Removing Wallpaper with Wagner

Welcome to the 106th Metamorphosis Monday!

Meet my new best friend, Wagner. He’s a little finicky but for the most part he and I are getting along okay.


He tends to drool a little and runs out of water sooner than he is supposed to…but that’s okay. He gives me an excuse to take a little break every half hour. With Wagner, I can pull off strips of wallpaper this size…


And sometimes, this size. Pretty cool, huh? Sure beats the heck out of the micro-strips I was able to peel off before Wagner came into my life.


The Nitty-Gritty: (You can skip this part if wallpaper removal isn’t in your future.)

After trying M-1, DIF gel and regular DIF…and fabric softener today, I found the fabric softener worked the best out of all those. But it was still going painfully slow and very messy. So here was my thinking: Since I have at least two bathrooms I’ll be removing paper from in the future, I might as well go ahead and invest in a steamer.

Lowe’s had two sizes of steamers and I went with the bigger one because the handle has a little button that will lock the trigger button down so you don’t have to hold it down. It’s kind of like when you buy gas, you can lock the little thingy down so you don’t have to keep pressing the lever the whole time while you’re gassing up your car. That saves a little strain on the hand.

Wagner isn’t perfect, though…he drips just like you guys with steamers warned me about. Mostly he just drips right when you first begin using him after he’s been sitting a minute. Apparently, the water in the hose cools down while you’re scraping, so when you press to steam some more, some hot water runs out before the steam does. So I found it’s best to start at the top, that way when the hot water drips out, it just runs down the wall loosening up the paper, instead of dripping straight onto the floor.

Also, I found Wagner runs out of water after about 20-30 minutes…not 45 like the little directions say. If you buy one of these, be forewarned that the steam makes the paint/wall pretty soft so it’s even easier to gouge the wall if you press too hard. I am not looking forward to repairing all my gouges and nicks. Does anyone have any great suggestions on the best product for that?  Update: Made the repairs will joint compound as seen in this post: Repair Walls Damaged From Wallpaper Removal

One Thing Marked Off the “To Do” List:
I did manage to mark one thing off the “To Do” list on my sidebar today. I swapped out the old baseball door knob that went with my son’s baseball-themed bedroom. It was beginning to deteriorate after 18-20 years. When my son was here for Christmas, he reached for the knob to open the door and was totally grossed out. Apparently, the rubber (or whatever it was made of) starts to leak oil or ooze after 20 years. Gross, indeed.


I went with a normal brass knob. I would have considered going with a different color knob, but since all the knobs in the house are polished brass, I just went with a standard old knob…nothing fancy.


The hardwood flooring guys are coming back tomorrow and Tuesday to add the final polyurethane coatings to the flooring. Once that dries, I’ll be moving the furniture into the room. The cable guy comes out on Thursday to move the connection for the High-Speed Internet to that room. In the meantime, I’m still searching for the perfect rug and light fixture. I have some ideas on the rug but just haven’t found one I really love, yet. I wish I could give you guys one huge, awesome reveal…but my rooms tend to evolve as I find the pieces I really love. But it will get there, right? πŸ˜‰

Thank you for all the suggestions you’ve been making to help with this wallpaper nightmare. But most of all, thanks for all of your encouragement! You guys are awesome! I can’t wait to see the “Before and Afters” linked for this Met Monday!

Update: I found an even better way for removing impossible wallpaper. I posted about it here: Best Wallpaper Remover. It even beats Wagner. It’s what the professionals use and it works!


Metamorphosis Monday:
If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday: Please be sure to add your permalink below, and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top, into the “url” box for the picture linky. You’ll also need to put your e-mail address in, but don’t worry, it will not be visible to anyone.

If you’d like to include the MM button in your post, just copy and paste the Met Monday button to your computer or grab the html code from underneath the MM logo under the “Join a Blog Party” header at the top of this blog.

Please include a link in your MM post back to the host blog, Between Naps on the Porch. Why is this important? When you include a link back to BNOTP, it ensures your regular readers/visitors will find the other awesome “Before and Afters” linked for this Metamorphosis Monday. If everyone links back, this maximizes the visits for all participants.

Please DO NOT type in all caps…it spreads the links waaaay out. Thanks!

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. You are really moving along on your home office project. My mom recently restored an old house and spent almost a year scraping wallpaper. I can definitely sympathize with the hard work you are doing!

  2. Confessions of a Plate Addict says

    Oooh…Susan! What a huge job! I don't envy you that task! Been there, done that! I like that lightweight spackle that starts out pink and turns white when it's dry. That way there's no doubt that it's ready! Happy week!…hugs…Debbie

  3. Thank you for hosting! Hope you have a fab week!

  4. Looks like it's coming along great! Kudos to you for all your hard work! I know what you mean about a "big reveal" but we all like to see the progress, too!

