You might remember a few months ago...oh, alright so it was maybe somewhere around last March or so...I mentioned starting to pull wallpaper off the kitchen walls. I'd squirt the walls with my squirt bottle concoction of hot water and fabric softener, get the top ugly kitty in baskets border, along with green/white check and flowers wallpaper torn off, so I could start on the bottom layer. The problem was more often than not the paper layer on the wallboard and that tape that's used on the wallboard seams would come with it. It was a nightmare. I wanted to do what I did when I started refinishing the family room floor that was riddled with hundreds of stripped screws and nails - sit down and cry. Instead, Hon saved the day by saying we would rent a steamer. He said we'd do that next weekend. Well next weekend turned into next month, which turned into...well, you get the picture. This past weekend we finally rented the steamer. You want to know what? It didn't make a difference. The paper layer on the wallboard and the seam tape still comes off with the wallpaper. That is why I am writing this story.
Folks, if you absolutely must must must put wallpaper up, do the necessary wall preparations first. Let me give some handy dandy suggestions. First off, I know It's exciting when you finish your new construction/add on and want to get the wallpaper up, but please make sure you prime the wallboard first. And next, use sizing. It's important. Goes on just like paint. Sizing sort of prepares the primed wall to take the wallpaper - you know, makes it so the wallpaper glue doesn't adhere to the wall permanently so the one taking it down doesn't lose their mind...it makes getting it off an easier process. I say easier because in all the rooms of wallpaper I've taken down, none has been particularly easy, but if you don't prepare the walls properly first, it's a nightmare to get down. Don't give me any, "Well, there wasn't a such thing as sizing when we put it up..." and other excuses. This wallpaper has been on these walls, oh, I'd say a good 30 years. There was sizing in the 70's when this kitchen add-on was built. Maybe not in 1859 when the house was built, but some time afterwards.
Now, back to my kitchen walls... Hon and I spent Saturday and Sunday steaming, scraping, and peeling wallpaper. We're not finished yet. I decided since the steamer had the same effect as the squirt bottle with hot water and fabric softener, the steamer might as well go home. I won't get to these battered walls again until next weekend anyway. Hopefully then Hon will begin the painful task of skimming the walls with spackle. Spackling walls sort of falls in the same category as making spaghetti sauce - Hon does it and doesn't think I can do it any better. It will take him an I don't even want to think of how many weekends to finish that task. Then there's the sanding. Oh the sanding...in the kitchen...blah.
I must admit I've put up wallpaper before. I've even had Dad put it up for me. Every time it was done I used sizing first. That way when I took it down, wondering what I was thinking to put it up to begin with, it came down easier.
So, there you have it folks. Think of sizing as proper wallpaper etiquette. You never know who might be the one taking it down. I've taken wallpaper down from just about every room in the house, having the kitchen, Young'un's room, and a bit in the foyer left. The kitchen might just do me in. Then Young'un will never get the blue and yellow flowers off his walls... Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals haven't figured that out yet. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm called Mom. Life is a comedy and I plan on documenting it.