It is normal for wallpaper to deteriorate over time. Despite the fact that materials are now used that are highly durable and resistant, it is likely to cause tears or stains in busy rooms. Also, changes in decorating trends may make you feel the need to remove the wallpaper you have put up.
Removing old wallpaper can be a little more complicated. Older models do not have the features that are offered today. Some types of wallpaper, such as TNT paper, can be removed very easily, but this is a relatively recent innovation.
This is why, especially in older homes, it can be quite a cumbersome task to remove old wallpaper. The first thing to do is to arm yourself with patience and prepare for a few hours of hard work.
Steps to take when removing old wallpaper
The first step is to prepare the room so that it is not damaged in any way. You will need to cover floors, furniture, doors and windows so that they are not affected by the intervention you are going to do on the wallpaper.
The next thing to do is to soften both the paper and the glue. To do this you can use several alternatives. The first uses warm water and soap (you can use dish soap). You should spread it well over the entire surface of the wallpapered wall and leave it to act for about fifteen minutes.
If this doesn't work, then use a mixture of water and solvent. Apply it in the same way to the old wallpaper to get it to soak into the wallpaper and reach the glue. This product is very aggressive and risks damaging other surfaces.
If you still have not managed to soften the wallpaper sufficiently, you can use specific products that exist to solve cases where the old wallpaper is very sticky. In the same way it is diluted in water and applied with a roller. It should also be left to act for a quarter of an hour. With this procedure, the old wallpaper is ready to be removed.
The next step is to remove the old wallpaper, leaving the wall uncovered. If everything has gone well, you should be able to remove it without difficulty by removing each strip completely. If not, you still need to soften it further. To do this you can continue to use water with the product you have chosen.
To carry out this process effectively, you must have a spatula. It should be large enough to exert the necessary pressure to remove the strips easily. It will also help you to remove the small remains or pieces that may remain.
Once you have removed all the old wallpaper, you can remove the remains of the glue with the help of warm water and soap. Your wall is now ready for any type of intervention.
Other options for softening the old wallpaper
Another very effective option for removing wallpaper is to use steam. To do this you can use specific machinery such as strippers that require some experience. Steam is very hot and can cause burns. It can also generate humidity if the room is not sufficiently ventilated. For this reason, expert handling is always advisable.
Other alternatives are the use of steamers or irons (clothes irons, yes), but these are not particularly recommended. In neither case are these devices specifically designed for this use. There are different types of steamers ranging from those used as hand-held equipment to real powerful robots. Depending on the type of steamer and its power, you can obtain better or worse results.
As for the iron, the risks of using it for this purpose are more than obvious. You will not be able to cover large surfaces and you will probably be limited by the length of the cable. A lot of surface is probably out of reach.
After the water vapour to soften the old wallpaper, all you have to do is follow the same steps as explained above. In this case, you can remove the wallpaper without having to wait any longer. The glue will soften immediately and you will be able to remove it almost immediately.
At ALF&Mabi we are specialists in wallpaper and we will help you with any questions you may have about decorating your home. Our wallpapers are designed so that you can achieve the decoration you want at all times without great difficulty.