Nothing was going to beat the wallpaper in the children’s and guest bathroom (where it all peeled of by hand in 20 minutes), but we were going to attempt to make the entryway stripping as painless as possible.
In our favor was that this wallpaper is original to the house – meaning 40+ years old and weakened over time.
The original owners did not cut corners in applying this paper, which helps a lot for removal. The walls were prepped and treated well (THANK YOU).
The design was just neutral enough that I could ignore it for a while. It is a light pink with some colorful streaking. Very ’80s, I think, but they probably put it up in the 70s. How fashion forward of them!
After researching many wallpaper removal methods, we had a lot of success using a normal clothes steamer to strip it. Would you think I was insane if I said the process was even a little relaxing?
Our method was to first remove the top layer. That could be done just by fiddling with it around the edges to get a corner up. A quick run over with the steamer would make lifting it off even easier. Beneath the printed top layer is a papery second layer attached directly to the wall.
We slowly passed over the paper second layer several times with the clothes steamer, section by section. The goal is to get it very saturated with steam – it will change to a darker shade because it has so much moisture in it.
Then, scrape it off with a painter’s tool and you have clear, beautiful walls. We worked in small portions at a time because the warmer an area was, the easier it came off.
We found it was not really a two person job, unless you can get your hands on two steamers. It took about nine one-man work hours to do the whole entryway and stairwell.
(I do not know why there are random swatches of color on the bare walls. One of my friends said she thought I was just testing whites again, ha!)
Things are soon going to feel very crisp, very clean in here.