How to remove wall paper from a dolls house

Now I cannot claim this brilliant tip as my own, but I can tell you I have used it many times and it works a treat!

When I first started renovating dolls houses about a year or so ago, I was struggling to get rid of old wall and floor paper in one of my houses. The lovely Marilyn, a fellow miniaturist and dolls house enthusiast (her work is amazing!! Find her latest blog at ) then gave my the tip of using warm water and fabric softener to remove the wall paper. And it worked brilliantly!

Since then I have parted with this little nugget of information many times, but I always get asked the same questions.... "how much water, how much fabric softener?" Truth be told, I didn't really know! hahah I just eye ball it. Sooooo.... as I'm renovating another house at the moment, I thought I'd write a post about the process. This might not be the way others do it, but it's the way that works best for me. I hope this tip helps you as much as it helped me!

The equipment.
I keep a bucket close by for all the scraps of paper
Plastic pallet knife, not required, but works for me.
Sponge for water
Dry cloth or dry sponge for rubbing paper off
Patience (where can one buy this??)
Oh and I wear gloves, but that's simply because my fingers hurt easily 
and I like to protect my nails. Not a requirement. 

I use an empty ice cream container for the mixture.
Fill about a quarter (maybe little less) with warm water (not hot)
Add a cap full (medium size) of fabric softener (I use a cheap brand)

First remove all the dry paper that comes off easily

Wet the sponge with your fabric softener mixture, squeeze to let most water out.
You DO NOT want to soak your wood or MDF.
Dampen the area (work in smaller areas at a time as it tends to dry)
Wait 30-60 seconds
Rub the paper off with a cloth, a sponge or a plastic artist pallet knife. Whatever works for you.
Please be careful when using the pallet knife. don't hurt yourself or the wood, and whatever you do, don't use a metal one! It will scratch the wood.
It can take a few repeats of the process before the paper and glue starts lifting, so be patient. 

And then..... after a while ... magic happens
And voilĂ ! It's done! 
This door took me about 15 minutes.

Now, I know there is still slight evidence of glue left here. But I've scrubbed it down with a sponge to a smooth finish and I am happy with it. I'm going to wall paper over it, so it won't be visible. I'm happy, and that's all that matters. You can stop or continue to scrub until you're happy with the result.

Disclaimer: This is a tutorial written from my own experience. While it works for me, you use this     information at your own risk. I am not responsible for any damage or injury resulting in the use of this article. 

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