How to Safely Remove Wallpaper without Chemicals

How to Safely Remove Wallpaper without ChemicalsSome wallpapers, especially those that have been painted over, are not easy to remove in a reasonable time.

This post will show you how to quickly and safely remove difficult wallpaper without using chemicals.

You'll learn how to use a small range of hand tools to prepare the wallpaper before applying the steamer for quick and efficient stripping of the old paper. You will relish how efficient this electric tool is in removing wallpaper and how easy it will be for you to apply it in the work area.

The benefits to you in using a steamer over other methods is clearly demonstrated in the video.

You can be assured that a wallpaper steamer, with sensible precautions, is perfectly safe to use in your home. Just make sure that you follow the safety tips recommended in this post.

Supplies Needed

Wallpaper Perforator

Wallpaper Steamer

Water Bucket


Trimming Knife


Dust Sheets

Step Ladder

Safety Glasses

Hard Broom

Trash Bags


Step by Step Instructions

Safety Tips.
Always take care when using a wallpaper steamer for the first time. You should always take the following precautions.

Place the steam plate in a bucket before the water in the machine reaches boiling point - boiling water may spurt suddenly from the hose end before any steam appears.

Don't work the steam plate above shoulder height - escaping steam quickly becomes boiling water which may spill out from the plate. Use a step ladder so that you don't have to stretch to reach higher work areas - the machine comes with sufficient hose length for that reason.

Wear a top with long sleeves, water resistant gloves and safety glasses for protection.
Work in a well-vented room to prevent the build up of warm moisture.

Put down dust sheets to protect flooring and any furniture left in the room.

Have a trash bag ready to clear away all the wet scrap paper as you work the walls.

Prepare the walls for the steamer by spiking the paper with a wallpaper perforator. This helps the steam to penetrate behind the paper and dissolve the paste.

Repeat the spiking operation several times so that the paper is holed as much as possible as that will make the removal faster.

As an alternative, a knife can be used to make crossed diagonal cuts. This method will take more time and you need to avoid being too heavy-handed to prevent damage to the surface below the paper.

Fill the steamer with tap water and bring to the boil.

Once steam is being produced, press the steam plate onto the paper and leave it there for several seconds.

Lift off the plate and apply it to a new area of wall while scraping off the previously steamed paper.

To prevent damage to the wall surface, listen for any change in the sound of the plate - a popping noise indicates that the plaster is starting to swell and crack. Lift off the plate at once if this happens.

As a precaution to stop further damage, the area should be stripped using a sponge or cloth with warm water. Simply soak the paper, leave for a few minutes and then scrape it off.

The sponge technique can also be used in tight areas, such as above door frames, where the steam plate won't lie flat on the wall.

Where the paper meets the ceiling it may be difficult to steam into the join. In that instance, use a sharp knife to score along the join to create a tidy edge. A cutting guide will be useful to prevent the knife running off. Scrape off the paper up to the line to leave a clean straight edge for the new paper.

Complete the job by brushing over the walls briskly with a hard broom to remove any residual paper.

Learning to control an electric steamer is not difficult to achieve.

Once you are confident in handling the machine, you will be able to strip out whole rooms of wallpaper in a relatively short time. The steamer is exceptionally fast in the removal of wallpapers that are either unpainted or pasted onto painted surfaces.

Even for those tougher jobs, a steamer does the job more efficiently, more swiftly and is safer to use than chemical strippers.

The less toxic chemicals you need to use in your home the better for you, your family and the environment.

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