Monday, December 28, 2009


Boy did I start something I probably shouldn’t have….Have you ever started something you wished you hadn’t but had to carry through with it because you went just a bit too far????
Well here’s what I did – I started stripping off the wallpaper in my bedroom so I could by new and re-paper but I sooooo love the paper that’s under there that we put on when we moved in.
The paper is from 1979 and it was put up right away and we even had the ole waterbed thing going on! I think that’s where all my back problems started….they were sold with the idea they were good for  you….I think not! They were clumsy getting in and out of….nothing very dainty or delicate looking trying to throw yourself over that hard wood edge….anyway, I digressed there with my 70’s moment.
I thought I’d like changing my paper so a few years later I did and it has been on since – the room is small and there’s lots of paper so the process of re-papering wasn’t too appealing to me being I’m the one that has to do it. You can’t move the furniture because of the carpet and there’s no extra room anyway…so it was put off.
But like a crazed maniac that I can sometimes be I started tearing off the paper behind the door and it started taking off the paper underneath in spots…this isn’t good being I want to salvage that paper!
So now I have to tear off just the top layer and then soak the thin white backing off the wall to not harm the paper below….Man what did I do!

So here’s what we have on right now – it’s actually a very light cream with green and red thingies – plain and ugly and dirty looking as well…but it has been up for many, many years.  Paper
Here’s where I started tearing off the old – see how it gets pieces of the underneath paper….ouch! Both papers
This is a good look at it - Crewel wallpaper
This is from 1979 when it was put on…..30 years ago! Bedroom 2  Bedroom 1
So I guess where I’m going with this is to get a more Colonial look back into the bedroom now with our Pine poster bed and dressers -  I think it will look quite nice…’s the furniture the paper will be with if it ever gets off….


So that’s my big boo-boo because now I have to carry through with it or just strip all of it off and buy new paper. But I have looked and I just don’t care for what’s out there. I’m not a cutsie paper kind of person. It has to be traditional or very plain in pattern.
If there are any takers I sure would love some help!


  1. Karen,
    I have to do the same thing in a spare bedroom. I don't think there is paper underneath of the wallpaper, just some ugly yellow paint & some cracked walls that have to be fixed. My best to you. I dread starting this project.


  2. I love that wallpaper ...... I also remember those clunky waterbeds .... I just love the bedroom set .... I would start with Waverly they have beautiful reproduction wallpaper if you are really bent on doing it! Can you hang a picture over the tears ....LoL! Good Luck

  3. I hate stripping paper....have you used a steamer that you can get to get it off?....much easier and quicker. xxxRobby

  4. Karen, I feel for you...there was paper on all the walls of this house. It was a pain to get off. We bought a steamer and it really did help. They sell them at Lowes and they are not expensive. Good luck. Dianntha

  5. Hi Karen,
    Oh I could cry when I look at the piece torn off that gorgeous paper! My whole house is papered, in fact we recently papered our entry hall and dining room. Stop by and check it out. You'll have to go into the archives for Sept. 2009 to see it. It's a colonial pattern that has the look of a stencil. "Under the Wild Cherry Trees" I hope you find a paper you like. Hugs, Loretta

  6. Karen,
    I wish I lived closer I would be more than happy to help!!
    You are amazing so I know you will get it done. Take your time and try to enjoy the "adventure!!!"

  7. Hi Karen,
    I'm so glad I don't have wallpaper any more...if you can't save what about painting then stenciling? I'm going to try that one of these days:)

  8. Oh BOY!! I have stripped a lot of paper ion my life and except for the border in our laundry room, it is all gone now and I will never paper again - just so I don't have to strip it again! I was going to mention Loretta's wallpaper but I see she already did. It is pure colonial!! Just gorgeous! Good luck with your decision and I hope the stripping goes quickly!

  9. Karen - You're not going to believe this, but the wallpaper in my bedroom has been there for 29 years and it's nearly identical to yours! LOL I still really like it, and am in no hurry to get it off. The kitchen is another story - I've had grasscloth up there for 30 years and it's gotta GO!

