Dining room update: Part One

Have you ever lived in a space that needed freshening or updating or had a flaw? After a little while you almost no longer see it! You walk by it everyday and have resigned yourself to letting it just be. Maybe the reason for your choice is budget. Maybe it is time. Maybe it is you know you should change it, but it just doesn’t matter enough to you.


Man o man o man! Our dining room was stuck in the 90s when we moved in, and after living with it, ignoring it, and finally pulling my hair out about it we decided to try to change it. (“We” might be a mis-use of the pronoun…”I” was at my whit’s end, and my husband is sweet and accommodating!….Love you, babe!)


Our walls were covered in this wallpaper that looked like gold and brown sponge paint had a baby! 🙂 I’m not sure how or why it was ever in style, but that is how trends run, right? Cue your high school prom photo….yikes!

Well, when you move into a pre-existing home, you never know what you are truly getting. Inspections only go so far, and you take a chance. I had no clue what was behind the paper, and I had no clue how to remove it. BUT I am not afraid of a design on a dime or a little DIY.


So, the pulling began…STOP! I noticed it looked like we were pulling drywall or tape underneath. Oh no! Okay….time for research.

DIF was our product of choice after lots of questions. We taped the walls, mixed the mixture (I have no clue what is in it and am not sure I ever want to!), and sprayed it on the walls! It worked really well!  A small bottle would function for a 12 x 12 room easily!


Here are the supplies we used and links to each of them:

We followed the directions to mix the DIF in the spray bottle with really, really hot water! You start by working in small sections….pretty much a strip of wall paper. Locate the seams and spray from top to bottom. Move on the next section and do the same. Come back to the first section and re-spray to really saturate. Some removers recommend scoring the wallpaper. We didn’t do that for fear of cutting the drywall underneath!


After the first section is super saturated, spray the second strip again and a first coat on the third strip. You begin a pattern to keep the process moving. Use the scraping tool to help you remove the first strip of wallpaper. It should come easily. If the glue is staying on, saturate again, and move on to the second strip. Add a second coat of DIF to the third strip.



Well, after working on this for about 30 minutes on one wall, it was going well in the first two sections, and we quickly realized there was another layer of wallpaper underneath. STOP! What?! That meant double work. Okay….mentally prepare for the double time commitment. It was going pretty quickly so we were okay with that.


Second layer started coming off and then a few chunks of drywall started coming off. STOP!!! Wait, what??!!! This isn’t how it had gone!! We learned pretty quickly that before you ever, ever, ever put up wallpaper that you MUST paint the drywall. If there is ever a chance that you will remove the wallpaper, then you must have that protective layer between the blue of the paper and the drywall.


We knew our house had been a spec home at one point, and I know contractors/home builders cut corners when they can, and this is where they cut them in our home…..at least what we have found thus far. 🙂

So, game time. Keep going and risk ruining all of the drywall and creating a bigger issue. OR call in the professional.

I’m betting you can guess what we did. :):):)

Click here for Part Two of our dining room update!