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The Joy of Wallpaper Removal

May 16, 2006

It’s started. Anthony and I have become do-it-yourself people. Which for me, it was just a matter of time. Something about working on a project and seeing the progress, bit by bit, is very satisfying, which is probably why I enjoy knitting so much.

Last night was our first night in the house. We used our excitement energy towards doing some damage to the wallpaper in one of the bedrooms. The damage we caused was very little. This stuff does not want to come off! It comes off in layers. First the decorative part peels, but it still leaves all of the glue and another layer of paper. Then once we can get that wet the rest comes off in small bits, making it a long and tedious project.

We tackled out biggest room first, which I think was good because we had the motivation and energy. We spent several hours scraping and peeling, but only got a two walls somewhat uncovered. I hate wallpaper and now I’ll be using the energy from my loathing to tear it apart.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Gray permalink
    May 17, 2006 6:19 am

    Congratulations! I remember the first night in our house- I couldn’t sleep. May your redecorating go well. I know how much work it is.

    I wish you guys the best in your new place.

    From the epicenter of New England flooding,


  2. OneSkein Secret Pal permalink
    May 18, 2006 6:31 pm

    Our house was built in 1920. Since then, most walls have had paper, then paint over paper, then more paper, etc. I learned if you have one of those paper tiger wallpaper scoring tools and a spray bottle filled with hot water and Downy fabric softner, it comes off much better.

    Congratulations on the new house!

  3. Gray permalink
    May 19, 2006 4:26 am

    Fabric softener! Now that is an interesting idea. It probably makes for a great wetting agent.

    My house was built in 1786 and I have historic preservation issues to worry about in addition to practical issues. But I have a bedroom that is part of an 1890 addition and have had terrible problems removing multiple layers of hideous wallpaper and paint. I will try it as soon as the spring gardening is done.

  4. May 19, 2006 6:56 pm

    Years ago when I was a house painter we put soap or detergent in buckets of hot water & used big sponges. I think the soap kept the paper from drying before we could peel it up. It did make a wet mess, though.

    The best part was when we took off the painted-over 1950s paper and found the patterns from the original Victorian paper stained into the plaster.

  5. Dad permalink
    May 21, 2006 6:55 pm

    Jodie and Anthony
    Congratulations on your new house!!!!
    May it bring you both much happiness!!
    The best piece of advice I can give you is be patient, don’t get stressed and remember that all mistakes can be fixed. Like your Grandad used to say
    “Time and perserverance can conquer all”
    Love Dad!!!!

  6. Jodie permalink
    May 23, 2006 9:19 am

    We finished our first and hardest room. I like the idea of downey or soap. We may have to try it that for our next wallpaper room.

    Right now though we have a break from wallpaper and instead we’ll be doing carpet removal and painting.

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