Decorating services




Strip Walls
This is probably the one job most D.I.Yers don't look forward to. But let me tell you that it really needn't be. I've lost count of the number of times D.I.Yers have told me about how they had to use steam strippers to get rid of wallpaper that was impossible to remove. The fact is, steam stripping can be really messy and excessively time consuming; not to mention really hard work.
I have been a painter & decorator for over 25 years now, and during that time, i have spent hundreds of days stripping paper from walls and ceilings all over Britain on both residential and commercial projects, and believe it or not, i have probably used a steam stripper less than 20 times. In the last 10 years, i have used a steam stripper twice.
Don't get me wrong, there are times when steam strippers are absolutely essential:- The old craze of putting woodchip on walls and ceilings and then painting over it with silk finishes or at times even oil based gloss finishes caused nightmares for both D.I.Y.- ers and Tradesmen alike. I've had to tackle stripping jobs where even steam strippers have struggled to get rid of woodchip. But generally, those days have gone, very rarely do i see woodchip on walls or ceilings anymore. 
Occasionally i will strip a paper from a wall and find another paper underneath, then one underneath that and one underneath that. It may in an instance like that be preferable to use a steam stripper but it certainly not essential.


Stripping Vinyl Papers
1 Turn off the electricity supply at the mains. You are going to use plenty of water,                                          (water and electricity don't go well together).
2 Lay a protective sheet on the floor next to the wall you are about to strip.
Whilst the wall is dry, look at the wall covering and find one of the joints. Next,    using either a stripping knife or 'stanley' knife you need to carefully slide your blade under the vinyl. Grab the loose piece in your fingers and pull the vinyl sheet away from the wall. If you are lucky, the full sheet may come off from floor to ceiling. If not you may have to pick smaller bits off at time (there is a knack to getting the vinyl off in big sheets - you just have to show some patience).
   *A tip here is to lay the dry top pieces of paper on the floor over the
    protective sheet. The dry paper will absorb any splashes or excess water
    that is used during the soaking process. 
4 When the vinyl sheet is removed, you will be left with a backing paper to remove (plus any papers or lining papers underneath the backing paper.) 
5 Next, you need to fill a bucket with hot water (NOT so hot that you will scold yourself !). Mix a generous amount of washing up liquid into the water. Agitate the water to create lots of bubbles.
6 Using a large paint brush or flat brush, Apply the 'foamy' water generously to the wall (starting near the ceiling) using long horizontal strokes. You will find that most of the water that flows down the wall will be absorbed by the backing       paper before it reaches the skirting board. When the whole wall is wet, go back to where you started and soak the wall again.
7 At this point, head straight to the kitchen, make yourself a brew and chill out for ten minutes.
8 When the paper has had ten minutes to soak, test how easy the paper is to remove. Generally backing papers should 'fall off' the wall after one soak. If not soak the paper again and leave for another ten minutes. Test again and repeat as necessary.
9 If there are multiple layers of paper on the wall, soak each layer, remove, and repeat the soaking process for the next layer.
10 The mantra for stripping wallpaper is - 'let the water do the work'. Just soak and soak and soak until it falls off.

Painted Blown Vinyls and Anaglypta
1 Turn off electricity supply
2 Lay Down Protective sheet
3 Whist dry, try to remove top painted layer. You may have to get a little more physical to remove this layer than mentioned in the above section on how to remove vinyl papers. If the painted sheet does not come off in big pieces, perseverance is  the key. 
4 Soak and remove backing papers as outlined in the removing vinyl papers section.

note:
 If the painted layer is stuck solid and wont budge, before you head for the steam stripper, 'scribe' the surface of the paper horizontally with a sharp knife every couple of inches or so, from the top of the wall to the bottom. Carry out the soaking process as mentioned above. The water will penetrate the painted surface of the paper through the scribe marks. The paper will start to easily come off after several soaks.