Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Lesson in Stripping...

Wallpaper that is! I've mention over the past week that I've been working on the house, mainly by stripping wallpaper, but haven't given a lot of other details. But since I'm sure you're all curious, here's the start of the whole saga...

One of the first things I knew I wanted to do with the new house was get rid of the wallpaper in the kitchen.

I liked the blue the rest of the room was painted, and then plan was to strip the walls and repaint everything that blue to match. (Did I mention the previous owners left 6 cans of paint for us? Except that blue wasn't one of them. At least it wasn't hard to match.)

I knew we had to remove the wallpaper sooner rather than later because there was wallpaper behind the refrigerator. And I know if we moved the fridge in, it would never get down. I talked to a few friends and family members who gave me confidence and ideas and after a quick stop at Home Depot I was ready to go!

Step 1: Remove any loose ends of paper.
Peeling Paper
Look how much paper we can get off at once! This should be no problem!

Step 2: Score the Paper.
Scoring the wall
You can't really tell in the picture, but that little red thing pokes little holes into the paper, that way the solution that's coming can get underneath and dissolve the actually stickiness.

Step 3: Spray with special wallpaper removing gel.
Spraying the Wall
You're supposed to wait about 15-20 minutes before moving on, but in general I found it easier to start step 4 a little bit sooner.

Step 4: Scrap of the wallpaper.
Scraping the Wall
Looks easy enough right? Except what's that I see? Under the top layer of wall paper there's actually a second layer. And while these steps work easy enough on the top layer of wallpaper, the second layer which was stuck directly to the drywall and has been there for most likely over 20 years does not want to come off. But the end of the first day I was no where near finished with even the section behind the fridge, and I was out of the special wallpaper removing spray. We wound up improvising and just using Windex or watered down ammonia, which gave the house a nice aroma. The best part was that after I had started this whole process, I noticed the pretty blue paint I liked in the rest of the kitchen was actually painted on top of the wallpaper.

So the project turned out to be just a little more than I bargained for. Don't believe me? Well this is how that one section of wall looked on the 3rd day of wallpaper peeling.
3rd Day of Peeling Wall Paper
At least it was slowly going away right?



  1. Ugh wallpaper is the devil isn't it :S I HATE it! When we moved when I was younger I had to help my mom strip wallpaper and it was NOT an enjoyable chore!

    I can't wait to see the after pictures of your house!

  2. My parents were doing THE SAME thing last night! We're getting our kitchen re-done..I'll post about that soon. It looked difficult though!

  3. Wallpaper IS the devil! I had to remove wallpaper once and I swore I would never ever live in or buy a house with wallpaper again.

    Good Luck and just think of how accomplished you will feel when its all done!

  4. LOL so funny I totally thought you had gone for a pole-dancing class at first, and now realize that that's actually not the same thing... I must be tired!

    I'm glad you wrote this post because I would have had no idea how to do it! :)

  5. I went through this when we first bought our house. Finally, I gave up on stripping wallpaper and started painting over it! LOL

  6. I would have freaked out as soon as I saw that 2nd wallpaper. I would have thought omg what if there's a 3rd! It looks like you're starting to make a huge dent though!!!

  7. Love the clever post title!!

    Ugh, wallpaper IS the devil, as Amber said. I have vivid memories of stripping wall paper from my old room when i was a child. I feel like it came off in the tiniest little strips. Not fun. Not at all.

    But it will be so worth it in the end!!