Do it in every room in the house ………

Including the bedroom….OK….Now that I have your attention……

I should say I’m talking about home improvements; Design, Color,  Fabric & Texture……… We all like to think we can design and create a wonderful warm room but let’s face it not  every one of us is  a Martha Stewart,  a Debbie Travis or a Candice Olsen.  I am here to try to help you change that.

My first blog is about wallpaper. Beautiful, grand, colorful patterned coverings that fade with age and light and are a  nightmare to remove!  In our grandmother’s and mother’s era wallpaper was the mainstay of any home. Before the days of paint rollers painting was done with brush and was very costly. Wallpaper was beautiful and less costly so it was everywhere in homes even on the ceilings!

Those of us who live in old homes know they have their fair share of paper.  Some of you probably have some painted over paper as well. I detest painted wallpaper!  Let’s remove it.  The fastest way to remove old wallpaper is with a garden sprayer! Yes, I said a garden sprayer.

You will need: several plastic drop sheets (dollar store kind), old bed sheets (local thrift store), 6  ft. step-ladder, several pairs of rubber gloves, 4″ or 6″ putty or drywall knife,   garden sprayer, medium to large size bottle of fabric softener (depends on how much paper to be removed), access to very hot water, 2 large sponges (grout sponges work great) and a bucket, 2 to 4 tubes of latex caulking, wet rags.

First we empty the room & prep it by laying plastic drop sheets over the entire floor, around the edges of the base I like to place the rolled bed sheets. Once all that is done, add about 1-2 cups of fabric softener to the sprayer and fill to the line with the hottest water you can get. Pump it up. Start with a fine mist  and start spraying at ceiling level and work your way down in about 3 ft wide sweeping motions. Spray one complete wall, making sure the paper is well saturated. The first sweeping will be absorbed by the paper and not be wet enough, do the wall again, filling and pumping the sprayer when necessary. When paper is completely soaked wait about 10 minutes then start at the top of the wall on your ladder being careful not to stretch too far and fall and scrape the paper.  Be careful of the plaster under it and the corner at the ceiling. There will be a lot of glue so scrape that off as well. Continue until the wall is completely clear of paper. Then repeat the steps on the other walls. This should work for painted over paper as well but you may have to purchase a scoring tool to score the walls before spraying (available at most hardware and big box stores).

Once all your walls are stripped of paper you will want to wash them to get the last bits of glue residue using hot soapy water. Let walls dry overnight. Next you will sand the walls with a pole sander (available at any hardware or big box store and well worth the $) with 100 grit paper.  Once sanded, fill any holes with drywall compound, deeper holes will need 2 or more coats. Let dry between coats. Sand your patches and caulk your trim and base where it meets the walls wiping excess caulk away with wet rags. You are now ready prime your walls and then paint.

I recommend using a good quality primer and remember to prime the patches twice to avoid ‘flashing’.

Thank you.


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