How to Remove Wallpaper Part II: Going Downhill

Let’s just say I’m glad I started with the dining room. At least I started off with a false sense of hope rather than no hope at all. (Right?) If I had started in the kitchen my outlook would have been pretty bleak.

Okay. Prepare your eyeballs. Put on some sunglasses. Do whatever you need to do when you’re about to look at something pretty blindingly amazing because I am about to reveal our kitchen wallpaper.

I’m not sure if I know how to even describe what this wallpaper looked like. There were giant hills and little cafe tables with coffee and bistro chairs. There were crazy trees with magical fruit and hot air balloons.

I am sure somebody loved this wallpaper. I have witnessed first-hand the attention that goes into a choice like that (thanks Mom). However, that somebody wasn’t us.

So I began. At first I was quite excited. The wallpaper was thick and vinyl-ish like the dining room wallpaper and peeled right off to reveal the brown backing paper, which I could scrape away quite easily with my vinegar/water spray mixture and scraper.

But alas. All good things must come to an end.

I quickly learned that the “white walls” underneath the backing were a big, fat lie. There was another layer of wallpaper. But, it had been painted over. *Cue scary music*

Lesson #1: Never, never, never paint over wallpaper. It’s easily to take down. You are only incurring bad house karma by doing this.

So I slowly began to chip away at the painted over wallpaper. The water/vinegar mixture only seemed to make the paint layer over the top very slippery. So I got out my metal scraper and chipped away tiny piece by tiny piece. Sometimes I would spray with my mixture; the rest of the time I would cry in the corner. Okay, it wasn’t that depressing. But, it did take me 2 solid days of chipping away before we got to this gorgeous, lovely, beautiful sight!

Okay, that is a gross exaggeration.

Then I washed the walls with a sponge dipped in hot water and vinegar. I also sprayed the walls and used my scraper to get off the wallpaper glue.

Basically, this room was a hot mess. But salvageable. : )

That mustard creamsicle color was like a subset gone wrong. To lift my spirits I rolled a little primer on to the walls. To lift the spirits. (I used Zinsser All-Purpose Primer. Left over from the cabinets. I will get to that later.)

Well, she’s still pretty ugly. But at least she’s a far cry from where we started.

In review, the supplies needed:

– hot water/vinegar mixture (sort of)
– metal scraper
– sponge
– will power
– Miranda Lambert on repeat. To keep the will power coming.

I thought this was my last room that I was removing wallpaper from. At least it’s the only other room we thought had wallpaper in it. Have you noticed I’m using the word thought instead of knew. There’s a big difference.

That’s why there will be a Part III of this wallpaper saga….

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