Dear Wallpaper, I hate you

Update: This is one of my first blog posts, yet somehow one of the most popular ones. Please excuse my poor small photos. 🙂


how to remove wallpaper - a step by step tutorial

Things are really moving along quickly at the house these days! Tuesday after work the walls were prepped for dewallpapering:

  • Take down all the outlet and light switch covers and store them (and the screws) in a plastic baggy
  • Wallpaper essentially has 2 layers: the design layer (that you see) and the adhesive layer (that sticks it to the wall). Peel as much of the designed paper lay off as you can. There were two types of wallpaper on our walls, a patterned section and a checkered section. The patterned paper stripped down pretty easily, but the checkered part (death paper, as I call it) did not. It’s most likely that only the top layer of paper will come off when you’re peeling it, not all of it.
  • The more of the paper you can get off , the easier it is to get down the adhesive so don’t skip this step!

The next day we brought in our supplies:

  • DIF!
  • A paper tiger and a wall scraper
  • Some nice hot tea and a snack
Wallpaper supplies

Some people recommended using white vinegar instead of DIF, but the smell of it would have driven me crazy and DIF was basically odorless. Total cost of supplies was about $50, which made me cringe a bit, but I’m hoping when we see it all nicely painted I’ll feel better about it. DIF just mixes in a bucket with hot water and you’re ready to go, it’s pretty idiot proof which is great because I’ve never done anything even remotely close to this before.

First step, the paper tiger! Rawr! This little buddy tore tiny holes into the adhesive so that the DIF could get underneath it and work it’s magic. It worked really well but man oh man the sound it made could drive you crazy. All you do is go over the walls in a circular motion making as many holes as you can- the more the better. You don’t need to dig it in, because you don’t want to damage the wall underneath, so it’s not too awful. I’m not sure how well this picture shows it, but that’s the best shot I could get.

Once the whole area was scored we got to work with the DIF solution and the scraper. Be prepared to have it drip all up your arm, in your armpit, on your hair, all over your clothes… It’s a big giant sloppy mess but it works and it all sweeps up later. Luckily we only had one layer of wallpaper to get down. The drywall scrapes off too if you’re not careful, and we’re most likely going to have to spackle and sand before we can repaint those spots.

Before cleanup

Strip by strip we sponged on the DIF and scraped off the paper– 5 hours each room, 10 hours total. We only took snack breaks because we knew if we didn’t get it all done we’d have to do it today and we never, ever, ever want to go through this process again.

After cleanup

But alas- TA DA! CYA WALLPAPER! After hours and hours and hours the sunroom and kitchen are completely dewallpapered.  Go into it knowing it’ll be messy and wet, and that it’ll take a very long time, and just get through it!

Here’s how the room is looking these days (links to all the how to’s are here):


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