A Guide To Pain-Free Wallpaper Stripping

If you're renovating your kitchen, you may need to remove old wallpaper before you can get into redecorating.  Stripping old wallpaper is no easy task, particularly if it's been up there for a long time.  Here's how to get rid of that nasty old wall covering quickly and easily.

What you'll need

  • dust sheets
  • wallpaper stripping knife
  • wallpaper scorer
  • bucket
  • washing-up liquid
  • large sponge
  • bin bags

You can find all the tools you'll need for this job at your local DIY store.

How to do it

  1. Before you begin, put dust sheets down to protect your flooring.  
  2. Now take the wallpaper scorer and start to score through the wallpaper.  Take your time on this task and go gently; you don't want to end up damaging the plaster underneath the wallpaper.  Use the scorer to 'draw' long lines down the wall through the paper.  The idea is to allow water to get underneath the surface of the paper so that it can work on dissolving the wallpaper paste adhesive beneath.  
  3. Your next job is to saturate the wallpaper.  Fill up your bucket with very hot water and add a small amount of washing-up liquid.  Soak the sponge in the hot water solution and soak the wall, beginning at the top and working down so that the water runs down the wall and underneath the paper.  Allow the water to soak into the wallpaper for 15 minutes or so.  
  4. Try to peel away a corner of the wallpaper to see if the water has soaked right through.  If the paper is still dry underneath, repeat step #3.  
  5. Now use your wallpaper stripping knife to remove the old paper.  To do this, slide the knife between the paper and the wall, taking care not to damage the plaster.  Start at the top and work your way down.  It's a good idea to spend a few minutes clearing away the old paper into bin bags as you go; the paper is likely to be very sticky, and if you're not careful, you could end up covered in it!  
  6. When all the old wallpaper has been removed, make up a new solution of warm water and washing-up liquid and give the walls a wipe over to get rid of any clinging wallpaper paste.  
  7. Allow the walls to dry out thoroughly for 24 hours or so and you're ready to start redecorating.

You can get your kitchen renovation project off to a flying start by following the above tips and getting rid of that nasty old wallpaper in double quick time!