How to remove wallpaper

The best methods for removing traditional wallpaper

The easiest wallpapers in the world to remove are Graham & Brown paste the wall wallpapers that can be simply peeled back and removed in big easier pieces. Or failing that any wallpaper that has been hung with Wall Doctor lining paper underneath it, as Wall Doctor will make any wallpaper full strippable.

If you don’t have either of those you may be in for a few hours of hard work before you can get started on hanging your new wallpaper or paint.

All Graham & Brown wallpapers are paste the wall.

Easy peel removal ( All Graham & Brown wallpaper)

If you are going to use a traditional wallpaper, then if you want the removal to be quick clean and easy then it is best to line the walls first with Wall Doctor Lining Paper. Wall Doctor goes on easily as it is paste the wall, and lines the wall to give a perfect finish for either wallpapering or painting over.

Any wallpaper that is hung on top immediately gets the removal properties of Graham & Brown paste the wall wallpapers as it is the base wallpaper. Making ALL wallpapers easy to remove.

Traditional Steaming and Scraping Method

What You Will Need:

  • Bucket
  • Soapy Water
  • Clean pasting or paint brush (150mm)
  • Scraper
  • Dust Sheets
  • Ideally a few friends to help
  • What You Will Need:

  • “Steamer” (available for Hire, or can be purchased at most DIY stores)
  • Use Graham & Brown or Wall Doctor paste the wall wallpaper next time! See how quick and easy here

1Hand Soaking

1. Cover the floor using dust sheets to protect surface from any water damage. The sheets can become wet. Have bin liners on hand to regularly clean up removed pieces of paper.

2. Turn off any electricity as you will be using water to soak the wallpaper to ease its removal. Don’t switch it back on until you are sure all surfaces are dry.

3. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of washing up liquid. Apply the soapy water to the wall using the paint brush. Starting from the bottom up will break the surface tension allowing it to penetrate the wallpaper.

4. When the wall is thoroughly wet, leave the water to soak in and penetrate the wallpaper – this will help soften the paste that was used to hang the wallpaper.

Top Tip

Wetting it twice will help this process and make it easier in the long run.

5. Scoring the paper with the edge of your scraper or a knife will help penetrate but could damage the plaster underneath. Use caution. How many layers of wallpaper and how long the wallpaper has been on will also be a factor.

6. Using a scraper or stripping knife begin to lift the paper at the easiest point – often the seams or from the bottom of the wall. Let the water do the work and keep clearing the paper as you go so as not to make more work later.

7. If the wallpaper has been subsequently painted it can be quite difficult for the water to penetrate – you may need to soak several times or alternatively you could use a wallpaper steam stripper.

2Remove wallpaper by wallpaper steam stripper

You could invest in steam stripper, borrow from a friend or hire, but they work in a similar way to the above, but cut down the soaking time.

They have a tank of water that acts like a kettle to produce steam which flows up a pipe to a “plate”. This plate is pressed to the service and loosens the paper for stripper. Large areas can be worked quickly and easily.

Follow the manufacturers instructions and be careful not to scold yourself on the steam or get kinks in the pipe.

Always keep an eye on the water level so as not to boil it dry.