Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Frugal Stripper


First off I'll just start by apologizing for that title, but I just couldn't resist. If you're some weirdo who got here by a nasty word search than go away.

Everyone else...carry on.

So, my parents just bought a new house. It's amazing and huge and older so it's got all kinds of wallpaper and paint issues. I'll be spending the next few days (weeks?) updating paint and stripping old wallpaper off the walls.

I am an experienced wallpaper stripper. When we bought our house it was full of the freakiest wallpaper I'd ever seen; naked anatomically correct stick figures, red velvet panels, huge raccoons, giant orange roosters. I probably could have e-bayed the stuff for a fortune if I'd labeled it "vintage".

To get it off I bought a scoring tool that poked holes in the paper and then a very expensive bottle of wallpaper remover that cost nearly $4 each. It took me at least 4 bottles per room to get that wallpaper off. I spent A LOT of money!

So when my mom's new house needed some wallpaper removed I knew exactly how to do it. But the thought of all those expensive bottles of remover were a huge hindrance. Then a friend who is a drywaller gave me this priceless tip.

He said to get a cheap bottle of liquid fabric softener and fill a spray bottle with 1 part fabric softener and 2 parts water and then to score the wall as usual. Next spray the fabric softener mix over the holey wallpaper and let it soak in for 20 minutes. Use a paint scraper to begin peeling the paper off the walls. It comes off so much easier and cheaper.

So if anyone out there needs to peel some nasty wallpaper from their walls, here is your frugal solution.
For more great ideas visit Rocks In My Dryer.

19 comments:

SavingSomeGreen said...

I did this in our house after we moved in with great success. It smells good too :)!

Blakely said...

Thanks for the info. We have to remove a walpaper boarder and I couldn't remeber what the solution was.

WendyDarling said...

Fantastic tip! I am going to remember this one. :-)

magpie said...

Awesome tip! I forget how my mom and I removed all of the crappy wallpaper back when I lived at home, but I think it was something like this... Thanks for reminding me :)

Halfmoon Girl said...

Loved the title! I am going to pass this tip along to one of my friends whose house is entirely wallpaper- shiny wall paper...

Mrs. Querido said...

Ok, I had to laugh at your title...lol. Definitely catches the eye :P I remember this tip from one of the myriad of HGTV shows I used to watch back when we had TV. Glad to hear it works in "real' life too!

Aliisa and Sundy said...

From Aliisa:

This works great! I was surprised at how easy it was and I didnt even wait 20 minutes. 10 and it was totally ready to peel right off. Mine came off in strips so easily and then I sprayed the glue again and scraped that part off.

Latte said...

I had some wall boarder when I moved into my house, I just used a fork and a water bottle filled with hot water. Worked like a charm.

Thanks for the fabric softener idea, fresh clean walls!

Faith

Victoria said...

That's a great tip, and one I've used countless times. Just remember, don't soak the wall! You have to be careful you don't get the drywall too wet or the outside layer will peel as well :) I love this site.

Melissa said...

Thank you so much for this tip!! I've got border in both of my kids' rooms that needs to come down and I've been putting it off because I didn't want to spend the money on wallpaper stripper. Never in a million years would I have thought to use fabric softener!

robin@heartofwisdom.com said...

Great Tip! I hate removing wallpaper. I remember my mom doing this without the use of this wonderful tip.....

Thanks for sharing!
Love your blog!

Come and visit me and learn how you can download books to your mp-3 player for free.

See ya there!
robin@heartofwisdom.com
http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/free-audiobooks-and-mp3-downloads/

Brandy said...

We used this at our house too after a friend told us about it. It ended up saving us a lot of money.

Sharon-Momn4boys said...

""naked anatomically correct stick figures, red velvet panels, huge raccoons, giant orange roosters""

Seriously!!!? LOLOLOLOL

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind but I gave Kathy Zimmerman (from The Daily News) your link. She has been doing stories on being frugal.
I love your site! Oprah Winfrey just had a show today about being frugal. Honestly, I can't believe that you were not on it. You can watch segments on her web site.
Elaine Crabb
PS I deleted my blog because I keep up a myspace account. I blog on that. If you ever want to stop by it is www.myspace.lainie111.com

Amy said...

I think I asked on another post but I TOTALLY forgot where! LOL so no clue if you saw it or answered it.. OOPS!!!
I was wondering if there is a way you can share your recipezaar cookbook(s) with us? I love lots of the ones you choose!! Even tried a couple. :)
LOVE LOVE LOVE the blog!!!!!!

Gayle said...

Hi Amy,

I would love to share my cookbook with you but...I'm afraid I'm not that organized. I just randomly grab recipes off zaar and haven't organized any cookbooks yet.

Mandy said...

Thanks for the timely tip! We are buying a new house (old, but new to us) and there's a ton of floral wallpaper to be removed.

Amy said...

LOL Gayle. I understand what you mean about not being organized.
On recipezaar I add all of the ones I want to try to my cookbook. Of course since I dont pay for the premium they are all jumbled together! :)
Keept he great ideas coming!

Rebeckah said...

Naked anatomically correct stick figures? That's a little scary : )! Hope you have a nice week!