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How to remove old wallpaper with a scraper

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tools for removing wallpaper You will need:

  • A wall scraper
  • A sponge
  • A bucket of hot soapy water.
scored wallpaper

Step 1 – Score wallpaper

Using the scraper, lightly score in a criss-cross motion across the surface of the wallpaper.

Wonkee Donkee Top Tip! Scoring the wallpaper will allow the warm water to permeate through. This will help to dissolve the adhesive underneath.
apply hot water to surface

Step 2 – Apply hot water

Take your sponge and apply hot water to the surface of the wallpaper.

clock

Step 3 – Leave to soak

Wait between 5 and 10 minutes for the water to soak through the paper.

If the adhesive is particularly strong, you may need to wait longer.

removing wallpaper

Step 4 – Test wallpaper

Test the paper to see if the glue has dissolved. It is usually best to try and pull the paper from one of the corners or a seam.

If the paper does not come away from the wall easily, wait a few more minutes. While you are waiting, apply some more hot water to the wallpaper to quicken the process.

wallpaper stripper

Please note

If the glue is particularly stubborn, using hot water may not be enough. You may need to use a chemical wallpaper stripper to effectively attack the wallpaper adhesive.

If you are using chemical wallpaper stripper, make sure that the room you are working in is properly ventilated.

using wallpaper stripper

Step 5 – Apply wallpaper stripper

Take the bottle of stripper and give your wall a liberal soaking. Follow the instructions on the bottle.

Most manufacturers suggest leaving the solution to soak through the wallpaper for between 4 and 10 minutes.

testing paper

Step 6 – Test wallpaper again

Test your paper again.

When the chemical paper remover has worked, you should be able to easily pull away the paper from the wall.

short handled scraper

Please note

Some wallpapers have a backing paper.

Unless this backing paper is in good condition, you will need to remove it using your scraper.

It may be necessary to apply more hot water or wallpaper stripper solution to the backing paper before trying to scrape it from the wall.

scraping wallpaper

Step 7 – Use scraper

Make sure that your backing paper is loose before using your scraper.

If the paper is not soft enough, you may make accidental marks on the wall which could present difficulties when you come to the next stage of decorating.

Place your scraper on the flat surface of the wall and move it downwards, underneath the paper.

removing wallpaper

Step 8 – Peel away backing paper

Peel away the backing paper using your fingers.

wiping down wall

Step 9 – Sponge down wall

Old wallpaper paste will still be on the wall even after you have removed the paper. This paste may not be compatible with your new wallpaper.

After you have removed all the wallpaper, sponge down the bare wall with hot soapy water. This will keep the paste soft.

Then, take a clean sponge and wipe the wall again. Once it’s wet and soft, the paste will come off very easily. Wipe off as much as possible.

new wallpaper After the wall is stripped, leave it alone for the day and come back to prepare the wall for the new wallpaper (See How to prepare a wall for redecoration).