There's a new product on the market that claims to make the grim job of stripping wallpaper a lot easier. Having stripped what seems like acres of the stuff in the past I was obviously keen to try this out. This new Simple Strip 3-step wallpaper removal system is made by Wallwik.
We had a suitably demanding job lined up - a lounge with that old favoutite "painted woodchip". Well, there's no point in trying it out on something too easy. My normal approach would have been to reach for the spiker and steamer and I know that works pretty well.
Eager to start, we unpacked the kit:
- 6 x HydroSheets
- Scoring Tool
- Bottle of Power Solution
- Pressure Sprayer
- Plastic Scraper
This should be enough to do a couple of rooms quite happily. The Hydrosheets are reusable up to 50 times each.
As with any paper stripping, switch off the power at the consumer unit for all electrical points in the room.
The first job is to score the surface with the handy tool provided. This works pretty well. The idea is to score the surface horizontally and vertically so that the the water and stripping solution can percolate through the paper more easily. The instructions mention light pressure to start with but with woodchip you need to give it a little more welly. We tested a couple of areas to get it right. The thing to watch is not to push so hard that you start damaging the plaster surface underneath. We did find that taking the time to score the surface really thoroughly helped a lot.
The stripping solution was mixed with warm water in a bucket. Then, dunk the hydrosheets in the bucket before applying them to the wall. This is a doddle and the sheets hold themselves in place easily. Once the sheets are up it's simply a question of letting them give the woodchip a good old soak. The sheets will start drying out though - hence the sprayer.
The sprayer is a neat idea. The stripping solution is added and, using the pump action mechanism, the sprayer is pressurised enabling a mist of stripping solution to be added to the surface. This makes light work of keeping the sheets moist. Granted you could do the same job by sponging the surface with the solution but it would be a lot messier.
After around 15 minutes the first hydrosheet was removed and we started stripping. Very impressive ! The woodchip peeled away in fairly large pieces. Some of the backing got left behind as you'd expect. But this was easily removed after a second soaking. We tried the supplied plastic scraper but didn't get on too well with that. We used a decent metal scraper instead and that finished the job off nicely.
This is certainly a great idea and with very little practice you will be stripping wallpaper more easily than before. Unless you're using a steamer, painted woodchip has always needed a serious bit of elbow grease. The thing with steamers is that a lot of people find them a bit daunting and they can get a bit hot and messy. And, if you're not used to them it's easy to blow the plaster. Wallwik have come up with a neat way of making this job a lot less time consuming and a load easier than the old fashioned way.
Great product !
For more info visit: www.simplestrip.co.uk or call them on 0800 043 4799