When my husband and I started thinking about putting our home on the market, we had a realtor look over our home and asked her to give us some suggestions about what needed to be changed or updated. She took one look at the 26 year old wallpaper in our bedroom and said it needed to go.
She felt the wallpaper in our dining room was okay (it was only 8 years old), but we ultimately decided to remove it as well. If you are not sure if you need to remove your wallpaper, do what I did. Take a picture of your room and see if you like the look. When I saw my dining room in a picture, I didn’t like it at all, it gave me a much different perspective.
A friend of mine painted over her wallpaper, but this was still a lot of work, and her walls ended up smooth. I didn’t want smooth walls, I wanted them to have the orange peel texture so they matched the rest of my rooms.
Removing my wallpaper was a very messy job, but it was well worth the work and expense. I had two layers of paper to remove from both my dining room and my bedroom, so I purchased a Wagner Wallpaper Steamer at Lowe’s for about $50 and it was a worthwhile investment. After scoring my wallpaper with the Zinsser Paper Tiger, I steamed the walls until the paper was loose, and it came right off. My contractor was amazed by how good my walls looked when the paper was off because my sheet rock was not damaged at all. If your walls have not primed the paper may not come off as easily.
I used a putty knife to help remove the small spots of stubborn paper, then washed down my walls with a sponge and hot water to remove any excess glue. That was the most time consuming part of this job, but if you only have one layer of wallpaper it should go much faster.
The next step was to apply the orange peel spackling compound, and we hired a contractor to do this as we didn’t own the machine to do it ourselves. When hiring a contractor, time is money, so we did all the prep work on our walls. I was told to cover two feet of ceiling from the edge of the wall inward. I purchased a masking film that consisted of blue painters tape with 24″ wide plastic attached. Using a plastic film that already had the tape added to one side made the job go so much faster.
I then taped clear plastic over our doors in order to protect the glass and wood from the spray of the spackle. The tape went over the edges of the trim, and then more tape was added to protect the trim at the base of our walls. Last, I placed cotton painters drop cloths on my floor to protect it from the spray of the spackling compound. If you don’t remove your furniture, be sure to cover it as well.
It only took about ten minutes for our contractor to spray the texture to our walls, and it was dry within several hours. If you have any holes in your sheet rock, or other imperfections, you can fix these before you have the walls sprayed with texture. When the walls were dry, there was still one more step before I could paint them. I needed to prime my walls with a good primer because the new texture was going to suck up my paint. I didn’t want to waste money on expensive paint when a primer was cheaper.
Since my walls, doors and trim were already taped up, the prep was already done for painting. After priming, I painted my walls with two coats of good quality paint, and the look is dramatic and modern. Our bedroom also looks amazing, the room looks totally new, fresh and clean.
This job of removing wallpaper, texturizing walls and painting them is not as hard as you might think. It is very messy, and the spackling compound makes a mess when you remove your tape and plastic, it will crumble and get everywhere, so clean up takes quite a while as well. But the effort is well worth it, and we were able to do our two rooms for only $600, including materials, so it was a cheap way of updating our home and making it much more attractive to a potential buyer.