Stripping Down

Well, I’m done.  V and I got off to a great start removing the kitchen wallpaper.

Tearing off the patterned pieces took about an hour, but left all the glued backing on the wall.  Based on past wall paper removal experiences (main bathroom at our first house, I’m talking about you), I thought this step would be incredibly tedious.  Lucky for me, it wasn’t too bad.  I’m guessing it went smoothly because the thicker decorative paper was off.  Before I got serious about the removal process, I tested a small area.  Just a wet sponge and a metal scraper got the backing off without damaging the walls.

Obviously wetting the walls with a small kitchen sponge would have taken forever, so I got out a plain spray bottle that I use for ironing.  Filled with water, I liberally sprayed the walls one small section at a time.  At first I was hesitant to spray a ton of water, but then I realized it had to happen.  So, I sprayed until the paper turned a dark golden-yellow color, let it sit five minutes, then sprayed it again.

It came off smoothly and mostly in large sheets.  Then I decided to put another theory to the test, just to compare removal processes.  I added white vinegar to the water (about 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar) and sprayed the walls with that.  I wouldn’t say this worked better, just a little quicker.  And smellier.  I think the vinegar penetrated quicker, but I made the mistake of testing this in the confined area above the cabinets.

Do yourself a favor and use vinegar in an open space or wear a mask.  Of course it’s not a chemical smell, just strongly acidic.

Now that the bulk is done, I have to work on the details.

And fill nail holes, prime, and paint.

I’m stuck waiting on paint until we patch the areas below the new windows in the breakfast nook and family room.  And I suppose I should wait until we install trim around the windows and door so I’m not repainting everything.  Or worse, stuck with noticeable touched up areas.  Can someone tell me why satin paint shows touch ups so easily?

Have your wallpaper removals been this easy?  Or did you have thick, sticky paper to deal with?  I swear, the foiled, embossed floral wallpaper in the main bathroom at our first house did not want to come off, no matter what trick we tried.  What did you do this weekend?  Let’s just say we’ve starting tearing (more) things apart.