/ homecategories, Latest News / 7th September 2019

How to remove wallpaper

Maybe you finally took some days off to renovate your house and decided that the wallpaper (which only looked good in the ‘70s and should have stayed there) in your living room has to go! However, you didn’t think much of it and started to peel it off, after all – how difficult can it really be?

Four hours later and you’re sitting on the floor staring at the wall and thinking “after all that scraping, peeling, how do I still have more than half of the wall with wallpaper?” We feel your pain. Take a deep breath and ring the Squad on 0800-0 12 12 12, we’ll take care of it, so you can actually enjoy your time off and relax.

If you are not ready to quit and want to tackle this job by yourself (good on you!), continue reading below as we explain the best ways to remove wallpaper. We’ve written all about “how to hang wallpaper” and “tips on how to hang wallpaper” but we’ve noticed that we haven’t covered how to remove wallpaper. With our instructions, we are certain that you will be able to remove your wallpaper as painlessly as possible.

Start with some prep work.

Before starting any type of peeling, scraping and asking yourself “why didn’t you just call the Handy Squad?”, you will have to prepare the room. This means, removing everything off the walls, moving or covering nearby furniture and covering the skirting boards.

Also, you will have to determine the type of wallpaper you have plus, whether your walls are plaster or drywall. Plaster is most commonly found in homes that were built more than 50 years ago, whilst drywall has been used in homes for the past 50 years or so. This is important to identify because drywall is more delicate than plaster, meaning you will have to be more careful when removing wallpaper.

To determine the type of wallpaper you have, use a putty knife to loosen a corner of the paper and try to peel it off. If you are one of the lucky ones with strippable wallpaper, it should just peel right off. If the wallpaper peels a bit but leaves a paper backing, then you have peelable wallpaper. If the paper doesn’t peel at all, means that you have a traditional wallpaper that will require some more work, water and a wallpaper stripper (don’t worry, you can do it).

Remove strippable wallpaper.

Step 1

Use a putty knife to loosen the corner of the paper. Use your hands to pull the paper from the wall. You should pull as close to the wall as you can to avoid tearing the paper (if the paper rips, lift another corner and start again). Repeat around the room.

Step 2

Once you’ve removed all the wallpaper, clean the walls with water and soap.

Remove peelable wallpaper.

Step 1.

Peelable wallpaper has a top layer which comes off just like strippable paper, simply loosen the corner with a putty knife and pull the paper off.

Step 2.

Once you’ve removed the top layer off, you’ll be left with the paper backing. To remove this layer, follow the directions below for removing traditional wallpaper.

Remove traditional wallpaper.

Step 1.

Mix hot water and the wallpaper stripper according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pour this solution into a spray bottle.

Step 2.

Apply the solution to the wall, letting it sit for several minutes.

Step 3.

Use a putty knife to peel off the paper. Work from top to bottom a section at a time. Once you’ve removed the paper from this section, move on to the next section.

Step 4.

Clean the wall with soap and water to remove any residue.

Still no luck? Try a wallpaper steamer.

A wallpaper steamer can be a godsend when your wallpaper seems to refuse to peel off no matter how much you scrape and spray. Simply follow the manufacturer’s directions and you will have a wallpaper free wall in no time.

If you don’t have time to remove your wallpaper or you simply don’t want to get your hands dirty – call the Handy Squad on 0800-0 12 12 12. Our London decorators will be able to remove your wallpaper and paint your walls after (if required). Let us know how we can help, and we’ll be happy to do so. Request a free quote by filling our online booking form.