I have lived in my apartment for about 6 years now and have finally gotten tired of the 20 year old wallpaper. Stripping wallpaper and painting is quite a job for someone who hasn’t done home repairs before. Unfortunately, I don’t have any before pictures, which really stinks because the paper was horrible (definitely not the worst I have seen, but bad) – It had little red strawberries and blue leaves. This left me with a very limited color scheme to work with, and for someone who likes to be able to change things frequently, I was ready for something other than red and blue towels. So one day I just decided to rip some wallpaper off the wall. It felt really good! I don’t have a big bathroom, and one wall is entirely wood, so there wasn’t a lot to take off. However, it still took me a whole Saturday and some of Sunday to get it all off, fill holes, and sand everything down.
Stripping the Wallpaper: This is definitely the biggest project I have undertaken, and probably the biggest one that I will do for a while. I knew that I did not want to put up wallpaper, so paint was going to be the way to go. I have to admit that this was not a well thought out project. One day I had just had enough and tore a piece that was already starting to peel off. That was the easy part. Though the drywall was primed and sized, it was 20+ years ago so the wallpaper didn’t exactly come off easily. I know they sell solution to help release the paper, but like I said, I didn’t really think that far ahead. My mother suggested using a little Shaklee Basic G in a spray bottle with some water. I don’t really now why it worked, but it did! So with the help of my solution, a broad knife, and a chair, I was able to get all the wallpaper off. It was only after all of this hard work that I was told there is such a thing as a wallpaper scorer which makes small holes to allow the solution to reach the adhesive. But it was a fun experience and not bad for a first try. What has this taught me? To do a little research before diving into a project like this! Once all the paper was off, I washed the wall down to get rid of any extra adhesive. There were a few nail holes and dried plaster that needed fixing so I patched that up and let it dry. The next day, I sanded all the walls down to get as smooth a surface as I could. The rest had to wait until the next weekend, because I didn’t have enough time to do multiple coats.
Painting the Walls: During the week, I made a trip to the hardware store to pick out some paint chips. I didn’t know what color to go with. The printed wallpaper had left me with limited decorating options, so I decided to go with a cream color. When I went to the hardware store, I picked up a couple samples a creams and off-whites. I really wanted to make sure that the color went with the floors and vanity top. Some of them were too cool and looked completely different in the light of the bathroom. The color I went with is called Butcher’s Block by EasyCare Interior, and it is in Satin. The lady at the hardware store helped me pick up all the supplies I was going to need to paint the room: some Frog Tape, a roller with some extras, a good brush (this one had rubber on the handle which made it really easy to hold onto), and a tray. Overall the painting was pretty easy – though between the stripping of wallpaper and the painting it was quite a arm workout! I did a pretty good job of not getting any paint on the ceiling but it isn’t perfect. The color is a really nice warm neutral color that goes well with the flooring, vanity, and the wood. In the before & after picture above it is hard to see the difference, but I am super happy with the choice.
Decorating: I have to say that this is probably my favorite part. I had spent some time on Pinterest trying to decide what color scheme I wanted for my new bathroom. I live alone and really wanted to have a bright color scheme to start off with. Because of the new neutral walls, I could switch to something a little more “mature” at a later time. I didn’t intend to go with purple. I had pinned some pictures on Pinterest of some really nice turquoise schemes, but when I got to the store that color did nothing for me. However, I was instantly drawn to the purples! These came from Target. Along with the purple, I picked up some pink and green items. There used to be a dresser next to the vanity and I knew that I did not want to put that back in the room. I have four 9-cube shelves in my office and really like the feel of the cubbies for different things. So I bought a white 12-cube shelf from WalMart and a couple canvas bins. My mother knows my favorite flowers are lilacs, so she did a painting for me which goes so well in the room. Most of my candles and jewelry are in the bathroom so the cubbies have worked out great. I also found a great tall linen shelf for the corner of the room next to the sink. It is great storage space for extra candles, beauty products, etc.
Overall, I am pretty much in love with my very girly new bathroom! I think I stood in the doorway several times and just stared in at it. It felt so great to have accomplished something like this all by myself (well, with a few phone calls to the parents).
Does anyone have any first time wallpaper / painting stories?