DIY: Wallpaper stripping

While I’m all for equality – I’m perfectly happy to sit back and let Ben get on with any manual work about the house.  He does the dishes, and washes the clothes, but in particular I’m talking DIY.  Yep, when it comes to hanging a shower screen, building shelves or installing a loft ladder, I’m happy to leave it to the boys (in particular my Father in Law is awesome at these things).

But since moving into our home in October, I have now found my interior designer.  When we first moved in, I didn’t care what colour the walls were.  I knew I didn’t want a red themed living room – been there, done that for four years in the flat.  But other than that I didn’t really care.  I bought some furnishings, and was ‘done with it’.

But, somewhere along the line I woke up and decided that actually the door in the living room was in the wrong place, that the kitchen space would be more effective if we had ‘L’ shaped units, and I embraced my love of storage.

Now most of these plans are pipe dreams.  It’s our first home, and I’m sure it won’t be too long before we outgrow it.  Not much point in spending a fortune getting it just right and then move out (ok, I know that’s how some people roll).

But for the time being there are small jobs I can embrace and this weekend I decided that I was going to strip the wallpaper from the spare room.  The spare room felt like a good place to start, I could get stuck in, and if I messed up I wouldn’t have to look at it all the time.  There was a ‘feature wall’ in the spare room, and I’ve never loved the design.

The Father in Law gave me some tips when he was down two weekends ago, and the first chance I got, we were shopping for the bits and pieces I needed.

I watched this youtube video, and felt it really helped fix in my mind what I wanted to do:

With rain threatening and most of the UK focused on the Formula One at Silverstone (Ben fell into this camp) or the Wimbledon Men’s final, I decided I was just going to get on with it on my own:

Removing wallpaper, stripping walls,

Removing wallpaper

Amongst the things we bought, I loved the Stanley Orbital Wallpaper Scorer.  I’m sure a DIY knife would be fine – that’s what my Father in Law told me to do – but, I can be a bit of a menace with sharp objects.  Particularly when you add in a step ladder, and a liability to reach beyond my capabilities.  The Wallpaper Scorer did a great job and prevented me from doing any damage to myself or the wall.

We bought some cheap fabric softener, and followed the principle from the video of 1/4 fabric softener to 3/4 hot water.  The last strip of paper was by far the worst.  I put it down to the fact that the water had cooled by then.  Whether it was because the sponge was wetter when it was too hot to ring, or whether really hot water works better then warm, I’m not sure.

Next on the job list is to fill in the holes that we found lurking behind the wallpaper, and prepare the wall to paint.  I can’t wait to get stuck in!

What’s your favourite DIY job?  What do you like least?

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