Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fun with (wallpaper) strippers

The living room, before we got our hands on it
Wallpaper doesn't seem like such a bad idea...until you have to take it down. Especially when you have to take down someone else's wallpaper. Which has been painted over. In a really ugly sponge-paint style, no less.

The trim has been taken down, and the walls are ready to be rid of their ugly wallpaper!
  Scraping off painted-over wallpaper really sucks, because the paint effectively seals the paper. This means that steam cannot penetrate it (which we learned the hard way), and wallpaper stripper isn't much better.  

 In a room full of shredded wallpaper, Justin preps the sprayer of wallpaper stripper
We did find that using a wallpaper perforator created enough space for the stripper to soak in, but even still, we had to do two rounds of spraying and scraping: once to get the outer layer down, and a second time to get the backing down. 

Justin sprays down the wallpaper with stripper

Because we were using so much stripper, we quickly realized we'd need several gallons of it, instead of just a squirt bottle. So we mixed up some concentrate in a big pump sprayer. This not only lasted a lot longer, it made it a lot easier to spray large areas of the wall all at once.

Brigitte gets excited about having to scrape wallpaper...again

Despite Brigitte's feigned excitement, we all got tired of the tedious job pretty quickly. And yes, we did sometimes use scrapers as pictured above, but mostly we used long-handled razor scrapers (sharp blade=much easier job).   

Almost finished! The cream color is the remaining wallpaper backing, the blue is the wall.

Hallway wallpaper, ready to be removed
 We also had to remove the hallway wallpaper on the first floor, going up the stairs, and on the second floor. There were a lot of little, oddly shaped areas here, which made it challenging.

Wallpaper scraped off the hallway walls
Brigitte's perch for the day: atop a ladder in the hallway. Scraping. 
Old layers of paint revealed

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