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Libspero

Removing Wallpaper - How do you do it?

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Pretty self explanatory perhaps..

Currently both our kids are sharing a room and they're starting to drive us nuts..  so the plan is to turf the eldest one out into her own room.

The idea is to decorate quickly while we still have the chance,  and the wife has decided that the floral wallpaper has to go (I don't disagree!).

I've never actually done this before,  but there seem to be steamers, squirt bottles,  "magical" liquids and all sorts of other things sold for this purpose.

How do YOU do it and what techniques come recommend ?

Edited by Libspero

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16 minutes ago, shindigger said:

Steamers are good. 

I'm guessing the key to it is just getting everything completely soaking wet so the glue saturates and the paper just comes away.

I presume the trick is not to rush it and let the water / steam do the work..   

Edited by Libspero

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Use a steamer like these: http://www.screwfix.com/p/energer-enb484stm-2000w-wallpaper-stripper-240v/87160?tc=CA2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkbTCudeS1gIVqLftCh3pJAZjEAQYASABEgIAUvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CKTZpcXXktYCFY21UQodl6oF8A

Start at the top so the drips pre-soak the paper below and work your way down, steam loads so it peels off cleanly. Very satisfying.

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2 minutes ago, Turned Out Nice Again said:

Steamer then skim it afterwards and you'll never have this hassle again. Just say NO to wallpaper.

Skim as in plaster..?      Not sure I've got the experience for that..    I can't even ice a cake to a smooth finish!

I guess I could call in a pro if it's not too expensive.

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Can depend on the paper, some have very thick 'skins', sometimes it can be pulled off in big chunks leaving the thinner absorbent backing paper which needs to be weted/steamed and scraped. If the surface is not porous score it with a knife vigorously and then steam, leave for a while, steam again then scrape.

Woodchip is the worse... get an SDS drill and take the wall back to brick and render/plaster again :)

 

 

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Just use the steamer. You'll need to allow the paper to soak before moving the steamer to the next patch. Once its soaked remove (whilst steaming the next patch). Work top to bottom. Close the dooir to keep the steam in the room. Best on a hot day. If the paper is tough or embossed  you can score it to allow the water to soak through. Skimming won't be necessary if the plaster is in good order.

Edited by Green Devil

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2 minutes ago, NTB said:

If the paper is flat and not embossed then just paint over it. Otherwise, as others have said, a steam stripper is good. You will have to score the paper for best results whether you use a steamer or just wet it with a sponge.

e.g. http://www.screwfix.com/p/zinsser-paper-tiger-scoring-tool-3mm/3469h

 

Unfortunately the previous occupants had something of a fetish for textured wallpaper..  the whole house is covered top to bottom  9_9

When we first moved in we just painted over,  but it doesn't exactly look amazing..

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19 minutes ago, NTB said:

If the paper is flat and not embossed then just paint over it. Otherwise, as others have said, a steam stripper is good. You will have to score the paper for best results whether you use a steamer or just wet it with a sponge.

e.g. http://www.screwfix.com/p/zinsser-paper-tiger-scoring-tool-3mm/3469h

 

I'd definitely use the paper tiger 3 wheel version, and apply the Zinser DIF liquid via cheap garden spray bottle to dissolve the glue. It'll just peel off after a few liberal soakings, no steamer required. I stripped paper off every room in a 4 bed house recently, some rooms I scarcely needed to use a scraper as it just peeled off in sheets.

The amount of scraping required will depend on the paper a bit, if it is thick/textured  stuff it might not peel away so easy, if it is thin then you should be ok.

 

 

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I found that adding washing up liquid to the water helps considerably. It helps the water 'stick' to the paper allowing it to soak in and then it tends to slide off much easier. In the past I have wetted the wall with a spray of water and then taken a palm full of washing up liquid and rubbed it into the paper.

I found this and steamers working in combination to be best.

You can rent a good steamer from one of the hire shops.

One more point - it all depends on the wall, tyoe of paper used and type of paste used as well as the age of the stuff on the wall.

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Use a spiked roller all over the wallpaper first.

then go over with a steamer - leave the steamer on for a good while in each place (not too long or you'll fuck the plaster) once you've steamed it, don't try and scrape straight away, give it time for the steam to break the wallpaper paste down. If it's not coming off easy (e.g., in tiny bits) give it more steam! It should come off the wall effortlessly.

i cannot emphasise the importance of steam enough!

if its woodchip wallpaper, burn the house down and build it again.

