Thursday, December 17, 2015

This Is Why Wallpaper Is One of the Deadly Sins [& Video for Using Vinegar to Remove It]

[catch-up by going here for "before" photos, and here for the demo day in our future dining room]

If you are considering using wallpaper, for the love of all that is good, DON'T. 

Those pretty wallpapers that lure you in with cute songbirds and gold geometric designs are devils in disguise, tempting you to fall prey to their guile - don't fall for it!

Because this is what happens:

Either you or someone else will pay for your wallpaper sins.

And this room has four layers of sins wallpaper.

Cause apparently even the past owners saw the error of their ways, but rather than acknowledging and taking down their mistake, they covered it up with another.

...and another 

the first and oldest layer added by the original owners and my fave out of them all

...and another 

2nd layer of wallpaper

....and another. 

even the hot water pipes couldn't escape being wallpapered

Then added paint out of desperation.

This wall has, unsurprisingly, been my project this whole week.

There have been benefits however:

  • uncovering each layer of paper has been a look into each era of this house - very cool!
  • I've been catching up on podcasts
  • there's been lots of 'wax on, wax off' and 'paint the fence' moves going on here, so soon I'll be ready to fight the school bully

Remarkably, the method I've been using for taking down the paper has been a simple solution: half and half of hot water and vinegar in a spray bottle and a plastic scraper.

Yup, that's it. It works amazingly well.

I even got a bit brave and made a video:

Stripping Wallpaper with Water & Vinegar from Draven on Vimeo.

Quick snapshot of progress over the last few days:

20,378 hours later, this is what it looks like now:

...and this is what my plastic scraper looks like now:

It used to have a straight edge.

A light at the end of the tunnel for sure with the walls. I'm also slowly working the glue off as you can see on the bottom-right side of the most current progress pic using a cotton tshirt rag and, you guessed it, hot water and vinegar.

Tack up another win for this water & vinegar combo for not only cleaning, but now... stripping wallpaper and glue.

Soon we'll be turning our attention to the plaster. We have horsehair plaster and lath, and it's in pretty awesome shape. Only areas along corners and edges such as around the window need patching, as well as the places where nails were from the shelving. The plaster is completely raw and was never painted, so we'll have to use some Kilz primer on it before painting. If anyone has experience with patching horsehair plaster or Kilz primers, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

Shared On: bragworthythursday, creativityunleashed, thatdiyparty, totallyterrifictuesday, makeitprettymonday, inspirationmonday


  1. Wow! You have been very hard at work! Much determination! I agree about not wallpapering. Just. don't! I have removed wallpaper from several different houses and I hate it! None has been as bad as yours though! Kudos to you!

    1. Oh my, having to do several houses is rough! Sounds like you showed determination yourself, as I think more than one house would do me in. We should start a "say no to wallpaper" campaign. ;)


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