If you decide to strip the wallpaper, it is best to use traditional methods to remove the paper – we recommend that you soak the paper first and scrape it carefully off the wall, rather than using a wallpaper steamer, particularly in our older properties.

This is because steamers tend to bring off old plaster as well as the paper, especially on old lath-and-plaster walls. For painted paper you will need to score/scratch through the painted top coat first, so that the water can soak through.

After the wallpaper has been removed, the plaster may need to be inspected and possibly repaired – this may delay your decorating. If you have any concerns, please call Resident Services to arrange an inspection of the area. Please note – we won’t replaster just because a wall lacks the perfectly smooth finish of modern plasterboard walls. We will only do such work if there is an underlying problem with the plaster itself. A heavier paper or painted Anaglypta will cover any irregularities in the wall far better than thin wallpaper. 

Try to decorate only one room at a time. If you remove the wallpaper throughout the house and most of the plaster then requires replacing, you will not have any rooms where you can live normally while waiting for the re-plastering to be done. Re-plastering is not an urgent repair, and if you live in a listed property we will have to apply for listed building consent, which takes at least two months to obtain.


Treat ceilings in the same way as you treat walls. If the ceiling paper shows ridges or irregular lines running across it, the plaster may be loose behind the paper – please contact us to arrange an inspection.

We do not allow the fitting of polystyrene tiles to ceilings.


The easiest way to redecorate woodwork is to prepare it well before painting: rub down the surface with a fine/medium grade of glass paper to provide a key for your new paint, and wash it with a sugar soap solution. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the sugar soap and the paint.