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What's the most efficient way of removing painted wallpaper?

(31 Posts)
BL00CowWonders Mon 17-Nov-14 09:42:12

I've got a steamer - is that the fastest way? Or do you think it's worth just pulling off the top layer (it seems to be coming off well enough) and then dealing with the bottom layer.

ignominious Mon 17-Nov-14 09:49:41

Set fire to it?

I didn't have a steamer I just crosshatched ours then wet it and left to soak for ten minutes. Still a horrible job. Make sure you do cut it if steaming.

wowfudge Mon 17-Nov-14 09:55:08

I've always found steamers make light work of it, whether painted or not, compared to other methods. Might not be the case if it is painted woodchip.

GooodMythicalMorning Mon 17-Nov-14 09:55:12

Steamer i think. That's how we did it.

Mumblechum1 Mon 17-Nov-14 09:56:09

Crosshatching still a good idea though, so the steam can get through more easily

BL00CowWonders Mon 17-Nov-14 09:56:30

I was hoping to avoid the smell of melting wallpaper paste...
and the piles of sticky stuff (it's the hallway, so lots of potential for mess all round the house!)

gamerchick Mon 17-Nov-14 09:58:07

Take off what you can dry and steam the rest.

whatsagoodusername Mon 17-Nov-14 10:08:22

I'm doing it now in our house. I've found the steamer unhelpful in getting the painted stuff off - easier just to scrape the top layer off, then use the steamer to get any bits left on the walls. But my wallpaper is peeling off quite easily, so I may be lucky!

HerrenaHarridan Mon 17-Nov-14 10:21:48

I came on to say set fire to it grin

I hate wallpaper with a level of passion it shouldn't be possible to feel towards an inanimate object. angry

Greencheese Mon 17-Nov-14 10:53:30

I've just stripped 2 full rooms of painted woodchip, walls and ceiling <Owch> I slashed it, wet it then left the steamer on in the room with the doors and windows shut, it was like a sauna but really did the trick. We are doing a whole renovation though so it didn't matter how much mess we made.

ChunkyPickle Mon 17-Nov-14 10:55:44

I've been using my little house-cleaning steamer to get artex of the wall (25 year old decorating... it's EVERYWHERE) which must be fairly akin to painted wallpaper.

I slashed/damped/scraped the kitchen, but the steamer works much better, is much more satisfying/fun (!) and the warm artex holds together better than cold damp stuff does.

JustAShopGirl Mon 17-Nov-14 11:02:04

First - be sure you REALLY want to remove it... People usually have painted wallpaper where the wall needs re-plastering/fixing.

BL00CowWonders Mon 17-Nov-14 11:17:17

Just - it's just the time-warp paper that went on over brand new walls a few decades back.
<<< my dad would never dream of painting a wall that didn't have textured paper on it>>>

Still not looking forward to the slushy smelly mess!

InsertUsernameHere Mon 17-Nov-14 11:35:02

Get off dry what you can. Wear gloves as painted wallpaper can be remarkably sharp bitter experience When steaming or wetting do cross hatch it. I'd recommend buying a gadget to do this as you are less likely to scratch the wall or turn the paper into annoying small bits. (you want it to be cross hatched enough to let water and steam penetrate but still hang together to pull off). How easy or hard and messy it is can vary massively even in the same house!! (With seemingly similar conditions).

culturemulcher Mon 17-Nov-14 14:51:00

OP we're just about to start this on our hall, stairs, landings, sitting room, kitchen, etc, etc. Would you come back and give us a 'lessons learnt' when you've done? then I can learn from your mistakes smile

BL00CowWonders Mon 17-Nov-14 15:01:44

I've spent a bit of time today just pulling at it - no water or steam needed so far. Top layer (painted) is coming off quite easily! Backing paper more tricky... Walls underneath seem to be in excellent condition.

PigletJohn Mon 17-Nov-14 15:03:16

a steamer, if held in one place, can overheat the plaster and make it crack or burst off.

I prefer repeatedly wetting it, by misting with a garden sprayer, warm water and a drop of WUL, repeatedly going round and round the room so you spray it again once the previous lot has soaked in. You will need old towels on the floor for any run-off.

When you scrape off, start at the top, and keep spraying above, so the water will run down behind the paper.

Use a wide metal scraper (which is thicker and stiffer than a filling knife)

If you are scratching it, try not to scratch the plaster.

If you have a layer that comes off easily (vinyls do that) pull it off first.

didireallysaythat Mon 17-Nov-14 15:04:42

I bought screwfix's cheapest steamer - light weight but that's easier to hold up. If you're down to backing paper it should steam off nicely. Alas the plaster has popped off under the heat for me in places....

shaska Mon 17-Nov-14 16:15:55

Exactly what PigletJohn said.

Steamers do work but wreck the plaster and I still don't believe they work better or faster than water and fairy liquid.

Yours cordially,
I Bought A House Furnished Top To Toe In Painted Woodchip And Lived. Just.

WantToGoingTo Mon 17-Nov-14 17:24:09

We have just removed quite a lot of painted wallpaper. We bought a scraper tool, was about £3 in B&Q. We wetted the paint with a sponge then left for a few hours. It was then easy to scrape and once you lift a piece it peels off quite nicely. The undercoat beneath the wallpaper was more tricky but did come off with a bit more effort. Afraid I have no knowledge re steamers!

fiverabbits Mon 17-Nov-14 17:37:44

Put dustcovers down so it is easy to put the rubbish into dustbin/wheelie bin. Have an empty dustbin to put any mess into, I never understand why people who are removing wallpaper drop it onto the floor because then it needs picking up. I love removing wallpaper but because my DH and I are disabled with have painted wallpaper in five rooms, full tiles in the 2 bathrooms, emulsion on kitchen walls and everyone's favourite, ARTEX on all the ceilings and the hall stairs and landing. Luckily the DC's are getting the house when we die and they love the decorating as most people will put their hands to their head in horror.

culturemulcher Mon 17-Nov-14 20:53:58

fiverabbits and just when they've tackled the dreaded Artex it'll swing its way right back into fashion again.

Procrastinatingpeacock Mon 17-Nov-14 22:40:32

We have just stripped a whole house and had one horrendous room of painted woodchip over a layer of lining paper which had been painted with waterproof paint (no idea why). The waterproof paint meant that water and even steaming were useless as the moisture couldn't penetrate. We tried scoring the walls but still no good. Eventually we used a very sharp scraper to essentially take off the very very top millimetre of plaster behind the paint/ paper. We were having walls reskimmed anyway so the few nicks that this caused didn't matter.
I'm sure yours will be more straightforward than this but thought I would share just in case!

sjovt Mon 17-Nov-14 23:09:10

just get a plasterer to skim it. i attempted to steam off old wall paper. there's no way it would ever have given me the smooth wall finish I was after. GLAD I spent the money having the room skimmed tbh. I hate spending money! i have a huge fear of being fleeced! but it was worth it.

PigletJohn Mon 17-Nov-14 23:13:19

please sad don't plaster over wallpaper.

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