Saturday, December 29, 2012

We Bought a Fixer Part 3 -Wallpaper

Hi! Happy Holidays my friends. I've missed you!

After a week away, Matt and I are back home and getting back to work at the new house. Jack is down with us for about 10 days as well.
We are trying to get him to help us out, but he's not very interested in manual labor. What kid is really?

So, lets talk wallpaper.

You might have noticed that wallpaper is making a comeback in the design world......This scares me terribly. Now don't get me wrong, I love bold color and pattern, but WALLPAPER IS NOT THE ANSWER!

Our fixer had wallpaper in just about every room. (See stunning montage above.)  Pretty huh? Now the sliver in the bottom right corner isn't wallpaper. It's an awesome peacock sculpture the previous owner had in the house. That's one thing we wish they'd left for us!

The very first day we took possession of the house, we started ripping out the wallpaper. The first layer came off easily in pretty much every room.  With very little effort, we were getting fully intact paper pieces off the wall. We couldn't believe how quickly it was coming down!

The problems started when we uncovered 3 more layers of paper underneath the first. Yes, 3! Aaaah! 

The last 3 shots illustrate the papers we unearthed in just one room!  
Yep, that's Holly Hobby!

Unfortunately, we also found some mold. 
Luckily it was old and dead and easy to take care of.

Welcome to our entryway. 
We spent an entire weekend right here removing this stuff.
This original layer of wallpaper was adhered right to unprimed drywall.
Not cool 1960's owners!

It took an industrial steamer for us to make any headway on the stuff. 

We scored the walls, then Matt would hold the steamer up to the wall for a few minutes.
I came through with a putty knife and scraped off the loosened paper. 
It was exciting when it would come off like butter! 

An artful carnage shot.

After an entire day, we managed to scrape the entire wall.
Unfortunately, the drywall is in rough shape, so it's going to have to be skim-coated prior to painting. 

The next day we managed to finish off the dining room as well. 
By day 2 we were pros, so these walls are not going to have to be skim-coated. Yes! 

As soon as I finish up this blog we are going to head over to the house and tackle "Holly Hobby Hell." 
Wish us luck! 

This picture pretty much sums up today's wallpaper removal session.
We put up a valiant fight against Holly Hobby and her striped accent paper, but I am sad to admit that she won. 
We've called in the professionals to rip out the drywall in much of this room and have it redone. 
We're feeling a little defeated, but are glad to spend the money to have someone else "make it right."

Let this be a cautionary tale to you fellow homeowners. 
Think before you paper! 

So my friends, tell me about your wallpaper experiences. 
Have you hung it? Removed it? Would you consider hanging it in your house? Do tell! 

I leave you with a delightful montage of some of the other lovely papers we have uncovered. 
Happy New Year friends! Ta-ta.

(To see our our house in its pre-reno state click here.)


  1. Wallpaper removal is in our near future, as it has been for about a year. Procrastination. Thanks for sharing!

    Natalie Mulhall

    1. Good luck Natalie! I am so glad to have that part of the renovation in my past. Hopefully whoever hung your wallpaper primed the wall and sized the paper for easy removal!

  2. Don't be too quick to blame the owners for the wallpaper applied to drywall. It was probably the builders. We found that in the house we bought in 1980, built in 1974. It was done as a decorative touch to help sell the homes. Ours had a large forest scene mural attached to the longest wall in the living room. Took my husband a few days to take off, and he was under time constraints to get the wall finished and painted as we had a wall unit coming that would be attached to that wall. The wall unit, by the way, is still there. No wallpaper anywhere in this house for us.


Thanks for chiming in! I love to hear what you have to say.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.