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White Walls

December 5, 2011

I can safely say no house is ever perfect. The reason I know this is because my mom was a Realtor, so I saw a lot of houses when I was younger, and also because the ManFiancé and I looked at about 100 houses before finding The One. And even though The One was near-perfection, it still had its not-so-perfect characteristics. One was this, and the other was this:

Bad wallpaper in the guest bathroom – the kind of wallpaper that looks like it belongs to a 70-year old lady. Sorry, but it had to go.

We’ve been pulling off little pieces here and there since we moved in, and I never really got around to getting the equipment to fully finish the job. Ok fine, I was just procrastinating. It finally got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore – the point where the walls looked like they were literally melting. Not to mention, we have about 20 people coming for Christmas dinner. I had procrastinated long enough.

So I did some research and decided I’d go to Home Depot to rent a steamer to remove the wallpaper.

Well, that didn’t happen. Have you ever had one of those days where you don’t feel like getting out of your pajamas, don’t feel like leaving the house, and you especially don’t feel like driving 10 miles to Home Depot to rent a steamer?

So instead, I went to Pinterest.

Being that I’m pretty much the laziest person alive, I decided to search for the easiest way to remove wallpaper.  Double whammy: the easiest way to remove wallpaper with stuff I already had. You see, if I didn’t want to go out to rent a steamer, I definitely wasn’t going out to buy chemical wallpaper-remover.

Luckily, I found this: how to remove wallpaper with vinegar and water. Glorious!

I had vinegar!

I had water!

I didn’t have to get out of my pajamas!

It started out easy enough…

At first I tried removing the wallpaper with a screwdriver (?!), but I quickly gave that up because I was putting holes in the wall. Yeah, not that great. Lucky for me, I found a paint scraper and that worked well enough.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 4 cups of hot water in a spray bottle
  • Spray the mixture onto the walls and let sit for 5 minutes
  • Take the paint scraper and gently scratch the wallpaper
  • If it’s strippable wallpaper, not only are you lucky like me, but it’ll come off in strips
  • Depending on how the wallpaper was put on (meaning: how much adhesive was used), it’ll either peel right off in large sheets, or tediously in small pieces

For me, the sheets were coming off easy and fast. I thought to myself, “Easy peasy. I’ll be done in no time!”

As you can see – I had both large sheets and small pieces. Apparently the wallpaper was put on with a lot of adhesive in some spots, and then little-to-none in other parts. About halfway through I realized that I was too far along to quit – even though I was going on 4 hours.

Two stuffed trash bags and 6 hours later, I finally finished. And although it didn’t go as quickly as I would’ve liked, the white walls are way better than the old lady wallpaper that was once there before it.

Even if the slight smell of vinegar still remains…

It looks whiter, brighter, and a whole lot better. Don’t you agree?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    April 12, 2017 10:32 pm

    Half downy fabric softener and half water. Pull the wallpaper cover off first if you can. Then sponge it on the backing. You don’t have to wait for it to work. Leaves the room smelling awesome for weeks.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    March 16, 2016 12:15 pm

    So you pealed it off and just painted or did you need to sand at all first?

    • April 11, 2016 9:57 am

      I sanded the parts that had leftover glue but it wasn’t much (this will vary based on how much wallpaper glue was used and also how long the wallpaper has been on the wall) we didn’t paint but you could certainly paint after sanding!

  3. Anonymous permalink
    December 6, 2015 5:41 pm

    Fabric softener and water mixed works great to. Even the keep softener works

    • December 21, 2016 8:58 am

      i’ll have to try that sometime! def smells better than vinegar! :)

  4. Lori permalink
    June 16, 2013 10:12 am

    Thank you so much! I just now did this in my 1/2 bath. Thank goodness the only paper in the house! You just saved my life!!!! :o)

    • June 17, 2013 12:25 pm

      so glad it worked for you! way cheaper and a lot easier, eh?

  5. Hope permalink
    December 6, 2011 5:49 pm

    Much better!

  6. Anonymous permalink
    December 6, 2011 10:03 am

    I AGREE!!

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  1. Uses for White Vinegar – Grow. Pray. Build. --- Bloom Where You're Planted.

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