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Painting & Decorating

Taking off wallpaper

Currently taking all the wallpaper from stairs and landing from a 1900 terrace. Numerous layers of paper, some layers really difficult to get off. Am having it reappeared and lined. How crucial is it to get it back to the plaster when reapplying lining paper. TIA

8 Answers from MyBuilder Painters & Decorators

Best Answer

All depends how well you want the job to turn out. Lining paper will not hide a multitude of sins.
I strip every last bit, remove the old wallpaper paste residue, fill and sand all imperfections.
It's all in the prep


Answered 6th Jan 2020

i would personally strip all layers of paper off wall as best you can ,you should be able to remove all residue especially when using a steamer, then i'd wash walls down with a sugar soap solution removing any excess residue , then obviously cross line walls before papering


Answered 6th Jan 2020

You have to strip everything away before putting new paper on . The new paper needs a clean flat surface to stick to .. any lumps or bumps will show through . Any old paper will come off the wall with the weight of the new paper .


Answered 6th Jan 2020

To achieve a good surface on which to hang the lining paper, it’s best to remove all existing paper, fill and sand all knock marks, holes and cracks using a filler knife and flexible filler.
Go back over the filled areas several times as you won’t get them all on the first pass.


Answered 6th Jan 2020

Hi Darren,

it is very crucial as you need to inspect the standard and condition of the plaster behind the paper before we apply paper - as if it is poor condition it will blow and cause the paper crack and lift.



Answered 6th Jan 2020

Hi Darren,
The process is as follows,
It is essential to remove every bit of paper back to existing plaster, then thoroughly wash the plastered walls with a solution of sugar soap and water. At this point you need to make good all wall imperfections with trade filler such as Easyfill, then sand flat, refill if necessary. Size the walls with a week solution of wallpaper paste or if the walls are particularly porous coat with a stabilising coat of say Sikkens Gardz or similar. At this point you are ready to hang the lining paper of a suitable grade. Hang paper vertically if you are painting the walls or horizontally if you are going to finish with wallpaper.


Answered 7th Jan 2020


If the existing wallpaper is in good condition and firmly adhered to the walls and has a smooth texture (must), free from any embossing, raised embellishments or flocking, you can add a fresh layer of wallpaper over the old by following. ATTENTION!!! Avoid drawing the line along any existing wallpaper seams.


Answered 7th Jan 2020

Hi, never paper over old paper as the paste can sometimes soften the dyes in the old paper allowing them to bleed through the new paper. Strip paper completely, wash off all residual paste,allow to dry, and fill any holes, take out any cracks,and refill. Rub down dust off ,size, and cross line with wall rock lining paper.


Answered 7th Jan 2020

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