Winter Is For Wallpaper (Removal)

Since all of our bigger tasks were on hold for winter, we decided to start removing the painted wallpaper on the the first floor. Thankfully, the kitchen and family room seem to have escaped the layers on wallpaper, so we started with the formal living room.

It looked okay in photographs, but in person, the speckled texture was less than pleasant and was barely hanging on. J could simply pop the seam with his fingers and pull most of the run down in one go. Underneath was 2 layers of half removed old wallpaper that had been smoothed out and painted. You could see the discoloration of the paint where the wallpaper was leeching through.


We got a steamer along with along handled 4in. scrapper at our local big box hardware store and started scrapping it all off. The plaster was in over all good shape. We needed to patch all the nail holes (one wall looked like it had a pox), repair the rounded corners, patch an few larger holes, and reattach two loose plaster spots.

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Reattaching Plaster with Adhesive and Screws with Plaster Washers.

After, we caulked all the edges of the trim. We primed with some Kilz oil-based primer seal the discoloration from the glue and tannins of the wallpaper. Plus, the plaster itself just eats paint. We committed to Behr’s Polar Bear for all our white trim and picked a shade called Almond Kiss for the walls. It’s a light warm pink that will compliment the greige we plan to use in the hall/entry/utility spaces.

We intended to address the stick-on tile of the fireplace at another time. (I think it probably once held a mirror since the inset is vary shallow.) However, the stick-ons did not take kindly to the steamer (humidity) and a few popped off. After, prying off all the rest, we started looking for some real tile to put in it’s place. We really liked this black marble herring bone pattern, but stone is too thick and it had a minimum order requirement.


Sources 1 | 2 | 3

We ended up choosing penny tile in antique gold so we wouldn’t need to buy a tile cutter. I really liked the green version, but we decided to go more neutral since it can’t be easily changed later.

It’s hard to tell in photos, but the space is much brighter and feels larger. J and I curled up on the couch to watch a movie the Friday after we moved our furniture back in. He started dosing off because it felt like home (best compliment ever).



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