Remember the tulips? Well, they were the one thing I absolutely couldn’t live with about the house. They were the opposite of my style of decorating, and the wallpaper was aging and peeling at many of the seams. So we set out today, less than 24 hours after we took possession of the house, with the help of a spectacular friend, to remove the wallpaper.
We did a lot of research and we found this set of youtube videos to be of greatest help. We started by testing and removing any wallpaper in large sheets that would come down dry. We were able to remove about 1/3 of the paper that way, some of it even came off with the backing as well. Then we started wetting things down. We chose not to tape things off in this room, because the floors are vinyl, we just made sure we wiped excess water from the floors and ceilings and cabinets immediately after spraying. When we remove the wallpaper border in the bedroom, we’ll put down a dropcloth over the hardwood floors to protect them.
On the left in that photo is bare wall, backing that’s been wet down and the wallpaper yet to be removed that was being stubborn and had been wet down as well. This wall had enough adhesive that I was scraping it off in layers as thick as the backing paper, it was frustrating and kind of disgusting.
My husband and our friend Mitchell, scraping away.
It was hard work. I think we were all really sticky, really tired and with sore backs and shoulders, but the water + fabric softener combination worked out really, really well for us. Our walls are plaster, rather than gypsum board, which meant we could use water more liberally than if we had to avoid melting the paper off drywall. All in all it took about three hours, a big bag of nasty wallpaper and about 3 gallons of water.
The next step for this room is to finish up the walls, washing off the adhesive. If we’d started earlier today we’d have gotten it done in one go, but since we didn’t start on this project until about 3pm, we decided we’d just wait and wash the walls another day (since wall washing and hole patching are our next steps for the whole house anyway.)