Friday, March 18, 2011

Wallpaper Removal: Gitter Down

As I posted about here, I have been working on a Spring Break home project: giving my downstairs bath a face lift.

As I suspected, the wallpaper was glued directly to unfinished drywall.  This is my third house and the seventh room I've removed wallpaper from.  In the past, I have tried every wallpaper removal technique known to man, but I still hope to find the magic bullet one of these days.  I saw a product on an HGTV show awhile ago that looked promising: WallWik Simple Strip.

The kit consists of a pressurized sprayer, adhesive remover, paper tiger (device that perforates the paper with tiny holes), plastic skimmer (to scrape the paper off), and special reusable fabric sheets.  The wallpaper is scored lightly with the paper tiger, and then the fabric sheets are soaked in the adhesive remover and layered on the wall.  The wall is periodically resprayed so that it stays very wet.  Theoretically, in about 30-40 minutes, the wallpaper is supposed to peel off in sheets, with little to no effort.

Mine...did not.

In fact, saturating the paper so much was probably worse in my case because some of the drywall paper peeled off, too.

More damn-age
I can tell you that in my experience, there are no shortcuts.  I've tried the steamers, the chemical removers, and now WallWik.  I think WallWik would work pretty well if your walls were previously painted before they were papered.  But the best thing I have ever used is warm water and fabric softener mixed together in a spray bottle (probably in about an 8 to 1 ratio).  Then use your wide-edged scraper and work in sections.  It's time consuming but I have had less wall damage.  I switched to that technique later in this bathroom.

I am not panicked because My Man is used to fixing my faults and because we are going to do a spray-on orange peel texture anyway (to match the rest of the walls in my house, not because I'm enamored with it). And orange peel covers a multitude of sins.

By the way, speaking of My Man, he made me a nice, sturdy base to cover the tub so that I could reach to the top of those 10 foot tall walls:

I felt secure on this even with my somewhat wobbly 8 foot wooden ladder.

The next steps to this project are to patch, prime, and texture.  I hope you come back to check on our progress!


Erin said...

Wow, how frustrating to mark up your sheetrock like that! Good luck with the priming and texturing.

Natalie said...

Hi, Vicki! I'm so happy you liked the pillows! :) I got the fabric at, here's the link:

It's called Premier Prints Ozborne Robin/White. I fell in love with the fabric at first sight!

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

I'm impressed with the base your husband built to cover the tub. How cool! Will be watching for updates.