Using a Steamer to Remove Wallpaper

When it comes to removing wallpaper in your home, it can be quite the daunting task if you’re not using a streamer to remove wallpaper. Although the process will take a long time regardless of the method you use, a steamer should reduce some of the mess and strain on your arms.

However, even with a wallpaper steamer, you’re going to need to invest in the proper wallpaper removal tools. Head to your local hardware store, and purchase a wallpaper scoring tool. This will score small holes in the paper while it’s still on the wall, which will allow the steam to get underneath the paper and loosen the glue’s hold. In addition, you should invest in a scraping tool – for most cases, a 4” putty knife works best – since you’ll need it to help lift off the pieces of wallpaper as they become loose.

Of course, you’ll also need to rent a steamer, which you can also do at your local hardware store. Make sure the steamer comes with instructions, since many steamers work a little differently and can be dangerous if you’re not sure what you’re doing.

Before You Steam

Before hooking up the steamer and getting started, you’ll need to score the wallpaper first. Rub the scoring tool in a circular motion over the section of wallpaper you want to remove – yes, that means all of it, if you’re redoing an entire room. Tiny holes should soon be visible across the paper. Once this is done, you’re ready to start removing the paper.

One last thing before steaming: decide which area of the room you’re going to start steaming first, and work your way across. You’ll only be steaming about half a strip of paper at a time and then peeling it off, so try to go in a logical progression so that you don’t end up with a haphazard room of randomly stripped walls. Take the paper off in the same way as you’d put it on: logically.

Using the Steamer

Fill the steamer you’ve rented with water, and leave it alone for a few minutes so that it can heat up – similar to an iron, it’ll work better and you’ll have less space to re-steam if you wait until it’s properly warmed up.

You’ll know it’s hot enough once steam starts to funnel through the top of the steamer, at which point you can place the steamer’s nozzle onto the wall. The steam will then moisten the wallpaper, and start to loosen the glue. If you’ve scored the wallpaper correctly, the paper should soon start to peel off with little effort.

Once you’ve steamed an area, take the scraper and use it to help peel the wallpaper off the wall – but don’t get discouraged if you find it doesn’t all slide off. Some sections will need extra scraping, or perhaps even a second run of steaming.

When taking the paper off the wall, take care not to nick the wall. You shouldn’t need to press too hard, but in some of those cases where extra scraping is needed, you might find that you’ve nicked the drywall or scratched the surface.

If this is the case, wait until you’re finished removing the wallpaper and have cleaned the surface, and then apply some spackle or mud to the scratched area. Allow this to dry for 24 hours, and then you can begin the process of applying new wallpaper or painting your newly fresh wall surface!

See Also: How to Remove Wallpaper Glue