Misadventures and Mixed Pleasures in Wallpaper Removal

The other day, without too much forethought or preparation I went in to test an area of the peeling wallpaper in the upstairs bathroom.  Although I had only intended on testing a small area, I ended up doing one whole entire wall (albeit a very small “whole entire wall,” but a whole wall just the same ;)).   Call me weird, but there’s just something about peeling and picking in general that tends to fascinate me, and once I got going I couldn’t seem to stop myself.

Because the top layer of the wallpaper was already peeling so badly, it came off without much effort (that was the fun part), but the backing… a whole other story.  And the worst part is… whoever installed the wallpaper  (37 years ago) did not prep/prime the wall underneath, so as I attempted to remove the backing of the wallpaper, some of the surface of the drywall peeled off right along with it.  This is bad.  Bad, bad, bad.

I am so disappointed about that because it means that I’m going to have to try and figure out how to repair the drywall, and I have no idea how to do that.  I mean, I can spackle nail holes and slight imperfections reasonably well in preparation for painting, but mudding drywall (which I believe this is going to require) = no clue.  Yeah, not feeling particularly confident there.  At all.

But I’m going to try not fret about that right now, because I’m actually rather enjoying this process.  It’s a bit hard on me, I have bad knees and standing for any length of time really takes its toll on me, so I have to pace myself and just do small amounts at a time, but while I was working, I had a really good mind-set.

Not only did it just feel good to peel stuff, but there was also something that felt very renewing about getting rid of that old, cracked, and decrepit top layer of wallpaper, scraping away the more than slightly resistant backing, and then just getting underneath it all to the foundation of the wall.

<insert life lessons type of metaphor here>

Also, while I worked, the birds were twittering away in the lilac bush outside the windows, and singing me a sweet symphony with their cheerful little chirping sounds.  It was lovely and made my heart feel light.  ♥

When I was able to peel myself away from my peeling, I went and grabbed my camera to see if I could catch a picture of them, and I found that the lilac bush has buds on it!  Yay, finally!



Yes.. there is hope ~ SPRING is coming!  🙂


And I did catch a shot of a little sparrow looking warily at me.  I think I interrupted its singing performance…



Okay, so back to the wallpaper…

Afterwards, I went online to read up a bit and watched numerous “how to” videos on wallpaper removal, and I’ve decided to go out today and get some chemical wallpaper removal stuff.  I really don’t like using chemicals.  I prefer using more natural methods of doing things, but I think it may help me get the rest of this done more effectively.  I’m just going to get a small amount and test it out to see how it works.  I also have the removal of the downstairs bathroom and the kitchen wallpaper looming ahead of me at some point in the future, and I really need to find the most efficient way to do this.

Here is the one photo that was taken of my wallpaper removal misadventures. My daughter came in and snapped this as I was nearing the finishing line removing what was remaining on my “whole entire wall” that I did.  😉



And look what was just below me underneath that window as I worked…  my little garden box.  Doesn’t look like much, still all covered in snow.  😦


But… the lilacs are budding and eventually the temps will be rising, so hopefully I’ll be digging around in you soon little garden.  ♥

Gotta take care of this wallpaper first, anyway…



9 responses to “Misadventures and Mixed Pleasures in Wallpaper Removal

  1. Good luck Julie, you have quite a project on the go there. Over here we have the jet steamers which are great at removing the wallpaper without half of the wall. Hope you can find solutions! I won’t be around for a couple of weeks but I’ll be looking forward to catching up again soon! Take care, especially on the ladders! xx


    • Thanks Ruth. 🙂 We have steamers over here too, my sis suggested maybe trying that as well, but using one of those is a bit elaborate for me. I did pick up a small bottle of some spray gel wallpaper stripper today and I’m going to try that out tomorrow and see how it works. You take care too over these next couple of weeks, Ruth. ♥ And I’ll be sure to use caution if I happen to find myself on any ladders.x


  2. Julie, I like your attitude when it comes to home repair projects. Anytime something bad or unexpected happens, you’re like “Well, time to buck up and figure this sucker out!” And I’m crossing my fingers that Spring really does show up soon for you!


    • Thanks, Simon. I hope I can “buck up and figure this sucker out!” when the time comes for repairing the damaged drywall. Thankfully there are plenty of “how to” videos on the internet for me to learn from. Right now I’m just looking forward to spraying some of this goop that I bought on the wallpaper backing and watching it melt off. At least that’s what I’m hoping it does. 😉 Yeah, spring is really taking its own sweet time coming this year. There’s another “winter storm warning” in the forecast today. It’s cRaZy! Ah but what can ya do? I’m just glad that I have this little wallpaper removal project to keep me occupied in the meantime. 🙂


  3. I love your nature photos, especially the one of the little bird!


  4. Did the wallpaper backing ” melt off ” ?! If so what did you use as I too have wallpaper backing to get off my dining room wall !!! Love your blog !


    • No the wallpaper backing did not “melt off,” but the chemicals I went out and got did help it come off a bit easier. Now my problem is having to figure out how to repair the damaged wall underneath so I can paint. Whoever installed the wallpaper did not prime/prep beforehand, so the drywall got wrecked in some areas when I took down the wallpaper. I don’t know how to fix the drywall so I may do some type of textured paint rather than a regular flat paint in hopes of concealing some of the imperfections, but I’m not sure yet exactly what I’m gonna do. I’m so glad you like it, Deb, thank you so much! 🙂


  5. Pingback: Misadventures in Caulking | Ramblings From Jewels

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