  5. Oh Susan. I do not envy you with this wall paper removing project, but it will all be worth it. A couple of weeks ago you posted about the house from "The Money Pit". That movie is perfect for all of us diy-ers. When my family & I moved into an old house that needed lots of TLC a family friend recommended that we watch that movie. It is still a family favorite to this day. Thanks for sharing.


  6. laxsupermom says

    I'm glad the wallpaper's finally coming off for you. Oozy rubber baseball? Yuck! The new knob looks great! Thanks for hosting this party!

  7. Looks like you've got it whipped!

  8. Projects do take time! And your room will look beautiful when your done. It will all be worth it!

  9. The Quintessential Magpie says

    I'm proud of you for perservering through this. It will get done, and it will be wonderful. Now, come beat over the head till I get done what I need to get done. πŸ™‚

  10. Designing Domesticity says

    After removing wallpaper from 3/4 of the rooms of our house, we borrowed a steamer from a friend to tackle the kitchen – what a difference it makes. I'll never go the chemical route again! Glad you made a new friend with Wagner. liz

  11. You are really having a time with that wallpaper!
    You do have it scored so the steam (or chemicals) can get behind the paper right? I couldn't tell from the pics.
    Yes, spackle should do the trick for your gouges….just plan on allowing time for at least two or three applications.
    BTW I have the same PB furniture that you purchased. I have had it in my home office for three years and I love it.
    I was also able to find a lamp, pillows, and rug at PB also. It was the easiest rooms ever!
    Oh! I did have a local glass company make plexi tops to protect the desk tops.
    It was about 1/2 the cost od purchasing from PB
    Looking forward to seeing your completed project.
    Your Lurking Fan,

  12. Susan (My Place to Yours) says

    Wallpaper stripping… been there – done that! No fun. Bad memories. But I got through it — and you will, too! You'll forget all about it when your room comes together as you envision it! πŸ™‚

  13. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Sherry, thanks! Since it's just the backing of the paper on the wall now, I was a little nervous about scoring it with my paper tiger. I've used the tiger when the paper itself was on the wall…but that part was actually easy to get down this time. I think I'll try scoring the backing that's up there…just have to be careful that I don't nick the wall.
    Thanks for the info about the PB. I was thinking about having glass cut…no way I was paying the PB price for their plexiglass, which looked all warped in their store. Question: Is the plexiglass tough on the arms at the edges? I had read in the PB reviews online that it hurts your arms. That was one reason I was considering glass…which might be more expensive than I want to pay.

  14. Michelle @Shellsshabbyshack says

    We are in the midst of doing the same in our bathroom. Ugh! Luckily we borrowed a steamer from a friend and it's going a lot better than the chemical route. Good luck with your project. I'm sure it will be worth the effort!

    Take care,

  15. says

    You are seriously amazing! It is so fun to watch your progress on the room – way more fun to watch than do it I am sure! Glad you found a way to get the old wallpaper down a little easier!

  16. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says

    Wow!! You know I really love that you are taking us through step by step – it really shows that some of these "transformations" really take a lot of time and effort! πŸ™‚ Thanks for hosting too!

  17. Pam - diy Design Fanatic says

    Wow! I haven't ever removed wallpaper…what a job! When we were looking for our first home, we came across a house that had busy wallpaper in every room! So glad we didn't buy that house! You are starting from scratch in your office and it's a big job~ but I bet it's going to look fantastic! Can't wait! Thanks for hosting MM!

  18. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    Thankfully there is no wallpaper in my house. We renovated a huge, old home several years ago. Every room had several layers of wallpaper…even the ceilings!! We bought a steamer after the first attempts were impossible. It was the best investment ever!

  19. Andrea at Opulent Cottage says

    Can't wait to see all of the Valentine tablescapes for inspiration! Goodluck with the wallpaper, we have done alot of it ourselves, it's a labor of love :))

  20. Simple Southern Happiness says

    I have to give you credit for sticking with it. You get a gold star. I have paper in my dinning room that needs to come off, when I up paper up, its there to stay. I gather I will have to meet your Steamer Guy Mr Stanly. Wonder if they rent them? I only need him for a few days. Will check that out.

    For the wall, I would use drywall compound. Its what I was told to use for patching areas. I did not argue with a professional.

    Where are you getting all your energy?

    Its looking good!

  21. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says

    Your room is coming right along. I know it will be stunning. Much better to wait and find all the things you truly love. Hugs, Marty

  22. Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    looking great. it stinks that it's taking so long, I know, but it will be worth it!

