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One of the first things that I did when I was exploring the house was to look at the wallpaper in the two upstairs rooms. One was bad – the other was terrible. I knew the wallpaper would have to come off but had no idea what a mess it was underneath (see picture above from the bedroom). My house is over a hundred years old so it’s not a surprise and considering the age of the property the walls were in pretty good shape but they hadn’t been taken care of in recent years. Once we started pulling the paper off about a third came off in huge strips – the other two thirds took almost a week to get off. We also decided to get rid of the cornice because it was so badly put together and seeing as one room had it and the other didn’t upstairs it wasn’t replaced.

Getting hold of plasterers proved really, really difficult. In the end we got someone who had been off work with an injury and he was brilliant. Because of the awful rain, and the fact that he was supposed to be on an outside job we got it done really quickly. And it looks brilliant!

Here’s a few pictures of the nightmare of wallpaper to plaster, starting with the Bedroom.

A few giant strips and then lots of tiny pieces

The corners of the fireplace were in a pretty sad state too

…and some nasty gaps as well

New Plaster! I was so happy when I first saw this

All ready for the paint now.

And the Library:

The original wallpaper

An example of the terrible wallpapering!

This picture still makes me want to run and hide – such a slow process

Almost gone…

…and a new wall! Hurrah!

You can see where the new edges of the chimney breast were put in – all very neat and tidy.

It was wonderful to finally have a canvas I could work with and start putting paint on the walls. They had a watered down coat of white after this and then the final colours. Apologies for the sorry state of a lot of the pictures – they were taken in and around work being done so I couldn’t wait for the light and was usually tired after a day of paper-stripping!


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  1. How did you wind up taking all the paper off, scraping? I’ve heard that steaming it with an iron helps as well, but I’ve never tried it. *sigh* I’m living vicariously through your home improvement projects, and it’s looking SO nice! Can’t wait to see the painted rooms! :-)

    • We pulled large sections off because the plaster underneath was so rubbish that it wasn’t holding properly and then scraped as much as we could. After that we used water and cloths to soak the paper and then it peeled off easily. The downside is that it’s very sticky and a nightmare to get rid of once wet. I know you can both buy and rent wallpaper steamers/strippers and I might have done had I known how hard it would have been from the start but I never got around to it.


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