11 Wallpaper is the Anti-Christ

>> Monday, February 8, 2010

I do not care how much you just love that print. Do not do it. Hanging wall paper is one tiny step removed from spitting in the face of the future owner of your wallpaper covered room.

Thank you for allowing me to vent, and I really shouldn’t lump all wallpaper into one difficult category. I’ll clarify: THIS wallpaper is the antichrist. 

Let’s walk through how we managed to remove this gem of a plantation scene and keep our sanity intact. Sort of.
You’ll be proud. I didn’t jump head first into this project like usual. I studied and studied hard the secrets behind wallpaper removal. Unfortunately, the online “how to” videos lie. I, however, will not lie to you my friend. 

Our supplies…

-DIF wallpaper stripper

-Wallpaper scorer
-Putty knife (forget this and head straight for a Paper Scraper—he’ll join us later in our story)




-Fine grit sandpaper


Full of enthusiasm, it was time to get to scoring. This handy tool makes hundreds of tiny holes in the wallpaper so that the stripper can absorb more easily and get down to business.

Difficulty Level: A baby could do it


Next, spray down your wall with the wallpaper stripper. Don’t be stingy. The more the better. Next go round, I would probably use a paint roller to apply rather than the spray bottle. My blistered thumbs will thank me.

Difficulty Level: The squirt bottle may have left me with a slight case of carpal tunnel. Otherwise, a breeze.


After letting the stripper do its thing, it was time to ever so gracefully free strip after strip of wallpaper from the wall just like the man in the online Lowe’s video…

Difficulty Level:
Dear Lowe’s/Convincing actor in the how to video…you should be ashamed.


After hours of scoring, spraying, and peeling. Scoring, spraying, and peeling. We hadn’t even caught a glimpse of the sheetrock hidden beneath. Instead we were greeted by a second layer of paper.

With Day 1 quickly coming to an end, we had no choice but to lick our wounds and regroup.  

Day 2 brought with it renewed spirits and a secret weapon. Enter the paper scraper.

Listen to me, people. I passed by this friend during our initial shopping trip, convinced it was a silly contraption designed to weasel additional money out of the pockets of innocent DIY-ers.

Absolutely not. Best eight bucks ever spent. Don’t tackle your walls without it.


Still a consuming task, but in comparison to day 1, we were flying through this bad boy! Our handy paper scraper also ensured minimal nicks and dents to the 50 year old sheetrock underneath.

Difficulty Level: You can do it!


We can see the light at the end of the tunnel! With all of the pesky wallpaper removed, grab a clean sponge and soapy water and give the sheetrock a scrub to remove leftover glue and stripper..

Difficulty Level: So simple


Next, patch up any dings with a bit of spackle. Once dry, smooth with fine grit sandpaper.

Difficulty Level: Easy, just try not to inhale while sanding and keep a vacuum on hand as this part gets a little messy


Our corners were looking rough, so we decided to add a little caulking to smooth things out…


Primed and perfect in our eyes. All we need now are a couple coats of paint and we’re in business.


With the right tools, removing wallpaper really isn’t too difficult, just time consuming. Hopefully with this one under our belt, we’ll be a bit more prepared for removing the paper from the kitchen and both bathrooms. There’s just one way to find out!

Have you ever removed wallpaper? Any tips? Do tell! Email us or comment on this post with your secret…


Just received an email from a friend saying that she removed her wallpaper with the help of warm water and vinegar. She’s tried both ways, and claims that vinegar is the way to go. We can’t wait to give this method a spin! Thanks, Lydia!

Another pal confirmed that warm water is key. A big thanks to Misti!



Ann,  February 8, 2010 at 8:17 AM  

You did it! And from what I can tell, the wall looks smooth which is not always the case when removing wall paper. Good job!

Live the Home Life February 8, 2010 at 8:27 AM  

Thanks, Ann! The sheetrock was in excellent shape. It was finding it under all of the paper that was the hard part. :)


ChrisA. February 8, 2010 at 11:00 AM  

Yes, it is the anti-Christ, I totally agree with you! I hate wallpaper (and feel so sorry for the people that bought our second house - I papered our bedroom and closet!)!

The room looks so much better. Thanks for the tips. I have one room left in our house that needs to be "un-wallpapered".

Live the Home Life February 8, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

ChrisA, I need your expert advice. How did you go about removing the wallpaper in your house? Did you use a paper stripper, vinegar, or do you have another trick up your sleeve?


Anonymous,  February 8, 2010 at 4:56 PM  

We had wallpaper from every decade in our old house. Two layers in the kitchen and four in the bathroom! We used warm water and dish soap (not too much). The water has to be warm. It worked really well. Good luck and congrats on your new home! - Misti D.

Live the Home Life February 8, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

Oh Misti, all that wallpaper to remove would make my head spin. Thanks for the warm water tip. Your home is so beautiful, I'll listen to any advice you have!


Shana,  February 8, 2010 at 5:39 PM  

Can't say I have ever tried to remove wallpaper but I can say that I feel more prepared to do it if I have to after reading this post

Becca J.,  February 9, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

You are braver than I. Looks great! What a difference already!

Alycia Wicker February 10, 2010 at 6:18 PM  

Oh no! You took down Tara!

Scarlett: "Wilkersons, if you go tearing down my wall paper, where shall I go? What shall I do?"

The Wilkersons: "Frankly, my dear, we don't give a damn."

Live the Home Life February 11, 2010 at 8:08 AM  

Ha! I love it. So true, Alycia!


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