While stripping what seemed like hundreds of layers of paint off the staircase and dado rail in our hallway, it was almost inevitable that we completely wrecked the wallpaper that runs along the staircase between the two.
In parts the paper was glued over the woodwork, so we couldn’t help ripping it when stripping the paint. Also the gooey stripped paint got stuck all over the paper and left everywhere really dirty.
We’ve already stripped plenty of wallpaper in our house, so at least we knew that it would be a quick and easy job to strip this small area of paper.
These are our tips on how to remove wallpaper and make your life as easy as possible
1. Prepare your Room
Cover the floor to protect it from dirt and the damp stripped paper. As you can all tell from our pictures, we didn’t bother with this, as the floor is still unfinished and there was nothing to protect yet.
2. Prepare the wall
Perforate the wallpaper. We use a normal Stanley knife (there are specialist rollers available) to just score the paper.
3. Soak the wallpaper
Mix warm water and a bit of washing up liquid. Either spray it onto the wall or, like us, use an old brush to generously cover the wall. Let it soak in and repeat the process after about 5 minutes. The more you score the paper, the easier it will be for the water to penetrate.
4. Strip the paper
After about 10 minutes the water and washing up liquid will have started to soak into the wallpaper and you should easily be able to peel it off the wall with the help of a palette-knife.
Depending on your wallpaper you may have to repeat this process to remove every last bit of paper.
Before you soak the wallpaper it’s a good idea to try to remove as much paper as possible without using any water. If you’re lucky, if may come off without you having to turn your house into a complete mess of gooey, stripped wallpaper.
There are specialist wallpaper strippers that are available. We borrowed one off our friends when we stripped the wallpaper in our bedroom. If you have larger areas it’s probably a good idea to invest in one of these, as it makes life much easier and stripping paper much quicker.
In our case, the plaster under the wallpaper isn’t in a great condition. At some point we will have to skim and repaint it, but for now, just to tidy things up, we’ve given it a coat of white paint. It’s not great, but as we are planning further building work, there is not much point repairing the wall yet. We will share the results of our wallpaper stripping and painting with you, in the final reveal of our staircase restoration.
We still have lot’s more rooms to strip, so if you have any other tips on stripping paper that we don’t know about let us know!