It's not a fun job, but removing wallpaper is one of those things you sometimes have to do. The good news is that it is easier to remove wallpaper if you follow these handy tips.
There are three tools you can use to help you:
- A steam wallpaper stripper
- A spiked roller (to penetrate layers of paint)
- A good quality scraper
Steam wallpaper strippers work by applying steam to the paper, which helps to dissolve the paste underneath. It can be hot sweaty work so clear the room first, and ensure that you have adequate ventilation. You will also want to cover carpets with something waterproof.
To use a steamer effectively you hold it over one spot until the wallpaper is saturated, then move it sideways and scrape the damp area while the steamer soaks the next place.
You still have to be careful when using the scraper - if you have it at the wrong angle you can damage the plaster behind. However, if the wallpaper is firmly attached it is almost inevitable that there will be a small amount of damage to the wall beneath.
A simpler alternative is to mix up your own wallpaper removing mix. A typical mix is warm water, washing up liquid, and some wallpaper paste to thicken the mixture.
When applying the mix to the wallpaper, start at the top of the wall so that it will run down, and leave it to soak for at least 20 minutes. If it comes off easily, you got it right - if not, apply a little more mix and give it longer to soak.