While the builders were getting to work, we also decided to get down to business. Obviously we’d worked on or own bedroom prior to the major structural work being completed and so we knew what we were getting into. In this instance it was more wallpaper stripping and plaster chipping. Such an exciting way to spend every weekend in the summer, right? First we started with the entryway and hallway. I can tell you now that stripping wallpaper is a sticky, sweaty, nasty business. I’d done it before so I’m not sure why I volunteered to do it again! That said, it feels good to finish a wall, stand back, and admire a job well done. In the entryway, we were removing anaglypta which is a sort of textured wallpaper. It was so old we didn’t actually need to use the steamer, we just peeled it off with our hands. Look at that brown! And the pattern that had imprinted on the wall… Sigh, we even still had carpet at that point. Note we didn’t lay any plastic down when we were stripping wallpaper and the carpet was left a soggy mess! Word to the wise, you might want to consider putting down some protection, in case you’re interested in actually keeping your carpet… In the end, we actually stripped all the wallpaper off every room in the house. In some instances we simply removed the plaster as it was crumbling. This took us about two months, working only on the weekends and realistically only in the afternoons (because we all needs a lay-in).
In terms of how to actually strip wallpaper it’s relatively straightforward, but you will needs a few tools including:
- Bucket of warm, soapy water
- Large sponge
- Wallpaper steamer
You’ll want to prepare your walls in advance. So take the bucket of water and sponge and get to work. Moisten the walls (we actually did it twice) using the sponge and soapy water. This will make the steaming more effective and will lessen the amount of time you spend actually scraping the wallpaper off. It also has the effect of making everything sticky so, you’re welcome. Then take the steamer, place it against the wall, and get to work with the scraper. It’s as simple as that!
Just a thought… if you don’t have a steamer to hand, check with your local trades stores because you can rent them. Happy er… stripping?!