What is a Wallpaper Steamer?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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Wallpaper steamers are devices that are utilized in the task of removing wallpaper from the surfaces of interior walls. The steamer is helpful when the process of wallpaper removal involves sections of paper that are so firmly adhered to the surface that it is impossible to remove the paper in large sections. A wallpaper steamer helps to moisten and thus loosen the glue between the paper and the wall surface, making it possible to remove the paper with less effort.

In appearance, a wallpaper steamer is a device that can be held in the hand. A handle that is similar to handles found on steam irons allows the user to control the movement of the device with ease. A flat plate that includes a series of holes in the surface allows steam to escape from the device and sink through the surface of the paper. A small reservoir tank on the device is filled with water. When plugged into an electrical outlet, the wallpaper steamer can be allowed to warm the water in the same manner as a kitchen iron.


Using a wallpaper steamer can take a degree of patience. Generally, it is recommended to use a scoring tool on the wallpaper before applying the steamer to the surface. By scoring the paper, tiny holes are made in the surface. Those holes allow the steam from the wallpaper steamer to seep into the space between paper and wall surface, and begin the process of loosening the glue. The user holds the face plate of the wallpaper steamer against the wall surface for a period of time, then moves on to the next section. As the glue loosens, the paper can be peeled away from the wall.

When using a wallpaper steamer, it is important to note that the surface of the wall will be somewhat supple and easier to damage after the paper has been removed. Manufactures of different wallpaper steamer models usually include some recommendations in how to use the steamer so that the wall is not damaged during the steaming process.


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