Stripping wallpaper is one of those tedious tasks we all have to do at the start of any major redecoration project but it needn't be as time-consuming or backbreaking as you think. There a few tricks to removing wallpaper that could save you hours on larger projects.
To quickly and easily remove wallpaper, you're going to need some equipment but luckily it's not going to set you back much.
Bucket of water
Towel or large brush
Stanley knife (optional)
Steam stripper (optional)
Soaking the wallpaper is the key factor to removing it quickly and easily. For this, you're best bet (for a single room) is to just go for a simple bucket of water and either an old towel/rag that you can dip in and wipe the wallpaper over with or a large brush (a wallpapering brush or a dustpan brush are ideal) that you can use to flick water onto the wall (more fun but a bit messier).
It'll probably take 5-10 minutes for the water to soak into the paper so this is your designated tea break time (milk and two sugars please). If you want to speed up this process (and also make it more effective) you could use either a Stanley knife (or just the sharp corner of your scraper to score lines into the paper.
The ideal pattern to go for if scoring the wallpaper is a diagonal crisscross with lines about 5cm (2inches) apart that'll allow water to really get into and behind the wallpaper but there are some drawbacks to this method. Firstly, the scoring of the paper can easily go all the way through and cause damage to the plasterwork behind and secondly you won't be able to get the wallpaper off in large pieces. However, this is pretty much your only option if the wallpaper was painted over as this would otherwise make it waterproof.
Stream strippers are another option and are definitely worthwhile investments if you're doing the whole house or are an up-and-coming property developer. You can find a selection of wallpaper strippers for as little as £29.39 online.
Hopefully if you've followed these tips, you should have a pile of torn up, soggy wallpaper that vaguely resembles this. Congratulations, you've made your first step towards redecorating your room. For more decoration tips visit our decorating collection and for inspiration and DIY supplies for your redecoration project visit Wallpaper Direct and Designer Paint.