  23. Susan,

    You are endlessly creative and inspiring. Thank you for hosting your site and weekly parties so that all of us house/dish/decorating/hostess obsessed types have a place to meet in cyber-space. Looking forward to watching your office retreat evolve. I know that elusive whimsical rug is out there. ~CJ

  24. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal says

    Hurray for the new steamer! Buying one was best since you have more rooms to do. Doesn't it feel wonderful to pull off such large sheets at a time? Happy dance time!

  25. Pam @ Our Adventures in Home Improvement says

    Susan, you are absolutely amazing! I can't believe how quickly you are tackling this room.

    When we bought our first house 20+ years ago, it had wallpaper in every single room. We had to buy a steamer and boy did it work great. Of course, 20 years ago they sure didn't make steamers like the one you just bought. πŸ™‚

    I am so eager to see your progress each day!


  26. Susan, glad you found a good solution! You'll be finished in no time.
    I like the change in the tablescape index. Makes great sense. You know I enjoy revisiting these fabulous tables. ~ Sarah

  27. OH! I can't wait to have a table-scape for each holiday! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for hosting, Susan.

  28. Thanks for the review on the Wagner. I have wallpaper in my bathroom that needs to come down and I am dreading the job!

  29. TIP re the Wagner steamer…..I have a commercial clothes steamer that works on the same concept as the wallpaper steamer….to prevent the nozzle/hose from LEAKING…just totally extend the hose UPWARD (like putting your arms over your head)….this act makes the water condensation that has collected in the hose, to go downward back into the water reservoir. Pay attention to the sound the machine is making…if you start to hear "gurgling" then you know condensation is building up and it's time for the upward movement – when gurgling noise stops you know the hose is clear and you can continue on with the steaming. Normally after this motion the machine will send out a larger burst of steam, so be a little more careful so you don't get scalded.

    Hope this helps…after I actually read my manual (lol), I learned how to prevent the leaks!

    Can hardly wait to see your finished project – it will look fantastic!

  30. Oh, bless your heart. I hate removing wallpaper so much it gives me indigestion just thinking of it.:)

    Thanks so much for the review. I have a bath that is covered in about 3 layers of paper and 4 layers of paint. My walls may come tumbling down…

  31. Brambleberry Cottage says

    Thanks for the tips, Susan. Though I have no wallpaper in this house, there may be a need for this info in the future. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for hosting the party.

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  32. Magali @ The Little White House says

    I carefully read all you wrote about removing wallpaper as that's what I'm supposed to do during spring… I began last summer and some are easy, but some are a real nightmare… You're like yoda to me… Your ears aren't pointed though, or are they?

  33. What a job! But I can tell its going to turn out wonderfully! Happy Metamorphosis Monday!

  34. I just removed 3 layers of wallpaper that had paint over the top layer. I used the DAP Drydex Spakle that is pink and turns white when it's dry. I also got an attachement for a pole sander (you can use the end of a mop handle or broom…that has threads on it). I thought it was easier to sand with the pole sander, then to continue to get up and down on a ladder.

  35. another note…..I found that taking the top layer of my wallpaper that had paint over it ~ I took it off dry. Then went back with DIF (the gel kind) and sprayed it down, then waited the 15 minutes for it to soak in and then used the expensive wallpaper scraper ~ the kind that has a razor blade on it….it works so much faster than the regular ones.

    Be prepared for a mess when sanding….I have an old home that has plaster walls….oh my the dust is EVERYWHERE!!! :O

  36. Sandy Jenney - Organize with Sandy says

    Thanks for your link up. I linked up my "before" office. Tomorrow will be my"after"

  37. Your wagner looks way different than my wagner-which I see has gone DOWN to 54.97!!! I paid 90.00 2 years ago. The only thing in my life to go DOWN in price! LOL!

    Mine dripes thats why I keep a bucket with me, but it doesn't cool down at all-stays really hot and it takes a while to run out of water. I have to wonder if Lowes would take it back. I think I would be upset if I had to keep stopping to refill that often.

    I am totally amazed at your energy!
    Looking forward to each day's update. You are something!


  38. A Cottage Muse says

    Can't wait to see the final reveal! Thanks so much for hosting today and I hope you have a wonderful week!

  39. Susan, thank you for sharing your recipe. Have have purchased the heart shaped cake pan (at Michael's like you said) and will be baking tomorrow. Hope they turn out as lovely as yours did.

  40. CherishedHearts Vintage says

    I love seeing all the photos of your and everyone else's work. Gorgeous! So many wonderful ideas shared!

  41. designchic says

    What a job…can't wait to see it finished!! Such a fun post ~

  42. Lynn at Cottage and Creek says

    The Wagner Wallpaper Remover is the bomb! There's a little learning curve, like you mention, but such a blessing! I'm not afraid to wallpaper anymore, knowing there's an easy solution for removal. Thanks for hosting this fun party!
    Lynn and Kelly

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!