Wallpaper is the Devil’s work.

Like, I don’t know who thought of wallpaper. “Let’s use disgusting glue to put this terrible printed paper all over every surface in our house. It’ll hold smells, trap moisture, fade, and be outdated in five years. Oh, and it’ll take an act of God to get it down!” Cue evil laughter.

Up until this point in my life, I’ve only watched other people strip wallpaper. The house I grew up in was covered in wallpaper, dating from sometime between about 1956 and 1976. I was only four years old when we moved in, but I vividly remember watching my mother battle several (sev-er-al) layers of wallpaper in our dining room and kitchen. Before the ease of steamers, she tacked warm, wet towels to the wall, muttering under her breath the whole way. Cursed wallpaper.


Here, you can see me stripping some wallpaper in our new house, from circa 1998. While the wallpaper may be the Devil’s work, the electric wallpaper steamer is a DIY-er’s miracle. If you have to encounter wallpaper in your lifetime, a steamer is a must. (Although my official recommendation is that when someone says, “Oh, this house has wallpaper, but you can easily take it down,” you say, “HA!” and then you run like the wind. Run. Like. The. Wind.)

In all seriousness, while it might be a bear to take down wallpaper (from virtually every room, did I mention that?) I am so looking forward to the end result. The house already smells better! And it’s been a serious bonding experience for us… and for every family member who has been foolish enough to volunteer their services.

Here are some more photos of the progress. Next steps will be to clean the walls, repair the chipped plaster, and lay down some heavy-duty primer.

Wallpaper - Start 1
Living Room Before
Wallpaper - Progress 2
Living Room Progress

Stay tuned, everyone!