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Paper Stripping Zinsser DIF / Paper Tiger Worth it or better?

Morning all. To date I’ve renovated 6 places the long & painful amateur way but that continues to improve thanks to advice on TP.

Stripping wise it’s always been steam, filler knife & time but just read about Zinsser Paper Tiger and DIF stripping enzyme and wandered if worth the investment or just attic fodder?

Experience of Zinsser products to date has been good but thought I’d ask the experts before wasting time & money.

Happy to move away from steam stripper and knife…what are the best tools and method and products in your opinion?

Having been skeptical about a few ‘out there’ products recently and been proved wrong, I’m keen to have an open mind to alternatives on this one. Opinions and advice gratefully received as always. Many thanks

Actually just found a post Jason made a year or two back that covers a lot of my question very well but any updates or new approach or suggestions still welcome.

Just to clarify, we have what looks like a vinyl type of paper finish in most rooms and glossed wood chip on some ceilings. The normal ex council house mid 50’s archaeological paint and paper dig!

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A few questions there, yes the tigers good so is dif in a spray bottle,you could lay some dust sheets on top of carpet tape to soak up water. For removing glue try krudcutter,or fairy liquid in spray bottle, spray wall little contact time, and scrape of glue, the other job I done I used a wallpaper trim guide worked really well.

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Cheers Jason. All good stuff and have just ordered both items…was someone on ebay selling a gallon of DIF cheap so thought I’d have a go at that and the Tiger is cheap enough.

We have the luxury of the house being a head to toe renovator so the carpets will be scarified in reality.

Will order a bottle of the Krudcutter as well. Have heard good things about that in other posts. Thanks for the guidance Jason

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whether using a steamer or spray or just sponge the paper wet, a spiker is a good tool to puncture the paper to allow moisture in. I use the short handled Olfa stripping tool.


Cheers Dave…good to know it’s not just a K-Tel thing. Have to confess I’ve always steamed the life out of my renovation projects. But in most of those cases I have also had a good deal of plastering done after as well. Think there may well be a direct link!!! Just looking at the Olfa tools…look nice quality.

K-Tel ! They should bring all that back and the tv ads as well !!


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Yep, gives the age away but anyone born in 64 on-wards will have bought something with K-Tel written on it…a greatest hits album or a multi function kitchen chopper! :wink:

paper tiger really helps the water penetrate the paper and does a good job but don’t be too rough as you can put swirls allover the walls beneath. try the dif in the steamer too- again - all helps as it eats the glue. steam leave it then try a bit - let the steamer do the work


Good to know Lee and thanks for the advice. Yes I’ve bought the three head one and a container of Dif. Also one of their strippers…another ebay mad moment but hopefully they will help productivity.

Never thought of trying it in the steamer. I’m going to ease back a bit on the steamer as some of the guys said it can lift older plaster but I guess used in a more restrained way it would be fine.

And is good to know these items are not just shed fodder. Thanks again

yes over steaming can lift plaster - especially on lat and plaster . If you are using dif, try a pump garden sprayer to apply it - thats what i use - i have a back pack type so i can spray and go wherever i need to - you can control the tip too

good luck

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For particularly stubborn wall coverings, including wood chip, running your Festool/Deros over the surface with 40 grit first really helps :grinning:


Ha ha…I can use the big 150 unit and rip the plaster off as well :slight_smile: … No is a good idea of course.

I have not dropped across the 150/5 EQ unit you suggested yet…struggling find one the right price but is only a matter of time. The big unit would eat that for sure.

And in indeed we do have a hall ceiling that some ‘di-vinci type’ decided needed two coats of gloss on top of the obligatory wood chip! And they say it’s hard find a professional decorator these days??? …certainly seems the case here :slight_smile: cheers Mark

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Hi Lee, yes I think that’s what I’m going to do first pass…get them all on a garden spray in each room. I also have a backpack one that was donated to me so I will check that one over and see if it wants to play well.

Thanks again for the heads up


Well it’s week two in the big brother house…eh daughters renovator and progress is astonishing good!

Just a bit of feedback on the wall paper stripping.

The paper tiger whilst looking a bit odd, is very effective. It looks like it would end up on the ‘useful but rubbish’ shelf but far from it…a worthwhile £12.

Only problem is despite asking the ‘chain gang’ not too press too hard…Mrs Amateurhour broke a wheel by trying to use it as a Sthill brick cutter! Even in it’s limping state it works well.

The Diff I found to be…well to be a bit redundant to be honest. I used a hoselock garden spray. warm water and originally some washing up liquid. But after the first room we even gave up with the washing up liquid. It was fine just respraying and building on the good work the Paper Tiger did.

Certainly if I were choose now on a single product to improve productivity on the stripping it would be the paper tiger. Whole house done in under 48 hours! Result

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