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How to remove wallpaper without damaging your walls

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Zara, Staff Writer

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Removing wallpaper might seem simple but once you get started, you’ll be shocked at just how difficult it can be. If you try to dry peel your wallpaper off the wall, you’re likely to end up tearing the paper into tiny pieces, leaving most of it on the wall. If you’re unlucky, you might even find pieces of drywall attached to your wallpaper.

So, what’s the best way to strip wallpaper without damaging your walls? Continue reading to learn how to remove wallpaper quickly and efficiently.

Should you remove the wallpaper or paint over?

The first question that people often ask is whether you should remove the wallpaper or paint it. Although it can be tempting to simply paint over the existing wallpaper, you’re masking a problem that will need to be dealt with eventually.

If you paint over your wallpaper, you’ll find that it’s even more difficult to remove in the future. The paint will strengthen the paper, making it even stronger than it was before.

Methods to remove wallpaper

Two main methods are used for removing wallpaper. These are using a stripping solution and using an electric steamer. The method that you use will depend on your personal preferences and what equipment you have available.

A chemical stripping solution is cheap to purchase and is ideal if you’ve only got one or two layers of wallpaper to remove. If your wallpaper is more difficult to remove or there are several layers on the wall, you may need to opt for an electric steam wallpaper stripper.

Removing wallpaper with a chemical stripping solution

If you choose to use a chemical stripping solution to remove your wallpaper, you’ll need to make sure you’re wearing protective gloves. This is because the solution can be damaging to your skin. You’ll also need a stripping knife to scrape the wallpaper off your wall.

First of all, spray the chemical solution onto the wallpaper and leave it to work for a few minutes. Then, use short and sharp movements with the stripping knife to remove it from the wall. However, be careful not to damage the wall with the knife by keeping it as flat as possible.

If any areas begin to dry out, you’ll need to spray them with the solution again.  

Removing wallpaper with an electric steamer

Before you begin using an electric wallpaper steam stripper, you’ll need to open the windows and put on heat-resistant gloves. It’s important to note that electric steamers get hot so you’ll need to take extra care.

First, fill up the electric steamer with tap water and then turn it on. Once you see steam being released from the steam plate, it’s ready to use.

Hold the steam plate at the bottom of a strip of wallpaper for around 10 seconds, until the paper begins to look damp. Then, move the steamer up higher as you begin to slowly peel the paper off the wall. If there are any stubborn areas, you may need to use a stripping knife to loosen them.

It might take a few attempts for you to learn how long to keep the steamer on the wall. If you hear a popping noise, you’ve left the steamer on the wall too long. This sound is a sign that the drywall is cracking.

How to remove wallpaper glue from drywall

When all of the wallpaper has been removed, you’ll need to clean up the wall.

First of all, brush the wall down with a sweeping brush to remove any residue or dust. Then, use a wallpaper stripping solution to gently remove any leftover wallpaper glue. You may need to carefully scrape the glue with your stripping knife to remove it from the wall.

When the glue has been removed, clean the wall with a sponge and a small amount of water. You can then dry the wall with a clean cloth, ensuring that all wallpaper and glue have been removed.

Hire a Decorator

If you’re looking for a professional finish, hiring a professional painter or decorator can make your home stand out from the crowd. They can remove your old wallpaper for you and help you to plan the perfect new design for each of your rooms.

If you’re ready to transform your home, you can hire a Painter or Decorator on Bark. 

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