When trying to tackle wallpaper removal, it really comes down to this: are you feeling lucky? If you are lucky, the previous owners primed the wall before putting the wallpaper up and all you will need is a round scorer thingy, a spray bottle with warm water or wallpaper chemical remover and a little bit of elbow grease. After scoring and spraying, the paper will come off in large chunks if you pull nice and slow and keep wetting as you go.
Exhibit A, the living room wallpaper. Nice and easy.
Finished in a single evening. Voilà!
Now if you are unlucky and the wallpaper was put up on a non primed wall, watch out. A non primed surface will increase removal time about ten fold. And if you are really, really unlucky and there was a sale on glue at the hardware store the day that they put said wallpaper up, then you’re really screwed.
Exhibit B, the den and hallway. A daunting nightmare.
See, it looks like the paper is coming off, but don’t be fooled by this lovely blurry picture of Louis in action. The wallpaper is actually splitting in two layers leaving a second layer of paper and glue on the wall. Then there is no way around it, power tools are needed.
Behold, the steamer!
The steamer looks like a good idea, and mainly it is because it will save your ass when nothing else has worked, but don’t you go thinking that it will make the task a piece of cake. The steamer mainly works EXACTLY where the steaming paddle rests which is a rectangle of about 8’x10′. And it needs to rest on the wall for at least 7 seconds to work. You do the math….it takes FOREVER! On the up side, you get a facial at the same time.
Thank god Louis and I had rented the steamer on a friday so we were able to keep it an extra day no charge. Yes, plan on the whole week end. And it’s not over. After steaming the second layer of paper, we were left with that:
A horrific amount of glue (top). Now grab a sponge, a bucket of warm water and wall paper remover and wash those walls until clean (bottom). Change the water often.
PS: after hours of working, we decided that if we were to ever put wallpaper up again we would write creepy messages on the wall first for people to find later. Messages like :”I’m standing right behind you” or “the walls have eyes”…..