A Simple Guide to Removing Old Wallpaper


After being stuck inside for the past year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have turned into fully-fledged DIY experts and enthusiasts. After all, there is no better time to consider a decorating project than now as many of us have a lot of spare time on our hands. Wallpapering is a handy skill to have under your belt, however it is the removal of old wallpaper that can leave a lot of beginners stumped. Luckily, the team here at The Home and Gardens are going to go over a simple method that everyone should be able to get the hang of…

Wall Type

The first thing you need to do before you start the process of stripping away old wallpaper is determine the material that is behind it. Plaster is typically found in properties that are 50 years or older; the walls tend to be quite solid and will create a dull sound when you knock on them. On the other hand, drywall is a more modern material, tends to be a lot more delicate and will create a hollow sound instead.

The Method

After you have determined the wall type, start by removing anything that is hanging over the wallpaper like picture frames, mirrors and knickknacks. Next, you will want to cover the carpet and furniture in order to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged or marked. Newer wallpapers tend to be strippable which means that they are designed to come away without the need for water or chemicals. If you have this type of wallpaper then it should peel away fairly easily, however stripping wallpaper with water will require a little bit more elbow grease. Start by mixing liquid wallpaper stripper with hot water and apply it to the wall using a sprayer, working in small sections at a time. Allow it to soak in for a few minutes and start to strip it away using a scraper tool. If there is drywall behind the wallpaper then be careful not to be too heavy handed. Repeat this process until all of the wallpaper is removed and the wall is bare once again.

The biggest mistake that a lot of homeowners make when trying to remove old wallpaper for the first time is applying too much pressure with the removal scraper as this can dint the plaster or drywall underneath and leave you with big dents that need filling or covering. Always ensure that you wet the wall with water or steam in order to allow the wallpaper to separate from the surface with ease.

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