Saturday, August 23, 2008

Open letter to those pondering wallpaper

To whomever out there in cyberland may be tossing around the idea of wallpapering a room:

Wallpaper can be so beautiful. It really can be. So I understand the draw, even though it is not my personal style.

However, today, as I finished scraping the last remnants of wallpaper from my dining room walls, and then as I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and freakin' scrubbed to remove the residue, I will admit that I was not thinking so fondly of wallpaper. Most of my angst stems directly from the fact that my particular previous owners/wallpaper lovers did not understand the importance of priming those walls before they put up the paper. Sure, it makes no difference to the wallpaperERs....but it for darned sure makes a difference to the poor schmuck who may someday want to strip it.

I know what you're thinking. "This wallpaper is so classy and so timeless, no one will ever want to pull it down." Or maybe you're thinking "Who cares? I won't be the idjit spending countless hours scraping and scrubbing. HA!" I get that. Really I do. But please think of poor little ol' me, with my unbelievably sore muscles and joints that are currently protesting my every move.

Prime those walls before you paper. PRIME THEM. Please.

A very sore, very tired, very frustrated, very sore homeowner


Tara said...

And if you're not going to prime, at least draw entertaining pictures on the bare sheetrock before you start applying the gives us poor stripping fools a little amusement after we've gotten those 5 or so layers off.

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Give some fabric softener a try. I got some at the Dollar Tree, diluted just a bit and it took paper and residue off.
Last people in my old house put up wallboard and then smacked wall paper right on top of that, no primer no paint...sigh.

G said...

Oh, I did use fabric softener, and it worked beautifully. There was just still a lot of general "icky" stuff. Residue, dirt, etc. that may hamper my impending paint job.

PlantingOaks said...

This is the best thing ever about plaster walls. They may be full of cracks, with an inch of wallpaper on top of them, but you can soak them to the skin and scrub your heart out to get the paper off, and the wall itself will stay intact underneath. Not so much for drywall, primed or no.

However, I have a thing or two to say about textured paint...

Getting all the paste off is the worst. We washed our walls so many times, and they still felt slimy, and going up and down the ladder with buckets of water because it seemed like you couldn't do two swipes before you were just rubbing more paste around. The paint seemed to stick anyway maybe they've improved paint formulas, maybe that's just because it's still pretty fresh.