house to home–wallpaper removal

I know that wallpaper is coming back into style; however some "designs” have gotten way outdated.

Exhibit A, B, and C- my kitchen, living room, and dining area


I am not a country girl. We decided that the kitchen was our most vital project. We planned on having a month to renovate before we moved in. Unfortunately, nothing ever goes as I plan. Fortunately, my in-laws have an RV that they let us live in for 6 weeks. We couldn’t really move into the house because we had no appliances. Hence, the options of heating an RV and a house or just heating an RV. The latter won out much to my dismay :)

So the first thing I had to do to prep the kitchen for renovation was to strip the walls of its country-day glory.

Tools Needed

  • Handheld Steamer – my mom had a Bissell (found here) that she let me borrow – which reminds me that I need to return it.
  • Putty Knife
  • Clean rag
  • Elbow Grease


  • Start at a seam or in a corner of your wall
  • steam your wallpaper – the heat loosens the adhesive and the water aids in a clean removal
  • Take putty knife and slide it between a corner of the wallpaper and the wall – be careful not to puncture the wall
  • pull away with your fingers what you can using the putty knife to aid as you pull
  • Use the putty knife to scrape any extra adhesive and if necessary, use some more steam shots
  • clean area with a rag when you are done

Tips and Hints

  • the removal was easier in an area that saw less sun
  • I moved about ten feet in an hour
  • It usually took me two rounds of steam on an area
  • I would steam an area, pull the first layer of wallpaper off and then steam ahead a bit so that had time to soak and then would work on the left over residue on the first area
  • using the putty knife was great!

As I unearthed the wall behind the wallpaper there was a grapevine stenciled behind it – oh the 90’s! – I laughed because my mom had the same stencil in her kitchen with some frilly lace curtains at one point

PS- if you ever paint a room that has wallpaper, please just remove the wallpaper before you paint. Whoever lived in this house painted the living room three times after the wallpaper was up – and didn’t use tape. So there were three layers of paint over the wallpaper and it was awful to clean. After we removed the wallpaper we had to sand the wall, but there is still a pretty prominent line across my living room. Since we have plans to someday put a fireplace in that room, we just painted over it for now.

Good luck and let me know if you have questions!

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