Monday, January 5, 2009

What I've been doing

Multiple times I have had to explain that I am taking this wallpaper down because it is ugly. Gianna (age 4.5) just cannot understand how anything with flowers and the color pink can possibly be ugly.

Stripping wallpaper is one of the most awful, time consuming home-improvement tasks. In light of this fact, I believe it is sinful to wallpaper your home. Someday, someone is going to have to take it down. It will be a terrible experience for that person. If, in full knowledge of this fact, you insist on wallpapering your home, you should go to confession.


B-Mama said...

I hear wallpaper is making a decorating comeback? If so, I join in you in bucking the trend!! Have you tried steaming it off? I've watched some home improvement shows where that works really well! Best of luck--it's going to look great! :)

And if you get fed up, you can always just prime and paint over it. Cardinal rule broken? Oh well, it will look good! :)

Kat said...

I completely agree with your sentiments, Red! Anyone who saw my post a couple of weeks ago with the remote control in the kids' bathroom got a glimpse of the library theme that we have going on in there :) Our master bathroom has been wallpapered and painted over, and looks fine but not great.

Red, what technique are you using, and is it working for you? Does anyone else have tips on peeling off wallpaper and the steps needed to re-paint? Worst case, I guess we could always hire someone if we really messed up the project!

Molly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Molly said...

I helped a pregnant friend non-toxically (and fairly easily) take down wallpaper this way: mix water and vinegar together in a spray bottle, spray into the unwanted wallpaper, and rub the vinegar mixture into the paper until it is saturated. After that, it comes off in long strips, cleanly.

Good luck! And with the painting you must be planning soon :-)

Molly said...

ps--using a sponge to make sure the paper gets soaked through with the vinegar mixture helps.

Right Said Red said...

Thanks for the support ladies! I have tried steaming and let's just say it appears to work much better on TV than in my bathroom. I either don't leave the steamer on long enough and get very little help, OR I leave it on too long, and the paper as well as part of the wall peels off (Yikes!) I will have to spackle before I repaint.

I have tried some toxic wallpaper removing solution--it doesn't work. It seems a light steam job, followed by a sponge with warm water produces the quickest results. Molly, thanks for the vinegar suggestion, I'm going to try that and see if it helps. I think no matter what I try, it will be slow going. I've removed a lot of wallpapaer before, and it is always a terrible job.

Kat, as for your bedroom, GOOD luck getting off wallpaper that has been painted over. We had this in our old house and it was a really difficult project. You can definitely do it yourself, but it is time-consuming. And that library theme in your bathroom is just hysterical.

My apologies if any of our readers own a wallpaper business ;-)

Mary Alice said...

It will be worth it, that is some of the ugliest wallpaper going. What color are you going to paint?

I used a spray bottle of vinegar and water on the border of my powder room and it helped alot, but you are right, it is a terrible job.

At least now you have a get-away to look forward to!

4ddintx said...

I am going to have my dh read this! I hate wallpaper and he wants to put some in our kitchen (yecch!).

Good luck, Red.

Elizabeth M said...

In our first house, the kitchen (a pretty small kitchen) was wallpapered in a ghastly print of LARGE dark purple bunches of grapes, complete with vines and leaves of course. But, even better, it was even on the ceiling! So, needless to say, stripping that was a top priority. We used some kind of citrus-based remover. It was a gel (orange colored) and once it soaked into the paper, it was fairly easy to scrape off.
Good luck!

Jaime said...

lol. You can do it Kell''re almost there!

Kate E. said...

Having moved into a house that was floor to ceiling floral wallpaper (they former owners went to run a bed and breakfast...perfect) I totally sympathize.
My husband was forced to remove, as a teen, massive amounts of wallpaper (on wallpaper with paint and then more wallpaper layers) from his crumbling plaster walls in his childhood home, so he made me promise that we wouldn't take any of it down when we moved.

That lasted exactly 3 weeks when in a fit of pregnancy hormones and dizziness over the encroaching flowers (some were textured, black backgrounds pink flowers) I burst into tears and demand it all be taken down. We hired someone, it was expensive but when it's the whole house, every room, it was the only way to go (or at least so my pregnant mind told me).

Having said all that, Red, I kind of like your wallpaper, it's very arts&crafts style william morris like...or am I studying the picture wrong.

texas mommy said...


This might be too late, but we used a paper tiger and then used HOT water with vinegar or fabric softener to loosen the glue. The tiny holes left by the tiger let the liquid soak into the glue and the paper came off much more easily. You just have to be careful not to press too hard and leave holes in your wall.

Ann said...

Me too! We use a paper tiger and a mixture of downey and water. A tip from our "fix-it guy" and it works great!! GL