Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bye Bye Borders

I have never liked the wallpaper border in our bedroom, which you can see here. Since the previous owners used the room as an office, the pattern of books and a teapot didn't really feel appropriate to a bedroom. The repeat was very frequent, which I found a little annoying. I thought the dark colors made the ceiling feel lower, and that it was too much of a contrast with the pale yellow paint. Yet it took me almost three years of living here before I finished taking it down earlier this summer in preparation for painting.

I removed the border from the window wall about two and a half years ago when we installed the curtains. We didn't want to install the hardware over the border. Somehow I never made the time to finish the project. I was really lucky that there was no other wallpaper in the house, considering how (clearly not very) motivated I was to take down this small amount. When we were house hunting we looked at another house in this neighborhood that had wallpaper in nearly every room. I'm so glad we got this house, or I'd probably still be living with lots of '80s era wallpaper. Thankfully, borders are not too difficult to remove, and this one was paper, not vinyl, which made it even easier.

Full wallpaper is much more of a hassle. If you need to take that down, a mixture of 1 part water to 1 part fabric softener works well, and one of these scoring tools can be helpful. But to take down the border, I just used a (re-purposed) spray bottle filled with 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, a scraper, and an old hand towel. And a good step stool, of course. It was a fairly simple process. I sprayed a section, peeled off the top layer, as seen above, sprayed the layer underneath, and then scraped off the paper with the scraper. I used the towel to keep the vinegar mixture from running down the walls, and to rub off tiny bits of paper that remained.

I stripped the bed and threw the sheets in the wash while I worked. Then I just stood on the bed to work on the wall above it. I made a huge mess as I worked, but after I finished I gathered up the pieces and threw them away. Then James vacuumed the floor. We ended up with clean bedding, a freshly vacuumed bedroom, and no more borders. Not a bad Saturday's work.

Below is pictured our bedroom with no borders (or furniture). I took the border down back in May, but I guess I didn't take any after shots at that point. This was the only picture I could find before we painted the walls. I was amazed at how much of a difference that one small change made in the room, and it really made me excited to get rolling on the all the bigger projects we had planned.

1 comment:

  1. You're right - it totally looks bigger without that dark border! How nice to get that done.

    I'm loving the fix-it-up posts!


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