Thursday, October 27, 2011



I know I know people say wallpaper is back in style, and I don't doubt it, I actually really love the look of some of the new wallpaper, however, I am posting about old wallpaper that has been up for over 20 years and painted over at least 10 years, what a NIGHTMARE!!! I haven't posted any new tutorials for a long time, because I have spent all my "work time" on these dumb walls. It took me 4 days to remove painted over wallpaper from a small wall behind my door.

Believe me, I tried everything, scoring the paper, using vinegar, DIFF, and I even tried to thin the paint and scrape it off before trying to take the paper off. I did not try to steam it off because of the paint barrier, and I didn't try to use Downy because in my experience with wallpaper (yes I have de-wallpapered an entire house before) Downy doesn't work any better than vinegar. After getting the wallpaper off a quarter size at a time, my walls were absolutely destroyed!!! I wanted to cry, I thought I would just wallpaper over it but my husband hasn't jumped on the new wallpaper band wagon yet ( I might be able to get away with an accent wall or something), so I was either going to have to fix the walls by myself and then be satisfied with visible flaws (because there was no way to get it all patched and looking smooth) or get new drywall. Well remember we are working with an extremely tight budget so getting new drywall was out of the question. I made my way over to the ONLY wallpaper store I have been able to find in the Columbus area to find some wallpaper my husband would be okay with......I found out the store was going out of business in a few weeks so everything was on sale. The problem was I quickly found out why they are going out of business, the only wallpaper they had looked like the wallpaper I was tearing down or wall paper I could find at my grandmother's house, it was terrible!!! I was super bummed and felt defeated, the sales lady was really working hard to sale something to me so just as I was about to leave she said, "Well why don't you line your walls and start fresh??""!!!!!!!! I did a 180!!! I had never heard of liner but after she explained it to me I was sold!!! So i lightly patched and sanded all the flaws in my walls, then I hung the wall liner just like wallpaper. Now the instructions did not say to do this, but i put 2 or 3 layers of spakling over the seam and then sanded it down!!

I was in love before I even painted the wall, it already looked so much better, so smooth, so clean!!! I then used a latex paint with primer over the liner, I still had to do 3 coats, because the liner soaks the paint in differently than my other walls. The only problem I have now is that this is an old house, now the lined walls look cleaner, crisper, and better than the walls I didn't line, I have an itch to do all the walls in the house, but luckily we are walking on subfloors right now, so I am distracted by other projects!!!

The first 2 pictures on this post are of the walls in my bathroom and the nook in my kitchen, the AFTER pics are still to come because we are still working on those areas!!!

shabby creek cottage


  1. That looks great! So glad you shared the "fresh start" too! Good to know in case of future projects.

    I'm surprised you already tackling the wall paper project. I remember your last place COVERED in wall paper. I'm still burned out of tearing off wall paper over four years ago at my house. And that was just the kitchen.

    And I agree just use plain vinigar. I didn't know to use it then but plain Downy Fabric Softener now corrorlates to when my house first smelled like stinky cats. I can't even use in my laundry anymore ;).

  2. You have saved my life! I ripped and scraped old "Wallpaper" (I'm not sure it was ever really had a cloth front like canvas) and have been staring at the pocked and lumpy wall wonder what to do. No money for drywall. But this sounds like it might work well!! I just hope it's easy to hang liner.


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