DRDO: Tearing Down the Walls

And I’m back!  Greg and I have spent the past two weeks working very hard on updating our dining room because it was dated.

Like really dated.

Don Johnson with his rolled up blazer sleeves would have felt comfortable in this room.

See, it screams 1980s and when you look at it from the living room, it’s even worse.

Even more 1980s wallpaper that matched the dining room.


Up close, it’s not prettier.

Now you can see the texture of the wallpaper.


Last year we spent our 4th of July weekend converting the mud room into a pantry with wine rack as part of Project Pantry.  This we decided to take the two days off after the holiday to work on the dining room.  We called it the dining room do over.

I should probably back up a bit and talk about how we wanted the room to look—it all started with this picture from KFD Designs.  KFD Designs is a professional artist who will stencil walls for her clients.  Yep, I drooled over the gorgeousness of the wavy wall for several days.

Ok, several weeks.

I mentioned it to Greg during the winter months when I was itching to be projecting (Yes, I know I have a problem.)  To be honest, I already designed the room mentally after seeing the wavy walls and just wanted his final blessing– mostly to make sure it didn’t look too girly for him.

He loved it!  We decided to use the paint chip which had been on the dining room wall for god knows how long.   Matte base and high gloss stenciled design above the chair rail and white below the chair rail.

Bam! (Said like Emeril)

Pretty easy, right.


Mind you we just finished his project on Thursday after seriously starting it July 1 and we still need to touch things up.  The wallpaper removal was completed over a week in June.

Before we could paint, we had to remove the wallpaper and to do that I brought out two friends—Jess and Mr. Steamer.

Hey, if Greg could have Mr. Level, I get to have Mr. Steamer.  If you have wallpaper to pull, buy a steamer because it is the best investment ever.  Buy instead of rent because you will need the steamer for more than one day and it is only $50.  I bought mine at Home Depot last year to peel wallpaper off the bathroom walls.

Now here are the steps for peeling wallpaper.

1. Bribe friend (in my case Jess) with margaritas and dinner.

2. Hand friend drink before she sees the task at hand.

3. Plug in steamer and enjoy first margarita while it warms up.

4. Gossip.

5. Pet the puppy.

6. Start steaming the walls.

7. Realize it’s not working well with one steamer and two people.

8. Figure out it works best if the top layer is removed and then use the steamer on the bottom layer.  Have one remove the top layer and one work with the steamer for the bottom layer.

9. Work for about an hour and a half and call it day.

10. Work the following evening with fiancée and dog project manager.

11.  Put darling, loving, wonderful fiancée to work on his half day.

12. Put self to work the following day to finish the last wall.

13. Celebrate with an ice cream when you realize all the wallpaper is off.

14. Go back and clean up all the wallpaper off the floor.

15. Go back a few days later to steam off the little bits you didn’t get the first time.

Now a few tips—

  • Use the plastic putty knives for scraping because they don’t nick the walls.
  • Take your time because it’s going be several hours (about 12 for us) to peel the entire room.
  • This tip is only if you have carpet, wait until all the wallpaper you scraped off is dry before picking it up off the floor.  It’s easier to move since it’s not sticking to you and everything else.  We used our shop vac to pick up the little bits of paper off the floor.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode in the great dining room do over—prepping the walls.


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