How much does wallpaper stripping cost? DIY vs Professional

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Stripping wallpaper can be a tedious job. It takes a lot of time and tends to be very boring. Also, if you’re dealing with more stubborn wallpaper such as woodchip, it can be hard work.

If you’re doing the work yourself, then the cost is pretty low. All you really need is the following tools:

  • Wallpaper scraper
  • Stanley knife (utility knife)
  • Bucket of hot water and a sponge, or a wallpaper steamer
  • PPE – Goggles or glasses, gloves, possibly a dust mask
  • Sugar soap for cleaning leftover paste, prior to redecorating.
  • Dust sheets to cover furniture and carpets, etc.

Personally, I would always use a wallpaper steamer over a bucket and sponge. The job is bad enough without making it any worse.

Using a steamer makes the job a lot easier, and they are not particularly expensive. You can buy a decent steamer for between £30-£40. Click here to see a good example.

With this in mind the total cost for materials and tools would be roughly £50 – £60, including the steamer.

To hire someone to do the work, would be far more expensive. On average you are looking at approximately £300 – £400 per room to strip and prep the walls. This will include removing all the paper and cleaning and prepping the walls for either redecorating or plastering.

You may find that some workers prefer to charge a day rate, as opposed to a per room rate. This could be good or bad, depending on how difficult the wallpaper removal is.

An average day rate for this type of work, would range somewhere between £170 – £220.

how much does wallpaper stripping cost

The best way to reduce wallpaper removal costs

If you really don’t want to do the work yourself, and intend to hire someone, then there are ways to save money.

Firstly, you could ask friends or relatives. This will not always be an option, but you may be able to get someone prepared to help you for free. Or perhaps you have a younger relative or friend, who wants to earn a little bit of extra money by helping you out.

Even if they just strip the paper and leave some of the paste on the walls, it is one less job for a decorator or plasterer to do when they come to re-finish your walls.

If this isn’t an option and you have to hire someone, then you should definitely shop around to find the best price. Getting multiple quotes, can help you to reduce the cost of stripping you wallpaper. Check with decorators, plasterers, and even local handymen.

An even better way to do this is compare prices online. Comparison sites let you get multiple quotes from local companies. This has several advantages:

  1. They are all in one place, so you only have to post one job.
  2. They will have reviews from real customers that you can read. This protects you from hiring any cowboys.
  3. In most cases they will be verified by the comparison site. Again this protects you from low quality workers.
  4. And most importantly they are all competing on price.

Due to the last point, prices can be considerably lower than going direct. Everyone seeing your job, knows that their competitors will also be bidding on the same work. This means they have to lower their prices to be competitive.

We have seen prices as much as 40% lower by comparing this way. Obviously, if you are hiring for a decent amount of wallpaper stripping, this could really reduce the cost you end up paying.

To compare prices of local wallpaper strippers click here

Other things that can affect the price

  • Size of the room – Obviously if your rooms are bigger they will require more work. Quotes will consider the overall size of the room. As well as things like ceiling height and any awkward areas that will be more difficult to reach.

  • How many rooms need doing – Needless to say, more rooms will increase the cost. However, you may be able to get a discount if you are having multiple rooms stripped.

  • Type of wallpaper – As we mentioned previously, some wallpaper is challenging to remove. For example woodchip is notoriously hard to strip.

  • Conditions of the sub surface – The quality of the walls below the paper will affect the price. They are likely to be damaged and will need repairing after the paper is stripped.

  • Awkward areas to strip – More complicated areas that require stripping, such as high stairwells and smaller enclosed spaces.

  • Method used to strip – Generally the method will use either a bucket and water or a steamer. However, in cases where the wallpaper is particularly stubborn, special chemicals may be used.

  • Moving furniture and preparing the area for work – If there is a lot of work prior to stripping wallpaper, this will likely add to the cost.

Conclusion

If you have spare time, and you are fit and able, it might be a good idea to do the work yourself. Yes, it is boring, and it might take a while, but it is relatively easy. It is certainly not considered a skilled job.

If you are unable to do the work, or simply can’t face it, then make sure you shop around for the best price. Despite being an unskilled job, it is still quite expensive to outsource.

By comparing prices you could save a significant amount of money on your wallpaper stripping.