Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mrs. Fixit...or how to remove wallpaper

After finished product

Before, big mess

Lately I have been suffering from an acute nesting urge.  For the past month I have been in a re-decorating, re-modeling frenzy.  First I re-painted and re-decorated my son's old room.  For two years now I have kept it looking like a kids room, but I figured since he is in the air force, there isn't a need to have it kept as a shrine to childhood.  No, I didn't ditch all the stuff, I packed it away neatly, and now I have a new sewing room to go with my new sewing machine, which I have yet to play with.

Secondly, I re-grouted the tiles in my shower.  I must say, not a fun job, but the end result is awesome.  Be warned, re-grouting is exhausting and messy.  I started the job wearing sweats and a t-shirt but when I began grouting myself, I am embarrassed to say I finished in my underwear.

And thirdly I tackled the ugly wallpaper in my downstairs bathroom that came with the house when we moved in 12 years ago.  I've wanted to remove it for ages and I was mistakenly elated when the top portion came off easily.  I discovered tan fuzzy paper underneath.  Now I will say, I am no expert, but I researched wallpaper removal and bought all the supplies suggested.  When I started, I discovered that the commercial stripper didn't work.  The commercial scraper broke, and I never even used the perforator.  After one day of problems I just looked up home made stripper solutions and found that Fabric softener (any old cheapo kind) mixed with water in a spray bottle worked wonders.  A rigid paint scraper worked better than ones made for wallpaper removal.  And the second day the job went easier.  After the removal I scrubbed the walls with vinegar and water and painted.

It just goes to show you, sometimes home remedies work better than what they say "The pros use."


Gail H. Ragsdale said...

My days of redoing walls are long gone! I must say, I love the color of the bathroom!

maddyrose said...

As soon as the weather gets nicer I have some wall paper that is coming off! I can only hope my after photo looks as good as yours. I love the color you chose for paint.

Christine said...

good to know, I didn't think some wallpaper could be removed. We've had contractors just paint over it. They might've put some plaster or stucco over it first.

Magic Love Crow said...

First I have to say, you did an amazing job! And, second, I have to say thank you, because mom and I are going to be taking down the old wall paper in our bathroom! This is great! You sound like me, finishing up in your underwear! LOL!

Wanda said...

You have been one busy lady. Love your new bathroom..nice color..and the SeaShells nice touch.

I'm not good at any of that kind of daugher Julie, oh my..she's like you. She will tackle anything. Like ripping up carpet, and refinishing the floors underneath. My expertise, is changing my exterior decoration from Christmas, Valentines, Easter, etc. Right now I'm pulling all my Easter decor and can't wait to get the red down now and put up the Spring colors.

Judy Adamson said...

You've made an excellent job of that, Crystal. Must admit, I've done a lot of wallpaper stripping, having nearly always moved into old houses and completely refurbished them. Sometimes it's really interesting what you find as you peel back the layers. In my present house it went from 'recent' to 1970s, right back to some of the original Edwardian in the hallway! It was a gorgeous peacock blue and I would have loved to have kept it but it was too damaged in places. BTW, a steam wallpaper stripper makes light work of the job. You can hire one or, if, like me, you're a compulsive refurbisher, they don't cost a huge amount! I'd agree, too, that the proprietary wallpaper stripper in bottles never works!

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