Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bathroom Wallpaper Stripping

I started stripping the wallpaper in the bathroom. 

This wallpaper is thick and has a slightly gooey texture to it. The drywall was not primed before it was applied with super-adhesive. Even with Downy it is not coming off the walls cleanly and has stripped off some of the drywall paper backing. I'll have to joint skim it to smooth it back out again, but honestly I'm planning on removing the drywall and putting concrete backerboard on the walls so that it can be tiled from floor to ceiling with white subway tile. While I could do that with the drywall, it will inevitably lead to moisture issues and failure of the tile-job, so let's do it right from the start. 

But for now, this is what I have to work with...

Yea...pretty scary huh?

So here's how it goes:
  1. Peel off existing wallpaper with fingers
  2. On remaining wallpaper that was apparently superglued to the wall, roll a wallpaper removal thingamabob in circles around wallpaper to pierce tiny little holes in it. 
  3. Use sponge to rub a mixture of downy and water on the super-wallpaper
  4. Let soak for 5 minutes. The holes supposedly help the mixture penetrate the wall, but in this case, the wallpaper is not paper, but rather some sort of goo substance that magically levels itself back out and closes up the holes, so that remover thingamabob was $8 wasted
  5. Take a flexible scraper and begin obsessively-compulsively digging off the wallpaper. 
  6. Call friend Tiffany to come help. Request that she bring champagne.
  7. Open the bottle of bubbly and drink it together
  8. Open a second bottle of bubbly and wander into the bathroom to stare at the walls in disbelief.
  9. Re-commence obsessively scraping and picking at the walls, this time with someone to entertain and assist you
  10. Occassionally you'll get a 'good one'—a big nice strip of wallpaper off—but more often than not, only tiny little slivers will come off piece-by-piece. 
  11. Get jealous when friend gets a 'good one'. Vow to beat her to the next "ooOoOooOooo that's a good one!"
What I learned:

  • When removing old wallpaper, shave down the corners of the scraper so that you don't jab the wall.

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