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Remove wallpaper? Step-by-step plan to remove your own wallpaper

You have decided to give the room a makeover in the form of a new layer of wallpaper. In order to achieve optimum results, in many cases you will first have to remove the old wallpaper. But what is the best way to remove wallpaper? And how do you proceed when removing wallpaper? We'll show you with a number of handy tips and a concrete step-by-step plan.


Supplies for removing old wallpaper

Like many jobs, removing old wallpaper starts with the right tools of course.

The following supplies are actually indispensable.

  • A wallpaper steamer or plant sprayer with lukewarm water. These items are needed to wet the walls so that the old wallpaper comes loose.
  • A detergent or softener makes it even easier to soak off the old wallpaper.
  • A putty knife or wallpaper scraper to stick the old wallpaper off the wall.
  • A stool or step can also be very handy, especially if the walls of your home are quite high.
  • Plastic tarpaulin. This is good material to cover the floor, so that it doesn't get buried under the old wallpaper. Especially if you have carpet, these remains will not be easy to remove without a protective tarpaulin.
  • Is the wallpaper very solid or does it have a waterproof layer? Then you can use a wallpaper perforator to make holes in the wallpaper.
  • A supply of garbage bags. Of course, you can't just leave the old wallpaper on the floor. It is best to remove the wallpaper from an entire wall and then put it in the garbage bags. This will keep the floor tidy and you won't get buried under huge piles of removed wallpaper.

Wallpaper removal steps

Removing wallpaper becomes a lot easier with a clear and thorough step-by-step plan. This consists of the phases and actions below and shows how to remove wallpaper.

Making preparations

Removing wallpaper starts with a good preparation. Pay particular attention to the points below.

  • Always disconnect the power before you start removing wallpaper.
  • Whenever possible, remove the baseboards and sockets from the walls in order to be able to remove the fine residues of old wallpaper.
  • Prick some holes in the old wallpaper beforehand. In this way, the wallpaper absorbs water more quickly and easily, which ultimately makes it easier for it to come loose.

Wet the old wallpaper

Moistening the old wallpaper makes the removal process a lot easier and more pleasant. If the walls are relatively small, you can use a softener for this job. Apply it according to the instructions on the packaging and let it soak in for a few minutes.

Is your home equipped with wide and high walls? Then a wallpaper steamer is the solution. Fill it with water and wait until the water has warmed up properly. Then hold the steamer against the wallpaper until it softens.

Removing the wallpaper

Now that the wallpaper has become softer and looser, you can remove the old wallpaper for good. For loosening, it is best to use a good and sharp putty knife. This is an action that is quite precise. A too rough and rushed method of working can lead to damage to the wall, an undesired effect that will give you a lot of extra work later on.

You start by removing the top layer. Start in one of the lower corners. Then grab the corner of the wallpaper and slowly pull it diagonally off the wall. Because you do it diagonally, the pieces of wallpaper will stick together and the chance of removing it at once increases.

After the top layer it's the turn of the so-called adhesive layer. Fill an empty spray bottle with warm water and add a few drops of detergent. Then spray the detergent onto the adhesive layer and let it soak in for a few minutes. Over time, the adhesive layer will start to bubble and come loose on its own.

Cleaning and repairing walls

Although removing the wallpaper is of course the lion's share of the total job, it is not yet the end of the line. Before applying new wallpaper, it is important to clean the walls properly. There will always be some glue residue and small patches of the old wallpaper left behind. A good sanding with a hard and wet brush will usually remove these last irregularities.

It is also possible that over the years cracks or other types of damage have formed under the old wallpaper. It is important to repair these before you start applying a new layer of wallpaper. Wall filler is your ideal partner here. For any seams between plasterboards, it is best to use seam filler. However, sand the material well after drying to prevent visible unevenness in the new wallpaper.


New wallpaper

Now that the old wallpaper has been removed, it's time for new wallpaper. Have you ever thought about choosing photo wallpaper? On Wallgroup.com you can order beautiful photo wallpaper at very competitive prices. All prints are printed on non-woven wallpaper of a very high quality.

Take a look around on our website and take a look at our collection of photo wallpaper. You're sure to find a photo wallpaper that perfectly matches your taste!