How to Use a Wallpaper Stripper - Correctly and Safely

Whether you're renovating your home or you just fancy a change, getting existing wallpaper off your wall can be a nightmare.

wallpaper stripper can really help. The wallpaper steamer can loosen the wallpaper paste, allowing you to remove wallpaper quicker and easier. Wallpaper strippers are available to hire from Speedy Hire, which is ideal if it is not a tool you need every day.

It’s really important to make sure you have the correct PPE before using one of these tools. Thick rubber gloves and sensible footwear are essential before operating the wallpaper stripper. Any PPE you require for your job can be purchased from Speedy.


Please Watch our How-To Use a Wallpaper Stripper Video below:


A couple of good things to remember when hiring from Speedy - all our hire equipment is checked, tested, cleaned and serviced before every hire and will come ready to go. You will also notice a folder attached to your hire product, these are the safety and operating instructions, please make sure you read these before you begin your job.

Whichever wallpaper steamer you have, always read the instructions and guidelines for your specific model before using it. Below is a general guide on how to use a wallpaper stripper:


Step 1: Fill the wallpaper stripper

Before you plug your wallpaper stripper into the mains, you must fill it up. This can usually be done by lifting the lever and screwing the cap then filling it with water.

If you need to refill the wallpaper stripper during use, turn it off and just give it a couple of minutes to cool down. You’ll then need to unscrew the cap gradually to release the pressure in the tank.


Step 2: Plug it in

Any mains-powered equipment you hire from Speedy can come with one of three different types of plug

  • a UK standard domestic plug that can be plugged directly into any household socket
  • a yellow 110v plug that will require a transformer
  • a blue 240v plug that will require an RCD unit

Whatever you need, your local Speedy Hire Depot will provide you with everything to power up your equipment and no matter the shape or size of your transformer or RCD. Plugging it in will be exactly the same, simply lift the flap and push in the plug.

If plugging straight into your mains household socket, ensure you use a socket close enough to your work area so you don't have to stretch too much.


Step 3: Wait for the steam

Once your wallpaper stripper is filled with water and plugged in, after a couple of minutes steam will begin to leave the stripper plate, so it’s important that you’re holding it away from people or animals or alternatively placed it in the heat-resistant drip tray.


Step 4: Score the wallpaper

You can score the wallpaper by using the corner of a wallpaper scraper, or a dedicated wallpaper-scoring tool. Don't put too much pressure on the wallpaper as this could damage the plaster underneath.

Read our guide on tips to remove stubborn wallpaper if you have an older property or are struggling to remove the top layer of paper, or our guide on how to remove woodchip wallpaper if you suspect you have this in your property.


Step 5: Remove the wallpaper

Now it is time to get the technique right and remove your wallpaper. Never leave the stripper plate in the same place for too long, as this can damage the plaster and plasterboard behind the wallpaper.

Our guide on how to remove wallpaper tells you everything you need to know, including how to peel it off safely and clean the wall afterwards.

The steam and any excess water that may escape can damage flooring and soft furnishings, so it is advisable to cover these areas that may be affected. 


If you have any issues with any of the products you hire from Speedy, just give your local Service Centre a call, as we are always happy to help, and remember to always check the safety guidance before you use any hire product.


Ready for more DIY inspiration?

Thank you for reading the Speedy Hire blog, we hope you found this How-To Use a Wallpaper Stripper Guide useful, want to find out how to hang wallpaper then check out our How-To Hang Wallpaper blog below. Keep checking back here for more inspiration and help with your DIY projects.

You'll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need right here, start planning your DIY jobs today and open a Speedy account online or visit us in-store for all your tool hire needs.

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