In almost every episode of House Hunters there’s a cute young couple who finds the perfect house except…. they can’t stand the paint colors and there’s too much wallpaper so no thanks, they’re not going to put an offer in. Seriously? Because of paint colors and wallpaper?
When we did our house hunting, I didn’t bat an eye that the kitchen was covered in floral wallpaper,
Or that the powder room and foyer had dated wallpaper too. I also didn’t care that the living room was bright yellow or that the master bedroom was a light blue faux finish:
I can take care of this. No problem!
Fast forward half a year and I’m starting to think that those young house hunters are a little (but only a little…) less crazy than I had thought. Because this wallpaper removing newbie has realized that removing wallpaper is so. much. work. Even with serious help in the form of a mother- and father-in-law who spent hours and hours working on the wallpaper in my kitchen (I know, how amazing is that?!).
I tried just about every way possible to remove the wallpaper – steamer, hot water, DIF, etc., etc. – and I really don’t think that any one method was significantly better than another. But I did find something that worked really well for me in dealing with the nightmarish residual wallpaper glue and peeling drywall. Meet my post-wallpaper removing BFF:
After stripping the wallpaper and scraping and scrubbing off the residual glue, I lightly sanded the walls and then brushed on a coat of Zinsser ALLPRIME Water-Base Problem Surface Sealer, which I had read about on a few painting discussion boards. (Note: Zinsser ALLPRIME is sold at Benjamin Moore dealers. It is the same product as Gardz Problem Surface Sealer, which can be found at Home Depot and on Amazon). These products do a few things – first of all, they seal in any residual glue. Trust me, you may think you’ve gotten all of the glue but the second you hit the walls with your water-based primer or paint, it will reactivate any residual glue and you’ll see new blobs on your walls. The Problem Surface Sealrs seals in the residual glue to eliminate that problem. The other thing they do is to seal peeling and cracked drywall (like these nice spots that I had all over my walls after removing the wallpaper) so that it’s ready to patch and paint and soon be unnoticeable:
Hopefully I’ll have my painting wrapped up soon so I can share my kitchen’s new wallpaper-free look 🙂