Tuesday, 14 February 2012

How to Strip

Oh you dirty dog you.  No, I didn’t just change the whole focus of this blog.  Clearly I’m talking about wallpaper, not giving lessons of the pole dancing variety. 

New house was full of wallpaper . Lovely stuff, probably circa the 80’s, just like everything else in the house.  I know that wallpaper is back in style, and to be honest, I do really like some of the stuff that’s out there.  It can look really neat and fresh and is more interesting than paint.  But it's a pain to remove and is fairly trendy.  I find that it is more likely to go out of style quickly than paint is. 

We had a border to remove in the master bedroom, and one wall and a border in the 2 other bedrooms.  The kitchen was fully wallpapered, but luckily there isn’t actually that much wall in the kitchen.  There is also a border in the bathroom, but that’s future Ryan and Kaileigh’s problem.  We are waiting a bit to do the bathroom because it’s not overly offensive.

So my parentals came over to assist in the removal process.  We started with the master bedroom border.  It didn’t seem overwhelming so we thought it was a good place to start.  First we started with wallpaper remover.  Just followed the directions on the bottle and sponged it on.  Let it sit for 15 minutes, repeat.  Then scrape off.  Typically the first layer comes off easily and the second layer is more tricky.  I think by the end we figured to sponge it and try to get the first layer off and then sponge or spray again and work on the second layer.  There isn’t much of a point in focusing too much time sponging the top layer, as the liquid won’t penetrate through it to the under layer.  Even using just plain water helps to take it off.  We kind of did a combination of both.  And sometimes used a paint roller to roll it on.  It was kind of just a bit of everything. 
The most lovely part of this process was when the drip marks from the spray turned yellow….mmmm nicotine in our walls, that’s healthy.
Room 2 – The office.  This went ok.  Mostly the wallpaper came off in large strips.
Room 3 – The spare room.  Not so good.  This room literally took half the day I think.  Originally we had my mom, dad, Ryan and I working on removing wallpaper.  We started on this room after lunch.  We had asked my brother to bring us food.  Muhahahaha sucker.  He got sucked in.  Hope you enjoyed your time off from university B-Rad! So we were up to 5.  Then, 2 of my parents friends stopped in to see the house.  Don’t ever stop in at someone’s house when they are in the midst of removing wallpaper.  This happens:

So we had 7 people working on this room for more than 3 hours.  Ridonkulous.  If we pulled off a piece larger than about 2 square inches we yelled out and made everyone ooh and ahh over it.  Needless to say, the kitchen seemed like a piece of cake after that disaster.

Notes about wallpaper removal:
We have plaster walls.  This makes removing wall paper easier because the walls are sturdier than drywall.  But you still have to be careful that you don’t take chunks out of the plaster with your scraping tools. (Good thing I know the appropriate names for these tools).
The wall paper remover might get you high.  Actually no it doesn’t even have that advantage.  It just makes you feel like you are going to pass out.  Open a window.  Don’t spray it in your wife’s face thinking that it’s just water in your squirt bottle.

That's all folks.  I'm out of tips.

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