DIY | Home Decor

the one where the wallpaper came down

As I was writing this post, I really started to debate sharing these photos…because let’s be real, they aren’t cute. They aren’t even good photos of an ugly room, because I couldn’t be bothered to adjust my camera settings in the middle of wallpaper destruction. Oops. Well, with that said, I love seeing progress photos from my favorite blogs. So if you want to see what we’ve been up to during our lower level update, read on!

To begin this story. Our basement needs to be updated, because its former life was a wood-paneled thing of glory. Highlighted by carpet that smelled oh-so-strongly of wet dog. That means our basement is bereft of carpet at the moment (it was icky enough when we moved in that we kind of prefer the concrete) and thus has been the perfect work zone. It’s where I keep all my garage sale finds (that I am steadily refinishing) and where hubby keeps his old college textbooks that will totally be useful again someday. Ok, ok, I have a box of those too.

However, we definitely don’t want to leave our lower level in this state! After jotting down a huge list of to-dos that ought to be completed before we can install carpet, we tackled all the wallpaper this past weekend.

While this definitely took some time, probably an hour or so for each of us, it really wasn’t bad at all. Though, I would definitely hesitate to take on a house with a lot of wallpaper happening, because it’s just such a toss-up if it would be easy to remove or if I would spend my hours delicately peeling pieces of wallpaper the size of ticket stubs off the walls until my dying day.

Before we started the project, I ran to Home Depot and grabbed a few essentials. A few putty knife type things (similar), wallpaper removal spray, and a scoring tool that caught my eye because the packaging preached itself as absolutely necessary to the whole endeavor. Well, I ran to the checkout and found in dismay that I had spent $30 on just these few things! Oooooh no…not for less than a roomful of wallpaper did I just spend $30! So I immediately decided I would remove that wallpaper with as few of the products as possible and return the rest.

And thankfully we experienced success! I highly recommend a tool similar to the ones above. The plastic one especially was so inexpensive, and we arguably liked that one best.

This was our method: I discovered that if I could pry back a corner of the paper (it was poorly installed, so it was easy to see where each sheet ended and began) and peel off the top layer, I could then spray the under layer with warm water and let it hang out while I peeled another top layer section. Then I went back and scraped the now softened under layer. It took a little time, but it was easy enough, and came off cleanly. Hallelujah! If you’ve ever tackled wallpaper, you know that it’s not always this easy, so if you’re looking for more removal ideas, I suggest this blog post from Young House Love.

And the finished product (clearly we still have much to do, but the wallpaper is all gone!):

So what’s next on the basement/lower level checklist? This weekend we will painting our ceilings and I’m actually kind of excited. It’ll be interesting to see the change. Everyone I know who has painted their ceilings has commented on how the fresh white paint really makes it clear how dark and dingy the previous ceiling paint was! Not sure why they get so dirty, but maybe it’s best not to dwell on that too much.

So basically our free time this weekend is gonna be a huge ceiling painting party. Somebody bring chocolate.

Well, that’s all I have for now! And because that was a lot of real-ness in one post…I’m leaving you with a photo from our kitchen for something a little more aesthetically pleasing.


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