on a single section at once.

Steam or soak it, leave it for a few seconds to soak in, and then use your wallpaper scraper to start scraping away to remove the paper.

This may have to be done layer by layer, but if you are able to really soak the paper and turn it mushy, it should be done quicker.

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP: When off the wall, wallpaper will soon dry again and sticks to every surface. Contain all paper in a black bag, and wear old shoes you won’t tread through the house




Yes. Speedy Hire, the UK's leading tool hire company, have a range of wallpaper strippers for hire nationwide.

Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. Tool hire has never been easier.

You’ll find all the equipment you need right here. Why not start planning your next DIY project and open a Speedy account today online and instore.


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