I learnt many things over the years I spent refurbishing my first flat, but one of the most important lessons I learnt was that it is really important to have the right tools for the job. Good quality tools can make all the difference between a job done well, and a job done poorly that probably took twice as long. I have found from experience that it is usually is worth the little bit of extra cost to get a decent paint brush, roller, or utility knife.
We quickly learnt that the old flat profiled scraper that I had in my toolbox (shown on the left) was not nearly as efficient or sharp as the new bent profile scraper I bought recently (shown on the right). So before starting on phase 2 of the Great Wallpaper Removal Project – I popped down to the hardware store to buy another one so we could each have one. I wasn’t sure whether the bent profile would make a difference, but it is indeed much better! Every wall in our house (and even some ceilings too!) are wallpapered, so I suspect both scrapers will see their fair share of wall surface.
A few other ‘tips’ I can pass on from our phase 1 include:
- Use boiling hot water to mix with the wallpaper stripper as it will remove the base layer more quickly.
- Work on two areas at once, sponging the wallpaper stripper on one area and letting it absorb into the paper for 5 minutes or so while peeling off paper in another area.
- Work from the top down so water drips onto the wallpaper below, pre-soaking it.
- Work from the top down so when you get tired you don’t have to lift your arms and can work on the lower bits.
- Use a large sponge so that you get more coverage when wetting down the paper (we bought a larger sponge for phase 2)
- Have regular breaks!