Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Start

When I finished as much painting on the outside of the house that I could do, I decided to take a little time off.  That little time stretched into two months!  I did have several orders for my animal sculptures, and did some work on culling the contents of the attic and garage, so at least I wasn't totally idle. Cleaning the house for the Thanksgiving Holiday, after a summer of neglect, took some effort as well.

But this week I finally got back to work.  I started stripping the wallpaper from the front hall.

I have found it is not as easy as the videos I have watched.  The metallic type of wallpaper is very heavy and resists wetting.

 I went over it all with a tool that was supposed to "score" the paper, and am using a commercial product to help loosen it, but it is going very slowly!

I actually took this picture a few days ago.  I have since gotten one wall completely clean.

I find the process soothing in a way.  If I am patient and let the solvent do it's work the process works.  Inch by inch.

Just another version of taking one step at a time.

I never liked this wallpaper.  I have wanted to remove it for at least 20 years.

Craig wanted to "remodel" the front hall  because there is a musty smell in the two closets in the hall.  I agree there is a problem there, but if the walls of the hall had a moisture problem, I don't think the wallpaper would be as tight as it is.

 Also as I have spent many hours now with my nose quite close to the walls, I cannot perceive any musty smell.  I do smell it in the closets so it's not my nose.

The previous owners played a sneaky trick on us.  They filled the closets with wool clothes and hung mothballs in them.  So when we opened them, all we could smell was the mothballs.  I firmly believe they were covering up the problem!

We have sealed the ground in the crawl space  below the hallway with cement. I think this may have solved the basic problem. But we may have to replace the drywall in the closets. But I'm going to try a waterproofing primer first. Craig has had 20 years to do it, so now it's my go. If I can get rid of the mussy smell with primer-sealer, great, if not we will go on to the harder solution.

As I strip away the paper I think that at one time, someone thought it was beautiful.

Tastes change with time. Choice of wallpaper is very personal. I'm going with basic paint.  People can see repainting as an option easier than removing wallpaper.


  1. I bet the problem is that they didn't use sizing when they hung the paper. I discovered this little step in wallpaper hanging when I went to change paper in our house. It sure helps in the release. I've helped whoever comes along for the next change, or myself by applying it every time!

    Are you talking about KILZ? I hope that works for you with the musty smell!

  2. We put new wallpaper up in our house in Holland. We removed 7 layers of wallpaper so we could put ours up fresh. There were some interesting papers under there.

    Good luck with the musty smell.

  3. I will say that I hate removing wallpaper..the one time I did it..made a big old mess! they did not use sizing!..what a disaster!!!..I feel your patient!

  4. Removing wallpaper is such a job! When I moved into my condo the dining room and entry hall was wallpapered, and I hired a handyman to remove it. I just wasn't up to it. Luckily there was only one layer!

  5. I watched a home remodeling show where they recommended using the little gadget that scores it and then a steamer. She said you could get a steamer for around $30. Supposedly it works, but I don't have any experience.

  6. You've certainly had some tedious jobs to busy yourself with! Getting a house ready for sale can be exhausting. :)

  7. Removing wallpaper has to be one of the most challenging jobs in a house. Paulette used to use some kind of fabric softener to loosen the paper up before scraping it off.

  8. Oh yeah, removing wallpaper is a pain! Sometimes, I've just painted right over it :)

  9. Oh I feel your pain. The builder didn't use sizing in one of our bathrooms. We rented two steamers. It was the only thing that would work - but it got the drywall so wet then Roger had to repair the drywall.

    When we bought our last house it had so many walls papered - some with the shiny metallic stuff. Luckily a professional had put it up with sizing and I could pretty much "pull" and off it came. I've used Def from Lowe's and just fabric softener and water too.

    Kilz is a good product so hopefully that will fix your closet problem.,

  10. We've never had wallpaper to deal with thankfully. As far as the musty smell goes, try to get rid of it. If that doesn't work, put mothballs in there like the previous owners. ;)



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