Welcome to the 111th Metamorphosis Monday!
Guess what this is.
It’s the last of the wallpaper!
The evil wallpaper is GONE, GONE, GONE!
Thanks to this stuff…Safe and Simple. You’ll find their website HERE and in case you’re wondering, I’m not being compensated in any way for recommending this product. I’m just sharing the good stuff, when and where I find it.
A couple of folks asked how I found this product. Well, here’s the story. After trying Dif, another product that Home Depot sells (forgotten the name now) fabric softener, vinegar, and finally a steamer, I had pretty much given up. So I called a professional wallpaper remover. She came to my home and gave me an estimate…$200 to remove the paper from one wall and from the area around the double window. I had already removed it (semi-destroying the wall) from one wall and the 4th wall has a mural on it.
That seemed a bit high to me, especially after I saw how easily she was able to remove a section. Before she gave me her estimate, she tested an area, I guess so she could see if she wanted to take on this job. She took a sprayer like this one below and added hot water from the tap to the sprayer. The wallpaper remover she was using was already in her container. She didn’t bring the bottle inside so I had no idea what was in her sprayer.
She sprayed the solution from her sprayer onto the wall, waited about 2-3 minutes and started just shaving it right off the wall like there was nothing to it. I was dumbfounded! After weeks of trying to find some product to get this insane paper off the wall, I couldn’t believe how easily it was coming down for her. Of course, you know I asked, “What in the world do you have in that sprayer?” She quickly stated it was a product available ONLY to the trade and that she got it out of California. She added that it was very expensive and costs $50 a gallon. During her visit, Max came into the room and sniffed the sprayer. She told me that there was no need to worry since it was safe and non-toxic.
Before she left, I asked how soon she could remove it for me. She said she’d give me a call sometime “next week” and then we could set up a time. As you know, patience isn’t my middle name.
After she left, I became more curious about what she had used and I seriously wondered if it were really only available to the trade. Good ole Google came to my rescue. I LOVE Google…best thing ever! I started googling phrases like “best wallpaper remover available only to trade in California.” Within about 2 minutes I found a website that was supposed to be just for contractors…which was odd since anyone could read it.
One guy was raving about this product called, Safe and Simple. To make a long story, short, I clicked on the link he provided and discovered that Safe and Simple was in California, was around $50 a gallon with shipping (you don’t need a gallon) and is safe and non-toxic. I felt sure I had found the product and it turned out, I had.
BTW, you DON’T need a gallon. One 16 oz bottle will strip the walls of 4 rooms measuring 12′ x 24′ and it only costs $7.50, plus shipping. The only person who would buy it by the gallon would be a professional wallpaper stripper. Also, it ISN’T just for sale “only to the trade.” Anyone can buy it. So that’s how I found Safe and Simple…and it does work!
Because my walls were apparently never primed prior to the installation of the paper, the backing of the wallpaper had become one with the walls. This is how the walls looked after using the other products I tried (see pic below.) The biggest hole/damage came from when I used the steamer. The steamer softened the wall, so when I scraped, big sections of wallboard came off. I did have success in some places with the steamer, but it dripped badly and ran out of steam every 20 minutes or so. Then you had to unplug it and wait 20 minutes to refill it. UGH. It was taking forever.
Before I ever started, I bought this tool which is designed especially for scraping off wallpaper. I found it too sharp to use…too easy to gouge the wall.
So I used this instead. I’m not sure what this is called. I have a larger one that still has a label on it and it’s called a “joint knife.” For the sake of this post, let’s just call this a scraper. 🙂
The technique I found that worked the best was to press down in the center of the scraper with 2-3 fingers. If I scraped without doing that, I tended to gouge the edge of the scrapper into the wall. But if I pressed down in the center with the fingers of my left hand while I scrapped with my right hand, I didn’t have that problem near as much. I guess it kept the center pressed against the wall and stabilized the scrapper so I didn’t tend to tilt it and gouge the wall.
I have two more tips to share:
1. If you are right handed like I am, try to scrape from right to left. You will have a lot more control that way and gouge the wall a lot less. Use your left hand to press down in the center of the scraper…that worked best for me. Do the opposite if you are left handed. I found scraping horizontally worked better than going vertical.
2. Also, I noticed the professional who gave me an estimate, took the paper off in long strokes, going all the way across the width of the paper. I have a tendency to do little scrapes, kind of sputtering my way across the wall…not good. So, try to push the scraper in one long fluid scrape. The wallpaper will pile up/build up on the scraper so you may have to stop and wipe it off. Once the paper builds up, it doesn’t work as well, so stop, wipe it off and continue with long strokes. Even with Safe and Simple, I still had to SCRAPE the paper off the walls. But at least it came off. YAY!
Now for some fun stuff:
Whoever it was that suggested I use a bamboo protector under my chair…you were right! I tried a sisal rug and after a while, the chair was just flattening the rug. So I put the rug back into the upstairs family room and bought a Anji Mountain Bamboo Chairmat. I love it! I lucked out because I found one in a color that is pretty much identical in color to my hardwood flooring. They also had it in a darker color for darker stained floors. The best price I’ve found for these mats is on Amazon here: Anji Mountain Bamboo Chairmat
I wasn’t thrilled with the cushion I had for my chair…it wasn’t thick enough. I found this fun cushion at Pier 1 and it was 20% off, making it right at $20. I love the colors. I don’t want this office to be too serious or too officey-like. You can see a distance shot of this cushion in the pic above.
It has these little beads hanging from the ties. I’m not sure if I’ll leave those, I may cut them off where they attach to the ties. For now, I’ve left them there.
Here’s a little close-up of the cushion. If I end up putting drapes in here, I may have one custom made to match the drapes…but for now, this one sits very comfortably.
So, those are the changes that have been going on around here lately. If you haven’t seen the “Before” posts about this room, click HERE, HERE , HERE and HERE. So that’s it for my Met Monday! Can’t wait to see yours!
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