Easy 1-2-3 Wallpaper Removal

Our lovely downstairs powder room was originally decorated in 1996 with a cream wallpaper with a black floral design and a coordinating border.

I’m sure it was stylish when it was first decorated, but over the years the wallpaper had faded, the cream had turned dirty, and the style had changed.

I was a bit apprehensive about tackling this project.  When I was about 15, my parents purchased a “new-to-us” house, and the previous owners had hung gold floral wall paper on a 15-foot wall.  Unfortunately, they did not prep the wall, and the wallpaper was hung directly on the drywall.  I remember many summer days spent try to scrap the wallpaper off, only the gouge dip rips in the hideous paper.  My dad eventually solved the problem by installing pine paneling, which was painted white and that was that.

One night, while gabbing on the phone with my brother, I stepped into our powder room and thought about how much nicer and cleaner it will feel if the wallpaper was gone and the walls were freshly painted.  And, then I saw it.  A small rip in a seam.  I pulled, and it easily ripped a large section of the paper off the wall.  Success!  I pealed another section.  By the end of my conversation, I pulled off a trash bag full of wallpaper.

But, that was just the paper.  The adhesive backing remained on the walls.  I am a big fan of white vinegar and all its magical properties.  A bit of research indicated that I could spray the adhesive with white vinegar, then scrap with my putty knife.  Simple as that!

SHL Wallpaper

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of me actually spritzing and scraping the walls, but I can explain it in 3 easy steps:

  1.  Spray adhesive with white vinegar.  You want to ensure that the vinegar is able to permeate the adhesive without damaging the drywall beneath.
  2. Use the putty knife to scrape the damp adhesive from the drywall.  Make sure you hold it at an angle.
  3. Place the sticky, damp adhesive in a trash bag and let the wall dry. Simple!

During my adhesive removal, I found the names of the original owners and the date penciled on the wall.  I had to snap a picture.

SHL Powder Room During 4

Although our home is only 20 years old, it’s obviously been well loved, and that makes me happy.

After the adhesive was removed, I wiped down the walls again with vinegar spray, just to make sure all the stickiness was gone, and then I spackled a few small nail holes and dings and sanded the walls before painting.

Since I decided to use a darker paint, I primed the walls with the leftover primer from Tripp’s office.

Stay tuned for the final reveal!


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Ducks 'n a Row



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