The Ups and Downs of Wallpaper (removal, that is) {Tutorial}

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Prior to my move into this old house some years ago, one of my first tasks after gutting out the formal living room area, was to put up some formal wallpaper.  You've heard that story.  And now that that same wallpaper had to come down in order for me to create my creative space, I had to stop and wonder how did I get into this mess?

Story #1:
Once upon a time, I got sucked into the world of prop designing at our local community theater.  I met lots of cool, artsy people who allowed me to use the forbidden power tools.  The same artsy folks taught me how to wallpaper.  Now remember, I grew up in a house with white walls throughout (minus two rooms), so the idea of wallpapering became a new fascination.

Story #2:
One of my grade school/high school besties moved closer to where I grew up.  She and her husband had a house built and in order to save, they decided to finish up a lot of the work themselves.  This bestie was always a DIYer and frugal person, so that came to no surprise.  So who lent the helping hand, especially with the wallpapering process?  You guessed it.

So you see?

The wallpapering process was really simple, but little did I know that taking wallpaper down would be such a chore.  Clearly, whomever told me it was simple, lied.

To remove my wallpaper, I started by using the Piranha Wallpaper Removal Kit.  In this process, you score the wallpaper, dilute the solution and allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then use the scraper to scrape the wallpaper off.  Sounds simple enough, right?

Here's what I didn't know: 
  1. My wallpaper was applied to a freshly painted wall instead of a wall that was primed specifically for wallpaper.  (If I ever wallpaper again, I'll remember that.)  Had the paper been adhered to that surface, I think the removal would have been easier.
  2. Don't touch the blade on the scraper!  Despite how it rubs against the wall surface, it really is a super sharp razor blade.  Yeah, I got cut on the first piece of wall trying to pick some wallpaper pieces off of the scraper's edge.
In the removal process, I ended up finding some wallpaper removal gel.  I tried that and quickly realized that the Piranha solution was working much better.  I also found the scraper I bought years ago when I first put up the wallpaper.  It fit my hand better and removed the wallpaper with so much more ease.  It was called the Paper Scraper.

Removing the wallpaper seriously took an entire day and I did not get to paint on Good Friday as I had hoped.  However, I know that taking the necessary steps and being patient will pay off.


Happy Crafting,


  1. Oh I feel your wallpaper pain! When we moved into our house (built in 1902) every single room had wallpaper, much of it 50 years old or more. It's a messy job! We did put wallpaper back up in our kitchen and butler's pantry, and I recently had to remove some of it. No fun. Your results look great though! And I love the view of trees through your windows.

  2. Looks good Libby! I was told a long time ago by my Dad to stay away from wallpaper. So far I have listened to him and have never had the urge to put any up.

  3. Oh, I am very sorry for this I am going to say but I need you to know: I am so glad you finally took out that wallpaper! I didn't like it at all. Now your room has a classy & clean look (for my taste, that's it). Hope you don't mind this blunt friend of yours. :-)

  4. Love the clean, plain walls!!!!!!

  5. Looks great, now you have an awesome natural light photography studio! =]

  6. Yikes! Beautiful job removing the paper! I had a similar experience removing wallpaper borders in my old place. It did not want to come off!!!

  7. The simplicity in the after shots is so precious. Just a space to create! LOVE IT!!


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