Home > Uncategorized > Good-bye Flocked Wallpaper

Good-bye Flocked Wallpaper

Updated! See the latest photos in Part II!

When we first looked

When we first looked at our current home in Norfolk, we really liked the flocked wallpaper. It was very 1970s and we liked the 1970s, but as we started painting the other rooms, we realized the dining room was pretty "tired."The wallpaper had turned brown in some places. .

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Flock

One of the first things we did when moving in (four years ago) was to take down the sheers.

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chandelier

Last year, I was able to replace the chandelier, and that improved the room a lot.

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sconces

The matching sconces added some flair, too!

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house house

Best of all, this photo shows the detail on that 1970s wallpaper.

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pretty

When I started pulling down the old blue wallpaper, it went very quickly.

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came off in sheets

In fact, it came off in whole sheets. Easiest wallpaper removal I've ever done. And boy oh boy, was it dirty. I was surprised by how much fine dust was trapped in all that flocking.

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wallpaper glue

The walls in our 1962 ranch had never been painted (which was a surprise).

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house

But the bigger surprise was that the walls were covered in wallpaper glue. That had to be removed before we could start painting. And that turned into a horrible mess. I used a combination of hot water and vinegar, but that didn't do much to break down the glue. At one point, I was ready to drop my sponge into the bucket and give up on the whole project. Ultimately, I washed the walls, I scrubbed the walls, and I used a plastic putty knife to scrape all that mess off. Probably 30% of the time invested in this project went to cleaning that gooey mess off the walls.

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white

Once the wallpaper glue was gone, the project went much more quickly. And when the walls were primed, the room looked a whole lot better and brighter.

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house

I love this shot because it shows our two ladders in the two rooms.

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house

We painted from the ceiling down. I kept hoping we'd spill a gallon of paint on the tired blue carpet but no such luck. The cleaner the room looked, the worse the carpet looked.

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the next one

Wayne insisted on painting his part (ceiling and under chair rail) with a brush. It seems he's highly allergic to using paint rollers. That's the kind of thing a man should tell his wife BEFORE marriage.

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house house house

After sending this photo to a friend, I noticed how filthy the carpet was by the kitchen door (closed).

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dirty dirty

It was icky enough that I decided I could no longer stand it.

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house dirty

So I sliced it the 36-year-old carpet into bits and tore it up. And this is what I found under the carpet. The pad under the carpet had melded with the varnish in the floor, and left behind this awful mess.

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poor mr ringer

Wayne Ringer went to work, pulling out 3,482 staples in the floor, and then spent another couple hours scraping the black goo off our red oak hardwood floors. It was pretty nasty stuff.

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badly damaged

At the entrance to the kitchen, it looked really bad.

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house house

Two fellows from Kittrell Hardwood Floors (Portsmouth) showed up and once the big sander came in the house, things changed dramatically - in a hurry!

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house floor

Donnie from Kittrell Hardwood Floors told us that the average oak floor can be re-finished a dozen times.

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starting

After the first sanding, he patched a few holes.

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Done

The entrance by the kitchen door cleaned up beautifully with only a few black dots left behind (where several hundred staples once resided).

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comoparison

A fun comparison between the spot at the kitchen door (before and after).

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house house

We had Kittrell come back three days later and put down a second coat of polyurethane.

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house stunning

When my eldest daughter heard that we'd done away with the blue flocked wallpaper, she was almost upset. But once she saw this photo, she said, "Okay, I have to say that looks pretty good." :)

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house house

And the sconces look mighty nice with the blue paint!

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house house oouse

Still have a few spots to touch up here and there, but it's mostly done!

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house

Looks pretty snappy!

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dining room

Now we just need to put the furniture back.

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house house house

All in all, a rousing success!

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Kittrell

And Kittrell Floor Service (in Portsmouth) did a fine job!

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  1. Dale Wolicki
    April 16th, 2015 at 23:05 | #1

    Your husband needs a “nanny cam” so he can keep an eye on you while he is at work.

    “What is she doing in the dining room staring at the wall …. Oh No! She’s tearing the wallpaper off the walls! Hello 911? My wife is having one of her home renovation fits and …. NOOOO! Not the carpet!!!! Please send the police to 742 Evergreen Terrace and tell them to bring stun guns! Hurry please!!!!!!!!”

  2. bfish
    April 17th, 2015 at 07:10 | #2

    Your dining room looks fabulous now!

    The blue is lovely and the exposed and refinished wood floors are a MAJOR improvement!

    There’s no way around the tedium (poor Wayne) of pulling out carpet staples, but for the other onerous task (removing wallpaper paste from walls) we used to get pretty good results from using TSP in water to soften and remove it.

    And I’m totally with you on ditching the sheers!

    In our dining room and living room we only have painted wood venetian blinds on the windows which is more than enough window covering — fussy isn’t my thing.

  3. April 17th, 2015 at 07:35 | #3

    @Dale Wolicki
    Wayne would never call the law on me. He knows that if the po-po showed up, I’d barricade myself in the house with my cordless saw and other power tools and they would NEVER take me alive!

    ;)

  4. April 17th, 2015 at 09:14 | #4

    Thanks, Barbara!

    I thought I was the only one that wasn’t a big fan of curtains! Most of my windows have no “window treatments” (other than venetian blinds). I’d rather have the sun shining brightly in every room than have any obstructions!

    Plus, I like feeling as close to the outdoors as possible, and big open windows provide that unique joy.

  5. Laura (So Ca)
    April 17th, 2015 at 20:49 | #5

    Rose,

    The blue and white contrast in your DR is wonderful, and the floor turned out great. Wow, really nice wood flooring underneath “the blue lagoon” (carpet). Your light fixtures really have some “staging” now. Good taste, Rose.

    I’m with you gals on fabric window treatments.

    I have NONE in my home. Just white 2″ blinds. I hate dust collectors, and I think too much of anything is clutter.

    Now that we live in a modest home, I live by less is more.

    Wayne is quite the find. You won the hubby lottery my dear. Can we trade? LOL

  6. Akon
    April 22nd, 2015 at 08:48 | #6

    This is why I love sturdy homes so much; stripping away lots of stuff reveals so much more than what you started with.

    Quite the contradiction!

    Regal blue, white and warm oak floors looks super inviting!

    Thank you for a wonderful post and making me wish I too were a home owner.

  7. jane
    June 8th, 2015 at 21:28 | #7

    Love the blue color you used on the walls! What color is it and who makes it?

    Thanks!

    Jane

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