Saturday, September 18, 2010

we're all learning

After learning to do this during this afternoon ...



We are finally doing this, tonight.


"This" being, the act of putting forth the first effort to update our house.


We started by removing wallpaper in our dining room.


Which we've since decided is no easy task.

Much like bike riding, when you first start out.


After I bought equipment today to score the walls, and then I bought a few gallons worth of wallpaper remover, and scrapers and sponges, Charlie and I spent six hours removing wallpaper from a four foot area.


"With all the wallpaper in this house, this will take us TEN years!" we said to each other, "There's got to be an easier way!"

Turns out, there is.


Tomorrow, after we go for a bike ride, first thing in the morning, we'll be picking up a steamer. Because now that the kids know how to ride without training wheels, that's all they want to do.


And now that we know how to get wallpaper down and are beginning to see the transformation that will take place in our house once it's gone - that's all we want to do.

See ... look!


Charlie's so desperate to get a start on this project, he's willing to improvise using our steam mop. And that is why we now love our Bissell Green Tea, a little bit more.


  1. Christina(pa)9/18/10, 9:49 PM

    Use fabric softener on the glue. Has worked very well for me and tends to freshen up the room! LOL

  2. We've removed miles and MILES of wallpaper here too. It's such an awful job. I've found that some rooms the wallpaper comes off so easily and other rooms it's tiny scrap by scrap. Two tips: if it's really hot/humid (esp. humid!) outside, try peeling wallpaper then. Once I peeled an entire LARGE room in about 1/2 while talking to my grandma on the phone. Other thing that works: run a humidifier in a closed room for a day or two and then it peels right off.

    Good luck!

  3. You guys are AWESOME! So happy to talk to you last night!!!! Put a smile on my face for the whole day today!!! ;) Can't wait to see you guys next summer! Checked you out on Google Maps! VERY COOL!!!

  4. Hooray for progress!! So excited for the kids!

  5. are you just finding the one layer, or several layers of paper?
    i have always found it interesting to see the history of the house by the different layers of wallpaper. but probably at this point you could care less about that, huh? have you decided your colors yet? unless you tivo, you might not get much out of charlie on saturday and sunday...

  6. Our Scunnci Steamer works awesome to take down wallpaper. It even has attachments for it!

  7. Our Scunnci Steamer works great for wallpaper removal. It even has attachments for it!

  8. Great accomplishment saying bye-bye to training wheels. Congrats. As the house progresses, the memories will grow sweeter. I am really happy for the family. Best of luck to all of you in the new place.

  9. Have fun with one of the most miserable jobs ever. When we tackled that job in a very, very old apartment we lived in, we used fabric softener in the water which seemes to work well. Hope the steamer does the trick!!

  10. I've read, but never tried myself because I've been fortunate to buy/own homes that have been wallpaper free, that fabric softener removes tough wallpaper from walls. If I remember correctly, the magic recipe is one cup hot water with one cup fabric softener. My guess is you soak the wallpaper with the mixture, wait a few minutes, scrape and voila - bare walls! You may have to score the wallpaper if it won't soak up the mixture.

    Can't wait to see the finished dining room! And congrats to the trips for mastering the art of riding a bicycle!

  11. What is that saying, creativity is the mother of invention.

    Yeah for the bike riders, please relay high 5's to one and all. And toss in one for Charlie because he's just so damn clever.

  12. A paint store like Sherwin Williams has a wallpaper tool that will cut into the wallpaper as you move the tool over it. Then spray on the wallpaper using a spray bottle with one part fabric softner to the size of your water bottle. you should then be able to pull the wallpaper off in large pieces.

  13. Jen--do you know that there are probably people in your area that remove wallpaper for a very reasonable rate? Recently, I hired someone to take down wallpaper and prep walls in our office and paid only $100. I am pretty frugal usually, but this saved me close to 10 hours of work, so I was happy to pay! It may be worth your time and $ to have someone come and do the dirty work for you. You can check under "painters" in the yellow pages or even ask around--I bet you'd find someone. Good luck!

  14. Oh Jen looks like a great area! The kids riding by themselves will be a Godsend over the next few months while you try and renovate! Matt never gets off his - he loves to ride and has lots of company in our neighborhood!

    On the wallpaper front - when we bought our circa 1963 home - it was full of wallpaper - everywhere! I HATED every single piece because I have always disliked wallpaper (I think it has something to do with my upbringing)- it took us many months too to removed it! But it was well worth it! I didn't know about the fabric softener trick - hope that works for you!

    PS - I can still remember the wallpaper in the downstairs bath on Walnut st - do you? It's it funny how some things stick in your head?