So as you’ve probably noticed, the wallpaper throughout the house MUST go! I’ve done so much research on taking wallpaper down, most of everyone’s story has been a nightmare. It all comes down to when the wallpaper was installed, the type of adhesive used and what it was adhered to. The downstairs hallway was a complete shit show! After a lot of trial and error and even consulting with our amazing painter, I’ll detail what worked for me below. But first, go into the kitchen and make yourself a cocktail (pitcher size). It’s going to be a long day!
Step 1: You’ll want to score the wallpaper before saturating it with liquid or gel. I’ve tried that little scoring utensil you run over the paper, it’s supposed to puncture little holes in the paper so when you wet the walls it’s easier to remove the wallpaper. Don’t buy it, it doesn’t work and can actually ruin your walls if you press too hard. Our painter, Mike gave me his little secret: use a good electric sander and sand over the wallpaper. This opens up the paper and allows liquid to seep though.
Step 2: After sanding down all your walls you can either use Dif Gel Wallpaper Stripper or equal parts water and fabric softener works too. I prefer the gel because it doesn’t drip and stays wet longer. Let the liquid sit for about 20 minutes or so. This is the important part, you really want the liquid to absorb into the wallpaper and into the walls. We have original plaster walls that are like cement, if you have Sheetrock do your research. I’m not sure how the liquid (gel or softener) will react to Sheetrock, it could cause damage if done incorrectly.
Step 3: The fun begins! Use a sharp scraper and start peeling the paper off, it should just peel off with ease (hopefully). If you are working with a large area make sure you keep all the wall moist and don’t let the walls completely dry without removing the wallpaper.
Step 4: After all the paper is removed and the walls are completely dry, patch up and holes or cracks and sand the entire surface until smooth enough to paint. Don’t judge me! But after all the work getting the original wallpaper off I decided to put up fabulous vintage toile wallpaper.
Take a look at all the beautiful photos below. After all the liquor and hard work, DIYing is truly rewarding! I found the white corner table on Overstock for $140 (plus 15% off). I adore the rabbit knob I found in Anthropologie for $12 and scored the red/pink books at a local flea market for 50 cents each. The breathtaking ornate mirror is antique and got on sale for $150 dollars at Country Bum’kin antique shop in the Catskills. I have a DIY project on this mirror coming up – it certainly didn’t look this fabulous when we got it!