I would like to think of myself as an optimist. A glass-is-half-full kind of girl, so it’s no surprise that I went into my latest wallpaper removal project with a ‘no problem’ attitude. Makes me laugh.
When I wrote about the beginning of this project a couple weeks ago, I nonchalantly said something along the lines as — no fancy equipment needed, I use diluted fabric softener and some elbow grease. Ok, well in some cases that works and is all that’s needed. In fact, I started the project upstairs in the hallway area and that wallpaper came down with said ingredients, in about 20 minutes. I thought I was smooth sailing. With this, I was a cockeyed optimist. Let me tell you how the project really came down.
Because the upstairs was so easy, I headed downstairs truly feeling like I was the bomb. I got this. I’ll be done by noon, will get the kids their lunch and possibly make a run to the grocery store.
I’m still laughing.
I started on the left, in a corner, to work my way out and to the right. The paper was coming off ok, not as easily and in much smaller pieces. Then I hit the paste. The cooked on, old rusty colored paste that was holding on for dear life. Wasn’t letting go without a fight. The diluted fabric softener and elbow grease was pulling off pieces smaller than my pinky fingernail. My eyes were starting to cross and my patience level was dwindling down to zilch. Serves me right for being cocky.
Backing up a bit, my Aunt Karen removed and hung wallpaper for a living for years. Every time I went to take wallpaper down here in the 1820, I would think of her, and bless her heart. When Daddy caught wind that I was going to start this project, he said to me “you better call Aunt Karen!” Luckily, Aunt Karen left a comment on the post telling the secret in removing wallpaper is to keep it as wet as possible.
Valuable advice indeed.
So I went on a quest to find a wallpaper steamer that we received as a housewarming gift when we moved in. Never. Been. Used. Until now. I pulled that thing out, filled it up and plugged it in faster than I could blink. Though it was a wallpaper removing lifesaver, one 8’x8′ section of wall took me 7 hours to remove. Lots and lots of steam and an exploding amount of elbow grease. I go to the Orthopedist on Wednesday at 3:00 to have my right rotator cuff examined.
It’s a good thing to be an optimist, just not a cockeyed one. My advice if you have wallpaper that you want to remove: hire an Aunt Karen.