  10. Well Karen you sure have much work ahead of you. With you lovely taste it will be well worth it!

  11. Karen...
    I did some wallpaper stripping a few years ago, like to have killed me. My suggestion is this..I used Downey Softener in a spray bottle, mixed with hot or warm water, spray the wallpaper & get it good & wet & then strip it off. I found this to work better than anything else I tried.

  12. Karen, I had to giggle while reading this. I totally jinxed myself years ago when my husband was in the military and we lived in base housing.

    I am not sure if you are familiar with base housing, but it is pretty much like a rental, where you have to keep all the walls boring paint, no wallpaper!!.

    So, I always told my husband that whenever we actaully bought our own home that I was going paint and/or wallpaper every room.

    That was until we actually bought our first(which is still our home to this day) and EVERY.SINGLE.ROOM had the UGLIEST wallpaper I had ever seen!!

    Guess, I should of kept my mouth shut!! LOL!!

    Hugs!! Carrie♥

  13. Yikes, even though I feel bad that you have such a huge project ahead, I felt a bit better about not being the only person who has felt that way!
    I do like the paper underneath because it's so typical of the pattern that the more wealthy folk would have put on in the late colonial period. I've seen some papers almost like that at historic Strawberry Banke and at the Peabody Essex Museum.
    I like your new background. I love pierced tin!

  14. Hi Karen, as you now we bought a house in the summer and the kitchen, baths and dinning room had wallpaper. We removed them using a gallon of hot water with a 1/2 cup of clorox, spray it, wait few minutes and strip it off. It works for us, Good luck! I agree with Linda, Loretta put a beautiful wallpaper on her home.

  15. Hmmmmm been there, done that, not going back, LOL. I feel for you, it's a terrible job and one had me almost in tears when I was removing it. No more paper for this chick, just paint. Good luck on that project. You'll get it done and be happy you did it - your just not thinking that way right now.

    Hugs - karen

  16. All these good ideas! I'll run over and help you do which ever you decide......lets see; you live how far from Utah? LOL If I lived closer I WOULD come help!
    I'm with Rondell, and Linda. I have had wall paper, and everything is gone now except a couple of boarders.....1 I like, and the other I want to take off but my DH likes it and it's in his office.....
    Everything you do you do well, so I know it will look good.
    Enjoy your day.

  17. Karen,
    Oh...what a job it is to remove wallpaper. Like some of the other gals, I only have a few wallpaper borders up now...but I would sure like to get rid of the one in our living room/dining room. But if I take it down, we will have to repaint the living room, dining room and the hallway to the upstairs because I repainted a few years back with the border up and the walls are another color underneath it. And the thought of all that work we would have to do is something that I'm just not looking forward to.

    I know that whatever you decide to will look awesome!!

  18. Karen, You have such a way of decorating that I know that it will turn out GREAT! You are so amazing at what you do, your home is sooo beautiful that i can't wait to see how it turns out.
    You are in CS and I have gotten alot of great ideas from you!! Which I thank you!

    God Bless
    Hillcrest Home Prims

  19. Hi Karen,
    This poses a problem for a lot of old houses over here in the U.K.In the 70's detailed parts in older homes was covered over with ply board.Mouldings and fixings were removed or plastered over as was the wallpaper.Nowadays,when people try to salvage what they can,they,like you find the underneath layers get ruined when stripping back the top years of paper.One idea would be perhaps to just take some parts/areas of the wall/s back to view,where it is in good condition and then perhaps applying four pieces of mitred wood or just a wood picture frame around the piece/s directly onto the wall making your beloved paper into a work of art.You would still be able to see your wallpaper but it might be less work doing some smaller squares to show as artwork than trying to remove all the layers on every wall.You could then just wallpaper over the rest or paint it in a co-ordinating colour.Good luck anyway.Lynne

