RSA's home decorating tips

Planning on giving your home a little spruce up soon? Here are some handy tips from our home insurance provider, RSA on how to remove old ugly wallpaper and revamp a tired looking fireplace. 

How to remove wallpaper

Removing wallpaper is a tedious job - but with a few handy tips, it doesn't have to be a nightmare. The key is all in the preparation - taking a little time to prepare properly will give you a better chance of success. 

  1. Put a dustsheet down to cover the floor (if you're keeping the flooring, that is) and cover the existing skirting boards with tape and plastic sheets, as these may get wet. Have some old towels handy to soak up any excess water that may drip down the wall too. 
  2. Begin by pulling off the top layer of wallpaper, so you only have the backing on the wall left to remove. The best way to get the top layer off is to start with a corner and get your scraper under it to life it. Then you should be able to gently pull the sheet to get off the rest.
  3. Once you only have the backing paper left on the wall, mix a capful of fabric softener with warm water in a bucket and then, using a sponge, wash it over the backing paper. Allow the water to then soak in, which will help loosen the glue that is holding the paper up. 
  4. Work in small patches of wall so the paper doesn't dry out, and when the backing softens, use your scraper to prise the paper off the wall. Rub firmly but don't jab the scraper into the wall as this may damage the wall's surface in the long run. Be sure to get every bit of old paste off the wall as well, to give you a clean surface to re-paper or paint over. 
  5. If you're working in an older house, an electric steamer may be a better option to tackle wallpaper that may have been painted over or left for decades!
  6. Repaint or wallpaper again for a fresh new look!

How to revamp an old fireplace

Giving a coat of paint to a fireplace is an excellent way to give it a new lease of life. It's it's the wooden mantelpiece and surround that is going to be re-painted, there is no need to buy a special paint as they're generally not affected by the heat of the fire. The mantelpiece and surround can just be sanded down, primed and then repainted.

If you have a brick fireplace that could do with a little revamp, firstly clean down the bricks with a wire brush and hoover. After that, paint the bricks with a water-based primer and then paint to finish. However, if you are intending to paint anywhere that the flames will touch or that will get hot (like the grate, for example), a high heat-resistant paint will be needed which you can easily find online and in hardware stores. 

Check out our House Goals area of the blog where you'll find articles on how to add value to your home, how interiors experts and bloggers updated their houses during the Coronavirus lockdown period and also which plants are perfect for purifying the air in your home

Home insurance

Don't forget to check out 'Take Your Pick' home insurance and get an online quote today to protect your valuable items and your home. Plus, qualifying members of our Member Rewards programme receive £25 cashback on home insurance policies. A qualifying building society member is someone aged over 18 who has a savings balance of at least £500 and in addition has held a savings account with us for at least 12 months or currently has a Nottingham Building Society mortgage. 

View Member Rewards terms and conditions


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