An Unfortunate Wallpaper Experience

I got up yesterday morning and headed out to run errands. I needed some items from Lowes in order to patch the wall where I took the supposedly removable wallpaper down before I can paint it.

The good folks at Lowes were quite aware of the goo problem left behind from removable wallpaper, and they steered me to Zinsser primer. They told me to apply it with a paint brush/roller right over the goo.

Sounds a little weird to me, but that’s what they said. I thought I’d have to clean the goo off somehow first. What they suggested is Zinsser Bull’s Eye 123. So that’s what I got.

In terms of paint for this particular wall, I really wanted to go with the tan/khaki paint option when I get to the painting phase. And if that long wall didn’t extend all the way through my dining space, I probably would. 

But I was afraid that the tan and white together would look odd on that very long wall, even if I separated it with trim. And I’m not prepared to paint more than one room right now. 

Not only that, but I knew that I’d have to tape off the ceiling so I wouldn’t get the tan paint on the white ceiling. And that means a lot of time on a step ladder. I’m trying very hard to avoid the step ladder.

I ended up getting plain white semi-gloss paint. Probably the one I used around Christmas on the dining area walls, but I’m not sure. 

I know I bought it right off the shelf and didn’t have it mixed last time I painted the walls. But I’m not sure it is the same paint, so I might end up with more problems.

I know a lot of people are picky about picking out paint, but I’m not. White is white to me.

This supposedly removable wallpaper has already ended up costing me over a hundred bucks. Paint isn’t cheap these days. Neither was the Zinsser or the extender for the paint roller I had to get so I won’t have to be up on a step ladder. Or the stuff to patch the walls. 

Word of caution: Do not put removable wallpaper on your wall unless you’re prepared to do a lot of work on the wall when you decide to remove it.  

I will have to take my time with this project. Normally I would have gotten this stuff home and started working on the wall that very day. But lately I have to do a bit at a time and rest up. 

The wall will get done when it gets done.

Last week after dark I saw either a very large rat or a possum slowly walking along the top of the fence. My neighbor told me that a possum lives out there. Otherwise it was a very large rat.

If you’ve been reading very long you might remember that we have ducks living here too.

Someone had the ducks as pets years ago, but moved away and left them behind.
They haven’t flown off, so I guess they consider this home. 

The guy that cleans the pool hates them. Too bad we don’t have a pond. 

Possums and ducks right in the middle of the city. I often hear birds chirping and ducks quacking. Pretty wild.


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  1. I had a similar experience years ago, then I found Zinsser Shields Universal pre-wallcovering primer. It covers the wallpaper, seams and everything so you can then paint or wallpaper over it! It works great!

  2. Hi Brenda! Vinegar, hot water & a little Dawn dish soap. Use the scrubby side of a sponge. Keep scrubbing and wiping until the wall is smooth. If you put that primer over the glue you will never get it off. I just removed wallpaper in two rooms. This method worked best. Good luck!!!

  3. Oh,no! I am in the middle of painting, and I'd thought about beadboard wallpaper but decided on paint. I know what you mean about taping and standing on a ladder. I got dizzy a time or two. As for the possum, those teeth are frightful.

  4. Hi Brenda~

    I'm so glad you told us about your experience with the wallpaper. I have been looking at removable wallpaper to put behind my counter, instead of installing tile or stone. I think you just saved me a huge headache, thank you! Good luck with your patching, it's not a fun job.


  5. Sometimes I think about using wallpaper, but I am not willing to go through the challenges with it. We used wallpaper in the house I grew up in. And I remember the mess on the wall after removal. Must be nice to have such animals around right in town 🙂

  6. I had wallpaper in my master bath that was there when we moved in years ago. Decided I wanted it down, hired someone to take it down and paint. He painted and I took one look at that wall and had a hissy fit. The original wallpaper man had put the glue on the wall in circles!!!! I got three opinions and prices finally settled on one and he had to sand the wall from top to bottom before painting again!!!! I paid more for that experience than was worth! lol Never will I do wallpaper again ever!

