The Wallpaper Post

I’ve been posting a lot about the diapers part of my life… and finally have some wallpaper news!   We’ve had a very unwelcome bedroom guest since we’ve lived here and I’m thrilled to say that the wallpaper is now GONE. We have been gone SO much in the past two months (holiday parties, trips to Arizona, Mexico, Minneapolis, and Texas, etc etc) so this project took a while.  I think it was between Minneapolis and Texas that Seth and I just hunkered down and worked on it during every nap time and after J went to bed until it was done.    We also de-tassled the stairway while we had the supplies out.

Before I show updates to the two areas, I want to show how we’ve conquered taking down wallpaper.  I know there are a lot of techniques out there, and we have tried them all.  Vinegar water, some blue goopy stuff, scoring and peeling, etc- none of them work as well as our magical steamer method.  Believe me on this one.  We’ve removed a LOT of wallpaper since we’ve lived in this house.

Supplied needed for this method: A good steamer (an iron might work…but a nice stand-up steamer is really perfect), a plastic drywall tool, and a straight knife.

First, you cut away the wallpaper from the woodwork to ensure you get a nice clean line and don’t end up with little pieces of wallpaper sticking out everywhere:


Then you give the top layer a good steaming (you’ll hear the glue crackle and can see the vinyl layer kind of separate) (Why is this text blue? No idea):


And peel it off!  It’s such an awesome feeling when you can peel off a huge chunk all at once instead of just chipping away an inch at a time (like the other methods seem to do). And don’t get all excited about taking both layers off at once- believe me, it’s tempting but this is the way it has to be:


After the vinyl is gone, you’re left with the paper/glue layer.  You give that a good steam (it will look soaked) and then peel that off as well:


Then you pass the steamer to the husband and lay down for a minute because it’s a lot of work being alive right now (do NOT miss that awesome wallpaper cutout decal on the pull-down shades):


And voila!  You have a beautiful, naked wall. In our case, it’s a multi-toned wall. Because why not?


Sometimes.  And sometimes you’re left with a little residue.  If there is gluey residue left, don’t just let it be- you will need to use a sponge or wash cloth and scrub the wall clean or you’ll be able to see it through the paint.  Speakin’ from experience here.  This isn’t always a necessary step- it totally depends on how well the glue comes off.  In our case this time, the bedroom was fine but the stairway had to be scrubbed.  It probably has a lot to do with the quality of the border/wallpaper and what’s beneath it (glossy paint, drywall, etc). Also, I just realized there aren’t any pictures of using the drywall tool.  It’s perfect for when the pieces don’t come off in one glorious swoop.  It’s a good size, easy to use, and most importantly doesn’t damage the wall. You need to be really careful of that…. you can do some real damage that will need to be professionally fixed if you get too chip happy with something more than the plastic.

So there you have it.  Soon enough I’ll have to change the name of the blog because we’ll have all the wallpaper gone (no time soon… there’s still the playroom and the entire basement)! It is a pain to take it down, but once you find your wallpaper removal groove it will be a much smoother process!


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