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June 19, 2013

Today I was back at wallpaper removal.  This time I grabbed a small Dollar Tree squirt bottle (I love these things, I have half a dozen scattered about the house)  and filled it with warm water and vinegar to spray on the wallpaper.  Roughly half and half, probably a little more water than vinegar.  The mixture eventually cools down, but it's easy to pop into the microwave for a minute.  I poured it into the cup because I was concerned the cheap plastic might prove to be un-microwavable and I didn't want to deal with melted plastic.

Did it ever work!  I was able to peel huge pieces off the wall rather than scraping little bits, and managed to finish the rest of the house.

I'm not sure if it's due to what was left on the walls that I had an easier time this time. The wallpaper I had was pretty high quality, and I probably could have washed it down with water if I needed to and not have a problem.  The upstairs rooms I had already peeled the decorative part of the paper off, which left an under layer still clinging tightly to the wall.

It looks so bare now!
So if you're having problems, try pulling off the decorative layer so you can get to the underside with the water/vinegar mix.  I have also read that liquid fabric softener works, but I had no intention of buying a huge bottle of smelly chemicals that I would never use again.

Don't be concerned about the copper wire in the picture.  I pulled that off after I finished the walls, since I'm going to be rewiring the entire house.  I actually don't know how the liquid would affect the wiring, and I wasn't really tempted to find out.  Hopefully someone else knows.

I will give the walls a chance to dry out from its bath and then go over it once more to get all the little bits.  I haven't had any problems with warping, which was a concern for me.  Next I will give everything a good sanding, and then start priming with white latex!  (well, whitish.  The paint I originally bought to do the outside has a slight lavendar tint!  It won't matter inside since I'll be covering it up again.)

Some tips:
I used a knife on some of the upper edges, since the paper had gotten pinched behind the wall of the upper floors and was caught.
You may have to go over it a few times, depending on what glue you used and how long it takes you to get to the next section.
Don't forget to spray the corners!
Watch your fingers.  It's easy to bang into possibly sharp parts of the house or get a splinter.
Keep a trashcan handy, you WILL be making a mess!
Also keep some paper towels handy to mop up puddles.
Watch where you spray and mop up quickly, especially when working around the windows.