How I Spent My Saturday

I really have to stop reading the Thrifty Decor Chicks blog. Her DIY decorating projects look so fresh and new and even affordable and doable. And it makes everything in my house feel “dated,” I kinda hate that word a lot. I thought I might tackle “updating” this small powder room. I’ve never stripped wallpaper before but, how hard can it be? The Golfer wasn’t keen, relating tales of gouged wallboard, rented steamers and equipment,  bleeding fingernails, yadda, yadda. So he left on a business trip to India for a week.

Heh heh!

I googled “how to strip wallpaper” and watched loads of videos that featured gouged wallboard and renting heavy equipment. Not to mention desperate scraping, scratching and peeling tiny bits of shredded wallpaper with fingernails.  Then I came across SimpleStrip. Buy the kit online. Score the old wallpaper, soak these interfacing-like sheets in solution and stick on the wall. “Dated” wallpaper comes off  with ease. I’m In!


Ok, maybe it wasn’t quite that easy…  the wallpaper did come down in big, satisfying pieces but it left the paper backing still on the wall. The SimpleStrip website mentioned this happens with some wallpapers.  Spray the paper residue, wait until it’s saturated and then pull that off. Well darn, I broke the sprayer that came with the kit in the first 15 minutes. I looked in the basement, garage and mud room. There must be at least 13 sprayers in this house.  The Golfer loves sprayers. But they all looked as if they had been used (and possibly never cleaned) for something lethal. So I made do with a couple of old, empty Windex sprayers. Sometimes the paper didn’t come off all in a piece but was easily skimmed off, no fingernails involved. 



This, however, was a huge frustrating problem. No matter what I tried, I could NOT get the screw out to remove this shelf. The first screw must have taken me half an hour, not counting rounding up every screw driver, electric, battery and manual, in the house. Bad words were said. Those sucker screws are 2 inches long, rusted into some kind of molly bolt thing and the threads are totally stripped. I was willing to sacrifice my manicure (what manicure?) even bleed, but it was No Go, No Way. 

I ripped the wallpaper from around the shelf as much as possible, it would just have to wait to come down. I cleaned up everything and hauled the  big bags of old wallpaper out to the trash. I stood in the bare powder room, pretty pleased with myself, contemplating the new (updated— dare I say Modern?) quilt I intend to make for the space.  Oh, for crying out loud. I missed a strip. Quick work to get rid of that. Now the hard part— picking a color to paint the walls. The Thrifty Decor Chick paints everything a lovely (not dated yet) shade of gray. I love those grays but they won’t work in my very beige house. This is hard. Maybe I’ll make the quilt first. I can select fabric with no problem. 

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  1. Good for you. Not an easy task. Had to do that when I moved here😱

  2. Looking good! Make the quilt then decide…

  3. Dee Van Ingen says

    Definitely IMPRESSED with your wallpaper removal accomplishment!!! My husband was a 20 yr active duty military fella……..we lived in military quarters with the standard issue BEIGE walls! On a couple of quarters I put up strippable wallpaper SQUARES……..then I went to borders in another set of quarters. We decided to “clean” our quarters when we moved and of course the “strippable” borders had to be removed to pass inspection!!! WELLLLLLLLLLLL some of that “strippable” wallpaper border would NOT come off……. Military husband NOT pleased, but he got the rest of it off of the walls……..lesson learned……..NO MORE STRIPPABLE BORDERS in anymore military quarters!!!!!!!!! SimpleStrip will be on my list if I ever decide to put up wallpaper again……… In meantime I enjoy paint!

  4. I need to do the same to my bathroom. I’ve removed wallpaper before. Sometimes it goes smoothly and other times I’ve had to hire a spackler! You got a lot done in one day. BTW, there’s a new group of paint colors called greige.

  5. Max and Bella says

    Wow! Amazing! Just read your blog…I honestly never knew how to remove wallpaper…. seems so difficult, nfact 3 bathrooms need to be done that I’m exhausted from.

    Thank you so much for your tips! You make seem so easy!!!!

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