Questions and Answers
Is it worth stripping the wallpaper myself?
Wallpaper removal can be a breeze or a nightmare depending on the wall covering, the adhesive used, and the previous wall preparation.
The easiest way to remove wallpaper is to dry strip the first layer and then to soak the backing paper using a garden sprayer filled with hot water and a little dish washing detergent. Sometimes the backing paper will need a second soaking before it's soft enough to strip with a scraper blade. If the first layer comes off in little strips try spraying first to soften it.
If in doubt, let a tradesman strip the paper for you. It's a lot quicker and doesn't cost the earth.
Can wallpaper be stripped and then the wall repainted?
The only way to obtain a paintable wall surface after stripping is to apply one coat of oil-based pigmented sealer and then apply two skim coats of plaster to the whole wall.
This can be costly. It is usually less expensive to re-wallpaper.
Can wallpaper be hung over existing wallpaper?
Yes. But it isn't usually advisable. For a quality job, it is always better to strip off the existing wallpaper.
Can wallpaper be hung over a glossy surface?
As long as the surface has been well prepared and a coat of oil-based pigmented sealer applied.
Can wallpaper be painted over?
Painting over wallpaper should only be considered after a concerted effort has been made to strip the existing paper. Painting a wallpapered surface always runs the risk of loose paper peeling off when wet and bubbles appearing.
If there is no alternative to painting over the wallpaper, then it must be coated with an oil based pigmented sealer before continuing with the preparation and re-paint.
Do the walls have to be sized?
All walls have to be sized. Doing so evens out the porosity of the wall and gives more "slip" to the wallpaper. This results in better joins (as the paperhanger has more time to position the wallpaper) and makes it easier to strip the wallpaper off at a later date.
Should pre-pasted wallpaper be re-pasted?
Most modern pre-pasted wallpapers have ample paste on the paper if used in conjunction with a latex size. But if there is any doubt whatsoever, then additional paste should be applied. ( We prefer to hand paste all of our wallpapers)
Does imported wallpaper need a special paste?
Imported paper should be hung as per instructions: this could be standard, metalyn or a tub paste. Failure to adhere to the supplied instructions can hinder the hanging and ultimately the finished result.
Is it okay to hang a painting (or similar) on the finished walls immediately after papering?
Give the paper a few days to dry before hanging anything. It can take up to a week to dry completely (depending on the paste used and temperatures at the time).
What is used to clean wallpaper?
Always try warm water first. DON'T use household cleaners.
For more stubborn marks (and to remove old dry paste) try a mix of 1 part vinegar (or ammonia) to 5 parts warm water.
IMPORTANT: There's always a danger of staining the wallpaper. So, if possible, test your solution on an old offcut first. If you don't have any old offcuts, test a spot in an inconspicuous corner.