Stripping wallpaper is one of those decorating jobs no one likes to do.

Yes, there are some instances where you might be able to wallpaper over what’s already there. But if you want to know how to change wallpaper like a pro, our advice is that you get clued up on how to remove your old wallpaper first.

With the right tools for the job it’s not as difficult as you might think. In fact, we’re going to share two of the quickest and easiest ways to remove wallpaper right here.

Once you know how to strip wallpaper, you can even use the same methods we’re going to show you as a guide on how to remove woodchip wallpaper might just take a little more perseverance!

How to take wallpaper off with chemical wallpaper stripper

Chemical wallpaper stripper comes in liquid form and works to dissolve the adhesive wallpaper paste used on your wall. The chemicals used in these solvents loosen the paper and make it easier to peel away.

Wallpaper stripper is widely available at DIY stores and you can often buy it in a ready-to-use spray bottle for easy application. But some solvents may need to be diluted with water before use - always check the label.

To strip your wallpaper using a chemical stripper, follow our step-by-step instructions below. (All products vary, so please also refer closely to the instructions provided with the wallpaper stripper you buy.)

Step 1. Spray or brush the chemical wallpaper stripper onto your walls, following the precise instructions of the product you’re using. Give it time to soak into your wallpaper.

Step 2. Once the paper is loose enough, use a stripping knife to start removing the wallpaper. Make short, sharp movements and keep the blade as flat to the wall as possible, taking care not to damage the wall underneath.

Sections of your wallpaper may start to dry out as you’re removing it. If patches do begin to dry, apply more of the solution to your wall, referring back to the instructions on your wallpaper stripper throughout the process.

Top tip - Transfer the wallpaper into bin liners as you go. When you’re removing the wallpaper, as the paper dries out, it becomes sticky and can be difficult to remove from carpets or flooring. 

How to take off wallpaper using an electric steamer

An electric wallpaper steamer boils water continuously to produce steam. That steam then escapes via a steaming plate which you move across your wall to loosen the wallpaper adhesive.

You can buy one from most DIY stores for as little as £25, or you can even hire them from some suppliers.

Once you know how to use a wallpaper steamer, it makes removing your wallpaper nice and easy. It’s a simple tool to use, but please always refer to the instruction manual provided with the steamer for safety and specific usage instructions.

Step 1. Fill your wallpaper steamer with water and once steam starts to release from the plate, it’s ready to use.

Top tip - To reduce boiling time, fill your wallpaper steamer with warm water.

Step 2. Starting at the bottom of the wall, place the steam plate on the wallpaper for ten seconds - or until the paper around it is damp. Continue to move the plate up the wall, peeling off the damp paper below as you go. 

Top tip - For smaller, tricky areas around windows, radiators or plugs, use the smaller plate usually included with your steamer for better accuracy. 

Step 3. Continue to work your way along the wall from bottom to top, allowing the steam to rise up the wall as you work. This bottom to top method makes it easier to remove larger amounts of paper at once, pulling the edges upwards to peel it away in sections. 

Follow these simple instructions and knowing how to steam off wallpaper will be like second nature to you next time.

Good to know: If you hear any strange popping noises, lift the plate immediately. Those noises can indicate you’ve left the steamer on for too long and it’s starting to damage the plaster underneath your wallpaper.

If it’s out with the old and in with the new, browse our full range of wallpapers to give your walls a new lease of life.

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