Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wallpaper is from the Devil

I hate wallpaper. Worse yet, I hate having to strip wallpaper off the walls. Whoever invented wallpaper was an evil, evil person inspired by Satan himself.

I must have been feeling guilty about something when my wife asked to put up wallpaper in our family room and master bedroom. That was about 11 years ago after we moved into our house. The first indication that it was a bad decision came about a year ago when we remodeled our master bedroom. Fortunately the bedroom was wallpapered on one wall with a chair rail height strip around the rest. Since we ended up doing a beadboard wainescoat and covered the big wall with beadboard paneling we ended up not having to strip absolutely everything off. That's not the case in our family room in the basement.

The family room is three walls, floor to ceiling...two different wallpapers with a border around the top and one around the middle where the two different wallpapers met. It looked fine and was an easy thing for me when it was installed - Lisa's mother was a professional wallpaper hanger in a previous life and was more than happy to install ours. The unfortunate part about having someone with professional experience install wallpaper is that it wants to stay on the wall...forever. You strip the top layer off - that's the easy layer - to reveal the satanic monster underneath. You score the walls with this obnoxious little clamshell device, spread glue dissolver all over everything and pray that it comes off cleanly. It doesn't. You then spend hours and hours gently scrapping and pealing and gooping and scrubbing. We're at a point now where we have about half of it done. Half done after approximately 12 hours of combined time trying to get rid of the stuff. If this experience doesn't catapult us into divorce, we're good for the rest of our lives.

Once we get this devilish mess off our walls we'll be painting. I enjoy painting a little bit more than removing wallpaper but I'm really looking forward to how it will turn out. I'm also looking forward to never having wallpaper in my house again. Ever.

Word of advise. Don't hang wallpaper on your walls. They'll tell you at the store that "it comes off easier, now...not like the old days." Take it from me. They are lying. They want you to experience the torture they have inflicted upon themselves over the years, to share in their torment. Don't do it. Go to a paint store. Find some great colors that go with the current trends and your personality. In a few years when you change your taste and the world has decided some other color is cool, it'll be a lot easier to update your walls. Trust me. I wouldn't wish wallpaper removal on my worst enemy, except for maybe my mother-in-law.


blissfullykrissy said...

i hate wallpaper too and when abe opened his office, we went in and did a complete make-over in his office the weekend before he started and boy was that a crazy mess!
we learned that downy/liquid fabric softener works wonders on the walls and it makes everything smell laundry fresh!
hopefully you aren't scarred from the trauma of it! :)

Ric Sieben said...

I've heard a little about the fabric softener trick. Do you do a fabric softener/water mix?

Someone mention a vinegar/water solution but the fabric softener is a lot more appealing for the obvious reason.

Amber said...

I love wallpaper! And I'm thinking of putting it in my new home whenever I buy one...

Ric Sieben said...

ok, but don't say I didn't warn you!