Thursday, January 12, 2012

The William Morris Project: Week 1, January 2012

I have never been a fan of wallpaper.  Maybe I have just been scarred by previous experience (growing up with PLAID wallpaper in the kitchen, stripping paint-able wallpaper from plaster walls in our first home).  But it's always been a no-go for me.  

Fortunately, I did not let that deter me when we looked at our Ohio house.  

Stripes + decorative china + sunflowers + green + burgundy

 Hi, the 80's called & they'd like their teacups back.   

 Because I never considered this to be useful or beautiful, it had to go.

I had stripped the dining room and kitchen walls a few months ago, but that border lingered. 

This week I finally armed myself with vinegar and water and a plastic scraper and I got to work.

I love how they obviously hung the border AND THEN painted the wall. 
PS: the wall color is prettier in the picture than in person.  In real life it's sort of a dull grey.

Border be gone! 

Now I just need to muster up the courage to pick a paint color. 

My daughter's reaction: "It looks so PLAIN."

After re-reading this post, I know that my unabashed joy over NO MORE BORDER just doesn't come through.  I spend part of my time wondering why I didn't get off my lazy bum and do this months ago, and part of my time plotting what to do next. I'd love to replace the countertops, paint the cabinets, and add a backsplash, but I think the budget is only going to allow for paint.  Whatever I end up doing first, all I can say is that I will ALWAYS take plain over teacups.  

Note: I've gotten lots of comments about using vinegar to strip the wallpaper.  I don't know if this works for all types, but here's what I do: First, try to peel off what you can by hand.  Next, use a "tiger paw" to lightly score what's left.  Mix vinegar and hot water at a 50/50 ratio in spray bottle.  Spray the wallpaper, wait a few minutes, and scrape gently using a plastic scraper.  Wipe down the area with a damp sponge.  Done! 

Full disclosure: I did this on Tuesday, and ran out of vinegar, so there is a 5' section that remains to be stripped.  I would have finished it yesterday but instead I was sidelined by the stomach flu.  Even with that last bit to be done, it still looks better than when I started.  


Kelly said...

I think the "plain" version looks much, much better! I'm excited to see what color you choose to paint it.

pamelotta said...

Hi, I stopped by from Jules place. You did your kitchen a huge favor! I think you started with the biggest thing you could. Just spend a few hours on pinterest and you'll figure out what color the walls need to be. ;) Good job getting it done!

Alice Almighty said...

Oh man! I have almost the exact border in my kitchen! Nicely done! Removing that stuff is totally on my William Morris List. Thanks for the motivation!

Jules said...

I had no idea you could take wallpaper down with vinegar and water! I'll have to remember that when I tackle the laundry room. I hate that room.

Lais said...

That looks much better. Scraping border off is a pain. Wonder why they would paint seems like it would take longer? Hope that you are feeling better. I assume you homeschool? I haven't read the rest of your blog, but just taking a guess at your name and cool school stuff. We homeschool too :) I came over from Jule's blog, have fun with your projects!

Kelly said...

Hi, coming over from Jules' blog. Goodness, such an improvement. Looks much lighter and airier. When we moved into our house, the kids bedrooms and their bathroom all had very country-style floral borders. I'd almost forgotten until your post!

Monica said...

Ms. Amy - Clicking my way through the posts from Jules' WMP. I don't admit this often, but I put up (here goes...) an ivy border in my first apartment while in college. I am so happy that taste can be acquired and hope that somewhere down the line somebody knew that vinegar and water can take it down. Plain will win every time in my book. Happy Painting!

May said...

I have taken down so much wall paper using so many "tried and true" ahem methods. I had no idea you could use vinegar! Much cheaper than things I have bought too. Great tip.