With the weather in the upper 80’s for the past week or so I’ve been going back and forth between two projects: updating the linen closet upstairs and working on pottery down in the basement. Most mornings I start upstairs until things heat up, and then it’s down to the basement I go.
The good news is… Yesterday I finally finished the painting the linen closet. Hot dog, I’m glad that project is over with!
Removing wallpaper, it’s right up there with going to the dentist if you ask me. It was not a fun task WHATSOEVER, that’s for sure.
At one point, I was even using tweezers to peel the teeny tiny bits of paper of the wall.
And then I remembered someone on the blog mentioned awhile back to use spray bottle with warm water in it… and while I couldn’t find a spray bottle, rubbing a wet washcloth over the wallpaper worked like a charm.
Why I didn’t try that sooner, I don’t know. In the end though, I was able to remove all the wallpaper so that’s all the matters, right?
Light and bright…. just the way this minimalist likes it. 🙂
Life is so much easier when your cupboards and drawers are clean and aren’t filled with a bunch of junk.
Oh what a difference a little white paint makes.
Now, who wants to come over and help me peel the wallpaper off the walls in the next closet? 😉
Peace Out Girl Scouts. Have a good one, I’m off to water the garden.
Just a little question: what is hidden behind the board on the left? Why are the spaces reduced on the left side? It looks strange to me… but honestly I’m not used to these kind of closets. So probably just a lack of knowledge on my side.
Mavis Butterfield says
Built in cupboards/drawers on the other side of the wall. It might look a little odd, but pretty clever considering every bit of spaced is used.
Okay. That is pretty clever – I think I would go for a smaller door then. But these are probably standard size width? But why don‘t the shelves go down till the floor? Is there anything hidden in the other room as well? Questions galore with an old house.
PLEASE! Use spray bottle with warm water and vinegar or fabric softener added. If
This breaks down the paper and adhesive. I have used several times and it works.
Also a paint scraper helps to remove the paper after dampened. Àhope it goes fast!
Of course you can use commercial wallpaper remover, but diluted fabric softener is supposed to work well, too.
I’ve been removing wallpaper with a spray bottle filled with hot water and some (cheap) fabric softener, although a friend suggested that adding vinegar works as well. If that paper is coated, you’ll want to get the coated part peeled off, but then soak the paper with the paste on it to reactivate the paste and it should scrape off pretty easily. The point is to get the paste rehydrated, so your approach to using a rag to get the water on it will do the trick. Good luck with that last closet!
Tammy Apollo says
Fabric softner. Also can use a drywall trowel as a scraper, the 6 inch works best. Just be careful about gouge the drywall or wall behind.
I recently removed wallpaper and can confirm that a spray bottle with WARM water with a dash of vinegar added does the job. Work by small sections. Spray well, let it soak a minute, then scrap. A putty knife worked for me. The commercial spray wasn’t nearly as effective as the warm water/vinegar. I covered 6 inch sections and the paper peeled right off, and the scraping got the residue. Wipe it down with a clean damp rag. Although I liked the look of wallpaper, I will never glue paper to my walls again—what a chore.
Like others in this thread, I recently removed 3 layers of wallpaper at my sister’s house. First we used a steamer and that was just ok. Then we used a spray bottle with warm water and fabric softener in it. A world of difference. It came off much easier with less damage. We also used a putty knife.
The professional I hired to remove wallpaper many years ago used vinegar water as well. But before she sprayed, she used a tool to score the surface of the wallpaper so the water could get through. It was similar to an herb cutter but instead of a handle it was contained in a cup like thing you held in the palm of your hand. I think an herb cutter would work just as well.
Yes! A scorer! This is a complete game-changer. That way, when you go to spray the walls with whatever mixture you use, it is able to get back to the glue and get to work.
Also, after you’ve been spraying quite a bit, try peeling from the bottom— sometimes you can get big pieces off that way.
You did a beautiful job! I would help if I lived closer 😉
I’d even bring over a spray bottle.
Carolina Cooper says
Reading about your wall paper removal was a walk down memory lane for me. On a hot summer in the Philadelphia suburbs in 1976, we bought an old 5 bedroom house with layers of wall paper EVERYWHERE. We had friends and family (including little kids) help out with the removal job. We used the above mentioned techniques: warm water with vinegar in spray bottles, and scoring the paper before scraping. Sometimes we had to respray, due to the number of layers, and let the water sit for more than a few minutes, but we got the job done.
I would love to come over to help you with the second closet, but I think you were kidding about asking for help. I live close by.
Megan C says
Just a tip, but Hot water and Vinegar is a much faster way to take that down. You might also be able to rent a steamer- that helps a lot too!! I’ve used a small mud scrapper as well to help pull off pieces- it helps to keep them from tearing, making the clean up faster.
I second the hot water and Vinegar! My parents remodeled my great uncles house and there were dozens of layers of wallpaper. I was a teen and removal was my assigned job and that method worked fairly well.
Linda Sand says
A plastic putty knife is less likely to gouge the wall than a metal one–voice of experience. But, I actually like that wallpaper. Not for a room wall, but in a closet where busy looking is not as irritating.
Could you not just paint over the paper in the next closet? If it’s well stuck down that’s what I’d do! x
Lynda Kling says
I’m so glad to hear that everyone removes wallpaper! It drives crazy to find that someone has simply painted OVER it!
Looks great..what colour/ brand of white paint is that again?
Mary Custer says
I’m looking for paint!
There are all shades of white from cool white to warm white!
What is your go to white?
Mavis Butterfield says
Behr Ultra white for the closets and Behr Palais White for the walls. 🙂
My husband and I had a house that was built in the 1950’s. The previous owners wallpapered every wall of every room plus ceilings with several layers. Papered over paper! The living room ceiling had wallpaper, then paint over it and then another layer of wallpaper. Don’t remember how long it all took to remove but it was a years long project. At least our closets were only painted lol.
Mavis Butterfield says
Ceilings!!! Oh that’s awful.
Nancy D says
I’m pretty sure that I put that wallpaper in my kitchen in 1990!
The scoring tool is called a “paper tiger”. Costs about $10. Maybe Mavis can borrow one.
I agree – never, ever paint over wallpaper.
You remove the wallpaper and I will go to the dentist! We spent twenty years removing wallpaper in our house. Never again.
LoLo R. says
For removing wallpaper layers, especially the older non-strippable type, a hand streamer is awesome and makes the job go quickly. You just put water in the tank, plug it in, let the water heat, and then slowly drag the hand-held steamer part over the walls. You may need a few old towels to catch runs but it sure speeds the process. I’ve also used the liquid that you apply to your walls with a sponge and let sit for a few minutes before peeling or scraping off the paper. The newer wallpapers come off much easier than the ones from the 1930s and 40s. Btw, I believe papering over pre-existing paper and paint was standard practice. Most older houses didn’t have any insulation in the walls so a few more layers of paper and paint just helped to hold in the heat a little better. But it sure is wicked to remove. : ( Your closet looks great! Keep up the good work! : )
Oh wow! That was the wallpaper I had in my young teenager bedroom many years ago!!