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6 minutes ago, Libspero said:

Unfortunately the previous occupants had something of a fetish for textured wallpaper..  the whole house is covered top to bottom  9_9

When we first moved in we just painted over,  but it doesn't exactly look amazing..

Textured wallpaper often (IME, usually) means that the underlying wall isn't flat, which in turn means that you won't have so many options for the new covering (eg, paint probably won't work well).

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Sadly you might find that there is textured wall paper there for a reason and the plaster behind it is very poor.  HOw old is the house?

If it is bad, then it is the work of a plasterer.  If not too bad - and any emulsion on walls that are not super smooth will really show the imperfections.  

If the second scenario, i would suggest lining the walls with a heavy duty lining paper before painting - its what I do in May 30s house where the plaster is very poor.  You need to be fairly skilled and practical to attempt this.  There are videos on how to paper I would think. 

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11 minutes ago, dgul said:

Textured wallpaper often (IME, usually) means that the underlying wall isn't flat, which in turn means that you won't have so many options for the new covering (eg, paint probably won't work well).

 

5 minutes ago, One percent said:

Sadly you might find that there is textured wall paper there for a reason and the plaster behind it is very poor.  HOw old is the house? 

The house is 1930s,  and I suspect some of the rooms have the original plaster (two of the ceilings in particular look like they might need re-plastering).

In this room though (which is part of an extension) the walls look even and firm,  so I think the worst I may have to look at is a slightly substandard plaster finish.

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5 minutes ago, Libspero said:

 

The house is 1930s,  and I suspect some of the rooms have the original plaster (two of the ceilings in particular look like they might need re-plastering).

In this room though (which is part of an extension) the walls look even and firm,  so I think the worst I may have to look at is a slightly substandard plaster finish.

It is in the age (same as mine) where the plaster might be shot.  Get the name of a good plasterer just in case....  If not too bad go with the lining paper.  No need to lay it horizontally. You would do this if lining a wall prior to rehanging wall paper.  As you are not, just hang it vertically as you would if using ordinary paper.  It is worth it as it really does mask the issues of imperfect walls

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Is woodchip really that bad?!

Surely just rip off the surface with scrapers and brute strength and then steam to remove the remaining backing and paste?

I may need to tackle a load soon and don't really want to burn the house down and rebuild from scratch :(

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I've used both a steamer and a squirty bottle (like an empty bathroom spray bottle) full of water and found that the bottle was much easier and less messy than the steamer.

Squirt, squirt, squirt. Leave for a minute or two then scrape off when the paper is soaked. Worked a treat.

It's a fecking 'orrible job though.

As an aside, anyone know roughly what a decorator would charge to paper a medium sized room (see woodburner thread).

 

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11 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

I've used both a steamer and a squirty bottle (like an empty bathroom spray bottle) full of water and found that the bottle was much easier and less messy than the steamer.

Squirt, squirt, squirt. Leave for a minute or two then scrape off when the paper is soaked. Worked a treat.

It's a fecking 'orrible job though.

As an aside, anyone know roughly what a decorator would charge to paper a medium sized room (see woodburner thread).

 

A lot. Why I do it myself. A good skill to learn is decorating

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In lots of old houses it is not uncommon to ignore re-plastering and simply putting up plasterboard to cover old, crap walls - this is a common trait of the 'property developer' when they buy an old house, supposedly do it up and then flip it.

You can put new plasterboard over the old wall ensuring that fixings go through the old plaster and attach to the wall. You then put a thin skim of plaster on the plasterboard or, and this is very common in news houses, you simply use plaster tape to cover the joins between the different bits of plasterboard, paint them with a few coats of thin emulsion as an undercoat, or buy a special paint for this task, and then wallpaper over or simply paint.

The 'property developer' often does not even bother to do this and they simply dab and plaster - i.e. they dab 5 bits of plaster on the old wall in lumps, like the 5 dots on a dice, and then push the new plasterboard on top. Basically using the plaster to glue the plasterboard to the old plaster.

There is lots of info and videos online about doing the above. In an old house it can save a lot of hassle, expense and dirt from removing the old plaster and then getting a plasterer in.

If you are going to do a plastering job for a room you really are approaching the last few weeks to do it as it takes a long time for plaster to dry out enough to then paint on or wallpaper on - you probably would not want to wallpaper newly plaster walls anyhow. Plastering rooms is really something you want to do in late Spring / early Summer so that you have a few months of the plaster drying out and settling before you decorate.

 

Edited by The Masked Tulip
typos

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