Thursday, October 7, 2010

Old wallpaper had to go!

I've been saving money for quite a while to fix up my "upstairs living room" which is a kind of swollen hallway that the bedrooms and bathroom open into - SIX doors counting the stairway door. It does have a nice double window and room for a seating area at one end. And we're also renovating one of the front bedrooms which had yucky paneling on the two outside walls. We took the paneling down this past winter when we augmented the old blown in insulation, so that got me planning. The picture below is what was on the one unpaneled wall in the living room. I have no idea how old it is, probably the same age as the paneling. I kind of liked it, except that it was old and dirty. I saved a piece to frame and hang in the room if I want to later.

Here are more views of that room and the wallpaper. Dd and I tried to get if off with fabric softener this spring but it took forever and was very hard. So a few weeks ago a friend and I rented a steamer - and even then it took 2 days to do the rooms.



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Here are a couple of pics of the walls in the front room. They had an interesting brown on cream botanical paper at one time. Most of it had paint on it too. Then underneath everything in both rooms was a gold paper that was often very hard to remove, though in a very few places on the green wallpapered wall it came off with all the other layers at once, easy peasy.


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I don't know why I find the old paper so interesting. Its history I guess.

The old walls in this 1920s home were in rough shape underneath, so dh insisted that we put a kind of thin fiberglass stuff that goes up like wall paper. I've been doing unskilled labor on the project before and after work, like pull out hundreds of nails from the paneling and daily clean up. I'm going to paint the rooms when ready, buy a new couch (I've picked it out: its chartreuse), make curtains, paint some of the existing furniture and keep dh, who thinks i'm out of my mind, at bay. Oh and another friend has offered me a cute little love seat which is a similar style to the new couch, but I'll need to slip cover or reupholster it.

Other than that I've been repairing wallpaper and baseboard in another bedroom where we hadn't gotten around to filling the little holes left in the aftermath of the blown in insulation. (We had to make holes from the interior since we have aluminium siding.) And putting cork on the closet walls in that room, don't ask me why - long story. Its all taken a lot longer than I thought! And I've made some new plate flowers but they aren't in the garden yet. Nothing much to show yet! But soon...



  1. Wow, that sounds like a lot of work...I like the little angle in that one pic, more interesting than straight walls everywhere...and I love that you kept a piece of paper to frame...It is pretty, but I'm sure just not fresh enough...Good luck with the rest of the project. I can't wait to see it! Lezlee

  2. Remodeling is a lot of work. Seems that one thing almost always leads to another...

    Can't wait to see the after pictures.

  3. No small task! Years ago I did a room for my MIL and it had something like 8 layers of wallpaper. It took FOREVER!

  4. We have a historical home built in 1922 and I can relate. Currently, working on a sunroom...removing old wallpaper. THe walls are, well, old plaster and not good. Look forward to seeing what you do. Good luck!

  5. I think old wall papers are very interesting and historical !!!! It's interesting to see this room as you have wallpapered it, to see how it looks different then. You have so much to do still. And Happy Halloween !!!!!
    (in this week it is said to be snow in Scandinavia so I might be buzy taking pics about first snow :)

  6. I love older homes. :-) They sure do have lots of character. That was a lot of wallpaper to take down. When I owned my house in Canada I also removed one layer of wallpaper that was on paneling, but I used Windex to peel it off. Probably not the right method, but it worked better than fabric softner. I just couldn't leave it one for too long or it would warp the panel.

    I also love old wallpaper ... esp. the old velvet ones. LOL You're right that they have a lot of history.

    Have fun with your renovations!

  7. I love old houses and old wallpaper! I look forward to your re-do! I'm going to be adding wallpaper to my livingroom/dining room soon :-)

  8. Wow Kathy! you have been super busy! Removing wallpaper is one of my least favorite things on this planet to do! LOL But, it sounds like a lot of it is getting done so congrats on that!

  9. I would also be fascinated by the old layers of wallpaper! I wonder what the old layers had "seen" in the house.....

  10. Its a labor of love....
    just keep reminding yourself that each time things get overwhelming!
    I love old houses and am glad to see others love them too! We have to restore them for future generations!

    Hugz, Dolly

  11. Love the Halloween sides, so Fun.. I love the layers of history that your pealing away.. How interesting to see the changes in style that somone had..
    Great Blog- Glad to be a new follower and thanks for stopping by my blog

  12. You are inspiring me! Please keep doing it! I have some wallpaper that needs to go, too! And so far the only thing I've been able to make happen is a series of daily sighs that I can't make it happen! :-/. No time and not enough in the budget to hire someone to do it.

    Our house was built in 1953 or so but the wallpaper doesn't look any more recent than the one you're peeling off.

    Good for you! And thanks for your visit to the Pagan Sphinx recently. Loved your comment about the bumperstickers!



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