Stripping wall paper can be a difficult time consuming job it can be made far easier if you use the correct tools.

Care must be taken when removing the wall paper as if you hold the scraper at the incorrect angle you could damage the plaster behind, making more work for yourself! Invariably some of the plaster will be removed from the wall along with the paper but if the damage is not too great you can simply patch repair the wall as opposed to doing a full re-skim!

My favourite method of removing wall paper is to make a mixture of warm water, a detergent such as washing up liquid and something to thicken the mixture (wall paper adhesive is ideal)

Mix the warm water, washing up liquid and wall paper paste, do not mix too much wall paper paste as it will make the liquid too thick and it will not soak in as good, or another method is to use fabric softener.

Before starting It is a good Idea to remove the carpets of cover the floor completely with a waterproof membrane and some dust sheets!

Wearing waterproof gloves apply the mixture to the wall paper starting at the top of the wall and let it run down, Do this on all the walls where the paper is to be removed and leave it to soak in for at least 20 minutes, try and remove some of the paper with a scraper, if it does not scrape off easily repeat the soaking process until the wall paper can be removed easily.

How to remove wallpaper video 

wallpaper stripping using Zinsser DIF and paper tiger video


Another method for really hard to remove paper is steam removal

There are tools which you can buy which can help you, mainly a steam wall paper stripper, a spiked roller to penetrate several layers of paint and a good quality scraper. This method involves applying steam to the paper which in turn dissolves the wall paper paste behind, making it possible to remove the wall paper, I do not like this method as it uses lots of electricity and generates a lot of steam which makes the job uncomfortable due to the heat!


strip wallpaper

In this picture I had no choice but to use the steam stripper, this was very uncomfortable but there was several layers of painted paper attached to the ceiling!

strip wallpaper using steam

Hold the steamer in one spot until the paper is saturated then move it sideways and scrape that area whilst you steam the next area to be scraped.

Once all the paper has been removed you should sponge down the surface using sugar soap to remove all of the left over wallpaper paste