If it’s man or woman v wallpaper in your home right now, take five minutes to read this blog; it could just stop you from making an expensive and time-consuming mistake. Last week, we looked at the equipment you need and what you need to do to prepare for a wallpaper removal project. Now it’s time for the fun bit – time to get stripping!
Know the score
We know that in order to make it easier to get the wallpaper off, it helps to soften the adhesive with heat and water. However, penetrating that initial layer of paper so that the moisture can get to the adhesive underneath can be easier said than done. Scoring will puncture that surface layer so you can get the steam where it needs to be, without saturating the paper and the wall. This is especially important if you are removing painted or glossy wallpaper. Any sharp object can be used to score the paper, but you could be at risk of damaging the wall underneath. An orbital scorer will puncture the paper without damaging the wall, as long as you use it with care.
Full steam ahead
Remember that you are dealing with boiling water, so always think about safety. Make sure that you have a heat proof surface to rest the steamer on if you need to, and that you have heat resistant gloves to protect your hands. Once you are ready, fill your steamer – use warm water to make the steamer come to the boil more quickly. Don’t be impatient; wait until you see steam before you start, otherwise you will just leak water everywhere.
Starting at the bottom of the wallpaper, hold the steamer against the wallpaper for around ten seconds. As you move to the next section up, carefully peel away the damp paper underneath using the pallet knife. Keep working your way up, steaming and peeling as you go.
Be careful not to use too much steam; if you saturate the plaster, it could cause the plaster to crack, leaving you with serious damage. Stay alert for a popping noise, which indicates cracking plaster.
Wallpaper stripping is a messy job – get rid of discarded paper as you go to avoid it piling up (and the risk of wallpaper being walked through the house). Once your walls are stripped, you may need to use wallpaper stripping fluid to remove stubborn pieces. Once you are done, wipe the walls down with a damp cloth, before drying it completely. Now, you are ready to decorate!
If the task seems too much, you may want to get a professional painter and decorator who will be able to provide a high-quality job that is guaranteed to last; check out our directory to find reliable decorators in your area. For more tips, follow Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter.