Tuesday, August 25, 2009

adventures in wallpaper removal

Wallpaper is GONE from my living room! I'm so excited. Anne came over on the 15th to help me remove the sage green scroll wallpaper the former owner had put up on one wall of my little house.

It's perfectly fine wallpaper and matched the sage green on the other walls - but both are just so not me. It had to come down. Neither of us had ever dealt with wallpaper before, but Anne had seen an HGTV show where they used a Paper Tiger and thought it was the coolest thing ever.


And she offered/demanded to help several times so in my book, that makes her an expert. I also looked up instructions on doityourself.com and thisoldhouse.com and made a list.

I picked Anne up from the metro at 9am and headed to Home Depot. I had my list and we were focused so we were in and out in supa quick. We stopped at The Bagel Place for breakfast and still started our work at 10:30am.

Anne scored the walls with the Paper Tiger while I attempted to remove that shelf. That didn't work out so well as some of the screws are stripped so I decided to just worry about it later. We sprayed the wall with Dif and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. We got the spray bottle because it's only one wall and it was a heck of a lot easier than having to pour out into a tray and then roll on. It really is more like a gel and didn't drip at all. Kinda weird how the droplets would just sit there on the wall.

And - it didn't do anything.

We then realized that we were dealing with vinyl wallpaper and needed to first strip down the top layer. Not the Dif's fault. So we tore down the outer layer and that came off pretty easily except for a section where the new wall for the powder room meets the living room wall.

We started spraying down the wall with the rest of the Dif, but we were running out. Didn't feel like going all the way back to Home Depot so we decided to see if Target carried it. Anne had to get a new water filter anyway, so this made a lot of sense. Of course, Target did not carry Dif, but I remembered that dishwashing soap and liquid fabric softener were also recommended removal agents so we decided we'd try those and then on the way back, we stopped at Subway to get lunch.

By the time we got back, the small amount of Dif we had applied had dried. I mixed up a bucket of water and Dawn and we applied it with awesome extra large sponges from Home Depot.


And this worked so well! We just sponged on the mixture and while the paper was still damp, peeled it off. I used a scraper designed for use with wallpaper and LOVED it, while Anne prefered using a regular drywall knife. Usually we were able to just scrape the edges and then peel away the paper in long strips. In the picture below, the white section is drywall, the beige is the paper.

The random bits by the green wall were still being stubborn even after wetting it several times and trying to scrape with both the wallpaper scraper and the drywall knife. We managed to scrape away almost all of it and then I just scrunched the last 1/4" into the crack that was already there. There was a piece of molding hiding the crack so I figure I'll just put that back up. Problem solved.
By 2pm, we were completely finished!

We also discovered that the previous owners had tried out some decorative painting before going with the wallpaper. Kinda funny. Mid-process we wondered if the Dif was ruining the wall, but no, it was just where they tried ragging and sponging the sage green.

Next up: painting!

1 comment:

hungeryjack said...

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