Last week I went to our local lumber store and purchased all the wood I would need for the board and batten treatment. First things first, the wallpaper would need to be removed.
We emptied the room out and were ready to begin. We have removed wallpaper many times. This specific wallpaper was also in our kitchen and powder room, and with the exception of one small area in the kitchen, it all removed easily.
Our expectations were that the wallpaper in the mudroom would strip just as easily as it had in the kitchen and powder room.
One issue we knew we would have is that the cabinets were installed after the wallpaper. Those cabinets you see are from our kitchen and three years ago when we renovated the kitchen (you can check out the renovation here) we moved those cabinets into the mudroom. So we knew we would have to cut around the cabinets to remove the paper - not a big deal, in theory. So with all hands on deck, we began.
With scrapers and warm water we began to peel off the wallpaper.
Usually we peel off the top layer of the paper, soak the bottom layer and then peel away the sheets. I had figured the entire job of wallpaper removal would take about three hours...four tops. Well I was WRONG!!
This is a photo from several hours into the job. The paper was coming off in tiny little pieces...not the big long strips it usually comes down in.
This was almost two hours after the last photo. Now at this point we had tried all kinds of methods of removing wallpaper, including but not limited to scoring the paper and then soaking it. The only thing that seemed to be happening was we were doing damage to the wall.
Eight hours later (yes eight - which with four people working is really 32 man hours) the wallpaper was finally gone. We tried to figure out why this wallpaper seemed to be hung using super glue. The only thing we could come up with is maybe because it's a laundry room and there is heat given off by the dryer...behind the washer and dryer was by far the worst of the room...in the end it doesn't really matter why...it was just the worst.
The wallpaper was gone, but left behind was much damage to the walls (I'd like to say the children caused this, but there was equal damage caused by all four of us fighting with that paper to get it off). Not only was there damage caused by the scraper, but after the wallpaper was removed I clearly remembered why I had wallpapered this room in the first place...these wall were a mess. I guess the builder figured this was a mudroom and didn't take the same care in finishing the walls. In addition to all of that, there was also glue all over the walls. I had hours and hours of work ahead of me to skim coat these walls and get them into shape before we could even think about starting the next phase of the project.
We were all exhausted. They say it's always darkest before the dawn, and right about now it was darn near pitch black.
Please stop back tomorrow to see if this story has a happy ending...I will give you this hint...a whole lot more goes wrong first before it starts going right. This project only proves just how important a good sense of humor and a little ingenuity is in any DIY project.