How To | Strip Old Wallpaper

Time: Around 1.5 day per room | Need: Wallpaper Stripping Solution | Scraper| Scorer | Bucket and Sponge | Steamer | Pigmented Sealer| Foam Roller | Tray and Paint Brush, all available from Guthrie Bowron. (Wallpaper Steamer hire is only available in selected Guthrie Bowron stores)

Sometimes the elements that charm us about our renovation are sometimes the things that cause us the most frustration. That is the case when it comes to old wallpaper that needs to be removed.  If you want to remove old wallpaper yourself, the reality is it will take a decent amount of time and needs to be done correctly.

To help you through the process, we teamed up with our friends at Guthrie Bowron to show you the supplies you need with a step-by-step process to make it as easy as possible!

Step 1: Take a scorer and lightly move it along your old wallpaper, not pressing too hard to avoid damaging the walls. This will mean the wallpaper solution or steamer can get underneath your wallpaper to help lift it from the wall - making removal easier.

Step 2: Soak the walls with solution and water using a sponge or a spray bottle (you could even use a weed sprayer if you have one handy). If wallpaper is hard to lift also hire a steamer (available to hire at selected Guthrie Bowron stores)

Step 3: Peel off the wallpaper, it is best to use a scraper for this.

Step 4: Though the wallpaper may be all over the floor and not your walls – you are not done yet! Any remaining paper, glue or adhesive needs to be removed. Soak the wall once again and scrape the whole surface again. Even though it may look like there is nothing on the wall, it is extremely likely there is still glue residue.

Step 5: Once you have cleaned your space, it is time to seal your wallpaper-free walls. Make sure you wear gloves, a face mask and open all the windows while using the pigmented sealer. Read the instructions fully and use a foam roller and thick paint brush to apply to your walls.

Step 6: Give your gib stopper a call and let them know you are ready to plaster!


A helpful tip from Guthrie Bowron is that if you are working on stripping wallpaper from a newer home, there could be a chance that 'Paste the Wall' wallpaper was used. This wallpaper is much easier to strip when it is time to re-decorate. Not only are 'Paste the wall' wallpapers easy to hang due to the special backing paper that doesn't expand, they are also easy to remove. There is no need for steaming or soaking. Simply lift a corner at the base of the wall and peel upwards.

Posted on December 6, 2017 .