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When stripping old wallpaper ensure that you have old clothes on and the floor of the room is covered in dust sheets or a protective layer. Be prepared for some mess.

Stripping wallpaper

1. Vinyls and paper-backed wallpapers are designed to be dry stipped which means that they can be peeled away from their backing and the lining left used for a lining for the new wallpaper or coats of paint.

Try lifting a corner and pullig upwards and outwards. The backing can be used if it is in good condition, especially if you intend to paint over the top or want to cover it with heavy wallpaper.

2. To remove standard wallpaper first turn off the electricity at the mains. Then wet the wallpaper thoroughly with water and soap detergent working from the top. Do not overwet if you are working on plasterboard.

3. If the wallpaper is coted or overpainted, you'll probably need to scrape the surface with a wire brush before wetting it to improve the absorbency. Leave it to soak before you try to remove it.

4. If you are in a hurry of you have many layers of paper to remove it is worth considering hiring a steam stripper for the day or week. This will be quicker.

5. Using a scraper with a wide blade start at the seams and base. Try to remove big strips at a time. The job will take considerable longer should you be tearing off tiny strips at a time. Take care not to jab the wwall beneath and just slide the scraper under the paper as any chips or hoes will need to be filled.

When all traces of the paper has been removed, finish by sanding the walls so that any small pieces of paper still stuck can be removed. Fill any holes with a good plaster and then sand again after they are dry.