  20. Hi Karen! Here's my advice...LOL HIRE A WALLPAPER GUY TO TAKE IT OFF! I did, as I stripped a bedroom ONCE, and said never again, and it was the best money I ever spent. He did it, cleaned up, bye, bye! As an alternative, you could buy a steamer, cheap, which I did, but it killed my shoulders. Good Luck,
    Dale Elizabeth

  21. Oh Karen....I hate stripping wallpaper!! I justdid my kitchen boarder this year(2layers)pain in the fanny!!!Used the piranha liquid stripper from Lowes, after using just vinegar(which did not work well)this stuff worked well, came off alot eaiser. Whatever you use Im sure will turn out great!! Love your mirroe hanging from peg rackin bedroom.

  22. Sorry for the misspelled words..typing too fast-lol

  23. Karen..we had that EXACT wall paper in our back room!!!! funny...I hated it as well!

    Wallpaper stripping is the worst..and what a mess darn mess!

    Can't wait to see the end result as you have absolutely wonderful taste. Maybe try doing an olde colonial milk paint rather than paper...just a suggestion :)

    Hugs, Doreen

  24. Hi Karen, I've been so darn busy, but I'm so glad you had a wonderful holiday with your family. Stripping that darn wallpaper is a job, but it's always worth it in the end. I know you'll find something you love. Can't wait to see the end result. Have a great day, Dawn

  25. How exciting to be redoing your bedroom. I so need to do mine. I know this seems so overwhelming to you now Karen but with your determination you will be finished and enjoying your new bedroom before you know it. I so can't wait to see pictures of how it turns out. Now hurry up and get it finished. Don't make me wait too long here girl!

  26. Hi Karen! I'm new to your blog but so glad I found you. I'm in the process of going back to country/primitive/colonial decor after years of trying out new! This is something I've done too and have wallpapered and repapered many times!! My husband found 60different remnant rolls of leftovers in our attic and that was mostly just the kitchen!!!lol If it doesn't work out for you I've had good luck with American Blinds/Wallpaper. They still have country/colonial papers without the cutesy. Finally I've found someone as nutty as I am when it comes to impulse papering jobs! Good Luck - Sincerely, Jeannette

  27. Oh gee Karen! What a job! I don't have wallpaper anymore for the same reason others gave.
    I wish you lots of luck! I do like the colonial paper a lot.
    Your pine poster bed looks a lot like mine.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!

  28. LOL...I am the queen of starting things I wish I hadn't! Wallpaper is a huge I was up for much more readily in my younger days, lol. I too remember the watearbeds of the 70's and am grateful that era is over.

    Your blog is charming :)

    Happy New Year!

  29. We got married 31 years ago -- I recognize that little printed wallpaper! I think it's the same as I had on a kitchen ceiling back then.

    Water beds? Made me seasick, but I remember them in friends' houses. Yikes. I was always convinced they'd spring a leak and drown the downstairs neighbors.

    You have my sympathies about the wallpaper stripping; it's gruesome work. I have had success with fabric softener sprayed on, but nothing really works except elbow grease and prayer.

    Good luck! Can't wait to see the finished project.

  30. Wish I had back all the hours I spent stripping wallpaper over the last 30 years/5 houses and assorted friends' and familys' houses. What a job! Have you thoroughly searched the internet for paper like that? Have you checked with decorative artists to recreate something like that at least in a smaller area. I have painted many rooms for people that were looking for a certain look. Can't wait to see the finished results.


  31. Karen I feel for you. I did that last year. But please tell me what kind of doll that is on your bed. I have looked for one but don't know what they are called to search ebay for them. Thanks, Valerie

  32. Karen, this is not about the bedroom, but I was wondering where you found your neat blog background? i love it!
    Stacy @ prim at heart

  33. I recognize that top paper! It's the same stuff I put up in the kitchen of my last house in 1990. Only mine had red hearts and blue strokes. I moved to a house with no paper rather than have to strip it, LOL.

    Willow Ridge Primitives


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