Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wallpaper Woe's

January seems like a good time for some freshness on the walls.  Somewhere along the line, a previous homeowner had put up wallpaper in the dining room with a border that runs through the kitchen.  It's certainly not the worst wallpaper you've ever seen but it is time for it to go.  
Our dining room is really small, really just a dining space on your way through to the kitchen.  Here are a couple of pictures taken yesterday morning before I got started.
Never having removed wallpaper before and it being such a small space, I envisioned a couple of hours of removing the paper, throwing up a layer of primer and getting some paint on the walls.
Here's the little strip where I had found a seam and wanted to take a peek behind.  It peeled back pretty easily so I thought, "Hey, this is going to be easy!"
A friend from work told me she had a Bissell Steam Shot that was supposed to work pretty well for removing wallpaper, even had a scraper attachment for just that purpose, so I borrowed it and got to work.  Now, I know that borrowing someone's tools is never a good idea.  It always seems that when we have a borrowed tool, something goes wrong and we end up buying a new one for them.  In this case, the stinking end piece actually MELTED because of the heat.  What the heck?  It's a steamer!! So just this morning here I am ordering a new attachment for my friends steamer.  Dang it!
I also was making really sloooooow progress so I decided to google and see what I was doing wrong.  (and now I needed to know how to remove wallpaper without a steamer.)  What I found was that wallpaper removal is not an easy task and requires time and patience.  Dang it!
My progress could have been hindered a little bit by the view from the big dining room window as well.  I'm distracted easily and there were so many birds out, a fishing boat or two floating by and weather pouring in over the bay.  
Riff was down in the laundry room fixing some plumbing and putting up new sheetrock where it had been torn down.  I had to stop my progress from time to time to check on him and make sure he was doing things correctly, now didn't I?

My googling had led me to a quick trip to Home Depot for a wallpaper scoring tool.  While there, a nice gentleman told me I was also going to need a gunk remover.  He said that this WP Chomp! is the best thing on the market and safe to use.  I brought home a bottle, scored my walls, soaked them and started to peel away.  The paper started coming off in much larger strips and much quicker.  I certainly didn't finish but using this stuff is going to be much quicker than trying to use the steamer.  Yay!  
One day, when I get this "quick" project done, I'll show you an after picture.  In the meantime, here is my inspiration room, from Pinterest of course!
(though the green paint I'm envisioning is going to be quite a bit lighter than the green in this room.)


  1. Paula, I wish I had a dollar for every time I've removed wallpaper. Not an easy task...well, once in a while it can be but usually, it's not.

    Tip: If you don't have Chomp or a steamer, mix vinegar with water, equal parts, score and peel. It works pretty well.

    Love the new look that was the inspiration.


  2. I've had good success removing wallpaper in our home with just a spray bottle of water and a scoring tool. It makes a big difference if the person who put the wallpaper on the wall primed it first and prepped it the way it should be so removal will be fairly simple. Love your inspiration photo! Can't wait to see the finished room.

  3. I remember removing wallpaper when we lived on Logan Montain. It was a pain but Willie did most of the work. I don't remember what we used. I can see why you would get distracted by the gorgouse view out your window!

  4. You are going to be a wallpaper stripping expert by the time your project is finishied. Can't wait to see the finished room! And good job keeping Riff on task down there in the basement. ;)

  5. Oh I've have the wallpaper woes too - it will be worth it in the end. I can't blame you for becoming distracted ;-). What a view!


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