Earlier this month we moved into a beautiful and huge (to us) house. While we were all excited to have the extra room, there are a few things that need to be taken care of. For the most part they are DIY projects that I’ll be writing about as we do them. The first project we are taking on is one that had actually been started by the previous residents. I’m not sure why they didn’t finish it, but I’m glad that they didn’t! The walls in the master bathroom were covered in a wallpaper that is a bit dated. You can tell that it has been up for a while because edges were starting to peel. The previous residents had pulled around 1/5 of the wallpaper off the walls and looking at it drove me nuts. When we mentioned to friends and family that removing the wallpaper was going to be our first project, they laughed and wished us luck. I won’t lie, their reactions worried me. I looked online and talked with friends to get tips for easy wallpaper removal and walked away thinking it was going to be a huge task. We were told about this wonderful tool that scores the wallpaper and makes it easier to remove as well as just using plain hot water.
One afternoon the boys and I got bored and started peeling the top (printed) layer of wallpaper off. For the most part the top layer of wallpaper peeled off easily, in the area that we could reach. Over the weekend Zack and I decided that we’d tackle this wallpaper removal project. Once on the ladder I started peeling the top layer of wallpaper off by grabbing edges that were already peeling. Once I ran out of easy to grab spots, I searched for something to help me get between the layers of wallpaper without messing up my nicely painted nails. Hubby handed me a box knife and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. I surprised at how much easier it was to get between the layers of wallpaper using the blade from the box knife. Hubby tried to copy my method so we could get all of the printed layer removed, but easily got frustrated because he was pulling off tiny pieces. He tried using that magical tool that everyone talked about but all it did was score the layers of wallpaper and the sheet rock underneath. So we quickly decided that wasn’t going to work for us. He decided to instead focus on removing the adhesive layer of the wallpaper. Everyone said use hot water so he sprayed some on a spot, let it sit for a minute and then rubbed it with his hands. He looked at me and said there had to be an easier way right before walking out of the bathroom. He returned a few minutes later with a bleach sprayer full of hot water and a putty knife. He then sprayed another area and then scraped it from the wall using a knife. It seriously went so smoothly that it was like cutting butter. I looked at him and said that couldn’t have been all he had to do so he repeated the process. After he had removed the adhesive layer from all of the walls that I had already removed the top from he decided to try to skip a step. He sprayed the hot water on to the top layer of the wallpaper and let it sit for a few minutes and then tried scraping it. It didn’t work as the top layer prevented the water from being absorbed. I should probably note that we just threw/dropped everything onto the floor with plans to run the shop vac for clean up. This method worked great for us! I’ll be unveiling the makeover on the master bathroom soon!
What we used:
Bleach Sprayer (Any spray bottle would work just as well)
How we did it:
1. Using the box knife gently get between the layers of wallpaper and then peel. Get as much of this top layer off as possible.
2. Spray hot water on the bottom layer of the wallpaper.
3. Gently slide he putty knife up the length of the wall or area that you sprayed. It should peel right off. If It doesn’t, spray more water on it and give it a minute to soak in before trying again.
The photo below is what our walls look like after the wallpaper removal tool had been used on them.