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How to remove wallpaper – simple tips & tricks

Painting the walls with paint allows you to obtain a smooth, usually single-hued surface. It’s a popular, classy solution, but such an effect will not always work for everyone.

Walls covered with wallpaper look far more interesting in a lot of different settings. Wallpapering allows you to quickly change the appearance of the interior and give it a new character.

Wallpaper in a modern home

It’s a cheap way of applying not just colour but a mural to your wall – intricate designs that you wouldn’t be able to achieve via painting, unless you’re an artist. But even that would take hours and the workload would be immense: shadowing, multilayering, coating to name a few activities.

Going for a wallpaper can also add interesting texture to your walls or ceilings. It gives the interior a cosy, warm-to-touch feeling. The walls aren’t cold, and some modern wallpapers are also imbedded with insulative materials to add even more functionality to wallpapering.

All in all, wallpapers are a great idea in some settings – but let’s be honest, they’re not applicable everywhere.

Wallpaper versus paint in 2023

As we already mentioned – if you have a children’s bedroom, a cold interior or a cottage-like, old-fashioned home that screams for a bit of colour, then applying a wallpaper is a must.

However, in many other modern interiors it’ll be considered a tacky, cheap solution. You might not think so, but many of your guests might. If you’ve only just purchased your home or apartment and you’re going for that contemporary look, then we’d recommend staying away from wallpapers – unless the design really fits the interior.

Wallpaper is highly associated with ‘grandma’s place’, especially among the millennials and Gen Z’s. It’s certainly an old-fashioned method of cheaply but quickly applying some colour to the walls – and unfortunately, the words ‘cheap’ and ‘quick’ define wallpaper usage in most young people’s minds.

wallpaper in bedroom

In our opinion, wallpaper’s aren’t all that bad and in some circumstances they can be really put to good use. But it’s better to be safe than sorry and go for something more reliable – an application that is universally appreciated across the world e.g. paint. Especially white, clean paint that blends into almost any interior.

Most modern settings nowadays like minimalism – it’s the new trend. So even mosaic tiles or multicoloured cabinets are often frowned upon by many interior designers and architects. We truly think that in 2023 there are few spaces that will demand for wallpaper and that the classic white, light grey or mint green paint will solve all your concerns.

How to remove wallpaper in your home:

If you’re a first time buyer, or you move into a property that you are refurbishing – if the property is old, chances are you’ll need to do some wallpaper removal.

It’s not always necessary to hire professionals to carry out the job. If done right, it’s a simple and quick process that can be carried out with you and a ladder.

It’s often the case that if you try and scrape the wallpaper off, it peels in a lot of places, usually corners and edges. Then it stops abruptly, leaving you with a wall that looks like it’s been mauled by Jack Torrance from The Shining.

It’s no wonder it’s difficult to remove the product off the wall – the adhesives are usually great. Made with the sole purpose to withstand the abrasive hand of kids and pets.

In many cases wallpaper is glued to a drywall, or better yet, another layer of wallpaper. In that case, the situation becomes even more complicated, because there is a risk that when tearing the wallpaper off, we will also damage the plaster work.

So, is there a way for safely removing wallpaper?

First of all, it’s best not to peel the wallpaper dry. As a start, you will to moisten the wallpaper with a damp cloth or a special water-soluble agent e.g. HG wallpaper remover and wait for it to soften. The fluid can be applied with a hand sprayer or spray bottle, or with a sponge.

removed wallpaper in bedroom

But be careful not to overdo it. Simply pat the wall until it is lightly moist, you don’t need to flood the entire place. You should also apply as little water as possible – don’t worry if there are unmoistened patches. If you leave it over an hour, the water will slowly spread across the wallpaper.

You should also lay down some protective foil over the floor before you do that, you don’t want to soak you floor, especially if you have a carpet in place that you do not plan replacing. That would risk damp. You should also have a heavy duty scraper in place, ready for scraping off the wallpaper.

Another alternative is to opt for a specialised wallpaper stripper. It’s essentially a steamer mechanism. You fill the vessel with water, press the mechanism against the wallpaper and it fills it with steam, in effect quickly and efficiently dampening the adhesive under the wallpaper. These things cost as little as £34. You can find one Here at Screwfix, for example.

Once the wallpaper is dampened all around, after an hour or so you may start removing the wallpaper with the scraper. If the wallpaper is delaminating, first tear off the top layer and then repeat the process from the beginning.

Final thoughts on wallpaper removal

All in all, it’s a very simple process. You’d be surprised how easy it is once special methods that we mention above are applied. And if you get yourself a wallpaper steam stripper, then the process is even quicker. You’ll spend £34 and under 2 hours on one room, but in turn save yourself hundreds of pounds if you had hired a specialist.

If you need any more advice or if anything isn’t working, feel free to comment below and we’ll try to get a discussion going. The whole aim of this blog is to provide you, the reader, advice on worktops, home design, redecorating tips etc. So, it’s important that you ask and we’ll try to answer.

Moreover, if you have any tips yourself that could allow for an easier wallpaper removal method, please share everything down below.


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