Day 11 – Demolition Begins!

We’re all about Demolition here. The girls always loved to help when it came to deconstruction… they’ve even helped Dad and Pop-Pop tear things out on actual construction sites. Kate says it’s a good way to get out one’s frustrations! So, the process of demolition has begun. Which is why I’m late posting.

First task in The Great Bedroom Swap
…remove the wallpaper border.

I don’t even like wallpaper borders. I like them in other people’s houses, but I’d really rather have stenciling or bare walls in our home. We had stenciling EVERYWHERE in the house when we first built it. It was my contribution to the building process… our two Dads and Hubby worked on building all day long, and when it got dark, I left the girls with a very tired Hubby and came and stenciled with the help of work lights until late at night. We had been renting for six years, and I suddenly had a clean palette of my very own… and boy, did I stencil those walls!

And that was 1992, and my choice of stencil patterns were quickly outdated. So somewhere around 1998, we began a really fast “makeover.” Up went wallpaper borders everywhere to cover the stenciling. The girls’ room was one of the only rooms that actually got painted before the border went up, because it had one green sponge-painted wall to which an actual picket fence was attached. Yup. The influence of the 90’s and a few too many decorating shows.

A few years ago we began taking off the borders and went back to plain-colored walls. The plan was to re-stencil, but it felt so good to see blank walls that they just stayed that way. Found an old photo to prove just how busy those walls were… and that child labor laws were often ignored in this house…

At first I was afraid to remove the wallpaper borders because the task looked so daunting, but it’s really not that difficult! It takes a few supplies… most of which are on hand in the average house…

Vinegar, which you dilute about half & half with water, and put in a spray bottle. Old rags or washcloths to wipe the drips. A wooden spoon or spatula for scraping off the border. (Forgot to get that in the picture!) And a wallpaper scratchy do-ma-jiggy. You’ll have to visit the hardware store for that. I have no idea what they are called, but this is what it looks like from above…

This is what it looks like from below…

And this is what it does…

It makes little holes all over the wallpaper. When you spray on the vinegar & water solution, it is able to soak through the little holes and dissolve the wallpaper paste. Give it a minute or so and look for loose edges to peel. The wallpaper borders from the 90’s had a plastic sort of coating on them, and may peel off in layers. Spray the under-layer with more vinegar and scrape with with something that won’t damage the wall…

Expect it to be a bit messy…

But it only took about 10 minutes to get this far…

After it’s all off, I’ll wipe the walls with a damp sponge to remove the wallpaper paste residue.And then I’m going to light a candle… It smells like a “Boardwalk Fries” stand upstairs!

😀

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