Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Take a Cake Break

Imagine you are working hard all day, I mean physical labor, where you have to go up and down a ladder, work with hot steam and remove wallpaper.  But you're not done.....there's still clean up to do, furniture to move back, and tools to put away....wait....I need  a break!

Last week, my husband and I got to work on a wallpaper removal project.  Check out the handy tools we used to complete this project.


Scoring tool
Wallpaper Steamer
Spackling Knife 
Plastic Sheets 
Masking tape or Painter's tape
2 step ladder
Waste Basket or bucket


1.  Tape plastic sheets to the baseboards to protect your floor or carpet.
2.  Score the wallpaper with the scoring tool using circular motions.
3.  Using a wallpaper steamer, steam a small section of wall at a time.  Start from a top corner of the wall.  If you have drywall, apply the steamer for about 15-20 seconds only, to prevent getting the steam into the drywall.  Use caution as the steamer is really hot.  I would advice wearing closed shoes, long pants and even long sleeves.  In between steaming, use the waste basket or bucket to hold the steamer.
4.  Using the spackling knife, start scraping the wallpaper without gouging the drywall.
5.  Clean any residual glue on the wall with a rough sponge.  If it helps, you can use the steamer again to remove the glue.
6.  Roll up the plastic covering on the floor and you are done.

And that's it, easy as 1-2-3....well in this case...1 to 6.

No, that's not a mushroom from Nintendo's Mario Bros. game.  It's a wallpaper scoring tool.  Underneath are two rotating and orbiting wheels with very sharp teeth.  With circular motions, you score the wallpaper with this nifty little gadget.  What it does is it perforates the wallpaper so steam can get through it and melt the glue, thus making removal easy.  About $8 at Home Depot.

My little wonder tool.  If you ever need to remove wallpaper, please do yourself a favor and buy a steamer such as this.  There are spray chemicals you can buy to remove wallpaper glue, but who needs chemicals when water from your tap will do. For about $50 at Home Depot, it will make your life easier, and removing wallpaper is a breeze.  The unit on the left is where you put the water in.  Inside is a heating element that will heat up the water.  The unit on the right is the steaming plate which is connected by a long tube.  That is where the steam comes out and that is what you lay flat on the wall to steam the wallpaper.  Now, you might say, "I don't want to waste fifty bucks for something I will only use one time!"  True, but I found another use for it...as a carpet spot cleaner.  And I must say, it worked great.  And with that heat, I am sure it even sterilized my carpet.  I also used it to clean my window and the window tracks where the window slides back and forth.  I was done in no time.

That's me working with the steamer on my left hand, and a scraper on my right hand.  I was still nervous here, because of the hot steam, but once I got the hang of it,  the wallpaper peeled off as quickly as peeling a banana. Tip:  It's better to use a spackle knife to scrape of the wallpaper.  

This wall was not finished yet when I took this photo.  As you can see, there was still leftover paper here and there, plus you can see some residual glue (yellow streaks), but with a rough sponge and a bit of steam, the glue came off cleanly.  My dog seems to be happy with what I have done so far.

Somewhere in between, don't forget to take a break.  For me, it was store bought cake called Choco Mocha Crunch Cake from Red Ribbon (a Filipino Bakeshop).  This cake is made with three layers of chocolate cake, filled with mocha icing and "crunchies" in between.  Mildly sweet, it's delicious.  -GG-


Quay Po Cooks said...

That is a big project my dear. You are doing a great job. Yes, take a break, have a piece of cake and a cup of hot coffee! Can't wait to see your new wall. I am sure you will enjoy it when it is all done and feel that it is all worth it.

Gingham Girl said...

Thank you for your encouragement. I still have some work to do. But with more cake I can just keep going. :-)

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