Friday, October 5, 2012

wallpaper showdown: removing old wallpaper, part 1

Oh hey guys, what are you up to this weekend? Oh nothing much here, just tackling operation: take down entire ceiling of wallpaper, that is what. Sounds fun! Right?

You are probably asking yourself, Wallpaper on the ceilings!? what in the what? Well, back in, ohhhh....1926 when our house was built, paint was hella expensive and/or oil based/super toxic. In addition, people didn't have access to a lot of the fancy brushes and rollers we have today. So in order to cover up that nasty plaster, they wallpapered it.

Fast forward to 2012, and this wallpaper has been painted over (jerks), and not taken down. This causes beautiful cracks to appear throughout the walls and the ceiling.  As a result, I've been peeling wallpaper here and there around our house for the last six months - and while I don't consider myself an expert, I do believe I am now a seasoned professional wallpaper destroyer.

If you aren't interested, just check out the super nasty pictures - but if you do have an old house with tons of wallpaper, please read, I'm going to blow your mind.

So the room we are working on is the smallest room upstairs, above the foyer and the staircase. It gets warm, which means the glue holding the wallpaper to the plaster heats up and breaks down, which in turn  causes lots of cracks and peels.

 To take down this wallpaper I've been poking holes in the paint using this little guy.  Once I'm done, I mix 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts hot water in a spray bottle and go to town (please save yourself money, and trust me. Use this mix. I tried wallpaper stripper, which gave me the worst headache, known to man, I also tried a mix of fabric softener and water, which just did not work. Vinegar/Water is amazing and nontoxic, it cleans the plaster too, so you have less scrubbing to do when you finally get the wallpaper off the plaster).

Since I've already scored the paint, the mix will sink in nicely through the paint. Next, I use my big girl muscles and pull it down with a scraper. If you have saturated the wall enough, the wall paper will melt off like butter. 

Now please enjoy these beautiful pictures....

during and after, please excuse my terrible posture

plaster sized 10/2/26 (or maybe international dated of 2/18/26, whateves :))

I admit, I sorta wish I could have saved this wallpaper, beautiful cranes...maybe originally a nursery room?

Up next, I'll talk about what goes down this weekend when we complete the wallpaper ceiling showdown.....Do you have wallpaper in your home? Have you ever had to remove it? Tell me!


Allie said...

Amazing work! And yes, I have peeled wallpaper before in our kitchen in Belmont and it was TERRIBLE. Much smaller room than that one though.

Emmett Katherine said...

Man, taking down wall paper is HARD work! I helped my mom scrape sone off when she moved into
And older house - it takes forever! Totally worth it though!