  7. You can put wallpaper over wallpaper and you can also fix a wall by putting beadboard sheets of wood paneling over wallpaper to fix a wall. I have done both with good results.
    Katie Jo

  8. I have a couple of areas in my house that need the wallpaper removed and I'm pretty sure I used pre-pasted wallpaper when I put it up. Yuk. I tho't pre-pasted was also considered "removable" or I wouldn't have used it. Sometimes I'm tempted to either paint or paper right over it. Would that be terrible? I like the idea of beadboard wallpaper.

    Sorry about the hassle with your project, Brenda. I am glad you are taking it slow and making adjustments so you don't have to climb on a ladder. Very smart.

  9. Note to GENA E:What is beadboard wallpaper; is it real wallpaper with beadboard pattern or were you kind of joking and putting up real wood beadboard over the existing wallpaper? If you are putting up wallpaper over wallpaper, did it work smoothly?

    1. Brenda, I've removed several rooms of wallpaper and always use a paper tiger and Dif. It removes everything. It might work on just the glu? I get it at Lowe's. Just spray or on, wait the recommended time, and scrape it off with a plastic scraper.

    2. It is wallpaper with a bead board pattern and is paintable. It is thicker than regular wallpaper. I put mine right over my old wallpaper. It turned out great. I wouldn't be able to put up real wood bead board myself.

  10. I was planning to remover wallpaper in two bathrooms. After only working a short while, I scrapped that idea and decided to do bead board wallpaper. Looks great in the first bathroom
    so I'm doing the second one soon. I can paint any color I want this way.

  11. I've removed wallpaper in the past and swore up and down I would NEVER wallpaper anything!! I guess even the 'removable' kind is still a headache, thanks for the warning! What do the ducks eat? Do you ever use the pool?

    1. Forgot to answer your other questions. I guess the ducks eat bread like the birds. Birds drop pieces of bread on my patio all the time. No, I don't use the pool. My skin won't tolerate chlorine.

  12. I've used that product many times and it does work, but you will probably still need a fair amount of "elbow grease" as well. And a good putty knife, for both scraping off the glue (gently) and smoothing on spackle after it's all said and done. Pace yourself. I'm sure it'll be very nice when it's all down and repainted.

  13. I'm not picky about white paint either. To me, its either white or it's not…all those other colors are a little beige or a little gray to me…

  14. Oh gosh, the wallpaper is removable, true, but not the glue. That's too bad. Take it easy on the work. As for the possum — if you saw one possum, that means there probably are a dozen possums out there. And rats, raccoons, skunks, and probably a coyote or two. Wild animals do not pay any attention to signs that mark the city limits. It's all country to them.

  15. Ughh with the wallpaper. I learned a long time ago that using prepasted wallpaper was a pain if you ever wanted to remove it. The little bit I put up in this house was not prepasted so if I do change my mind it is easy to remove and does not leave glue. I bet a fresh coat of paint will look wonderful. Lots of work but I know you will love it.
    Have a great rest of the week. Love that the ducks want to stay there with all of you. Too cute.

  16. I was entertaining the idea of getting removable wallpaper, but that idea has sense bit the dust! I do not like the color of my living room which was freshly painted by the previous owners prior to putting the house up for sale. It has a weird tinge of yellow to it so I want to paint it, even though no one else notices this but me. As you know, living in a small space presents its challenge when painting. I have a very small maltese mix who is a fireball and gets into everything. He is the most curious dog I have ever seen, so I can only imagine what painting with him would be like, especially since he has to be by my side every minute just like Charlie and Abi. Your recent experience has been a wake up call for me so I am abandoning wallpaper and paint and have decided to turn a blind eye to it. And yes, you are right, paint is expensive these days and I agree with you, white is white, although Lowes has maybe a 100 shades of white, lol. I feel for you!


  18. Yikes, Brenda! Don't you just love when home improvement turns into home disaster? It's hard to have projects unfinished but it does sound like you need to take your time and do a little at a time. I hope you can get a better nights sleep soon – I think Abi needs a sleeping pill (kidding of course)!

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