It has sure been raining here. I always welcome rain for my garden. When it lets up for a period of time, I hear the birds chirping en masse. 

I’ve always wondered where birds go when it rains. Guess they just sit up in the trees. I know it sounds silly, but I get concerned about the birds!

I still have not heard back from the manager about their painter. I called her and she said he has not answered her text. Can’t people actually make a phone call anymore?

So I’ve taken it back into my own hands. I’ve spent all this time in the bedroom googling and researching this wall problem. 

I emailed Zinsser, because I already have the Zinsser 123, and here was their reply:

Hello Brenda,

Thank you for contacting Rust-Oleum Product Support. You do not want to use the Bulls Eye 123. It will reactivate the adhesive. We would recommend our Zinsser Gardz. It is made to seal in the wallpaper adhesive. 

You can apply your latex or oil based paint after the Gardz has dried at least 3 hours. If you are putting new wallpaper up, that would be after 3 hours as well. It’s okay if it’s longer but 3 hours is the minimum dry time.

If you have any additional questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.


So yesterday I ordered the Gardz from Amazon..

I got my electric sander and tried it on a few places before I ordered the Gardz to see if I could make some headway. But that just made it worse. The residue spread out into ridges, but the wall in between the ridges was still very sticky. 

I’ll now have to work on the ridges of residue before I apply the Gardz. Everything I try just seems to make the problem worse! Which means even more work.

I called the company that made the wallpaper. They said to use Windex. But I just can’t see Windex working when contractor-strength residue remover didn’t. And I don’t have Windex anyway. I use Mrs. Meyers to clean surfaces and glass.

If the Gardz does work, then I guess I could use the Zinsser 123 over that? Anyone know? I’ll have to do some more reading before the order arrives.

Gardz is supposed to be clear (I watched a guy on YouTube apply it) and kind of milky in texture. But it says right on the can that one of its uses is to go over wallpaper residue to seal it in.  

Who’d have thought taking off one wall of wallpaper/wallpaper residue would have become such a chore? Not me. I’ve dealt with wallpaper and wallpaper removal quite a bit, and it was never like this.

Oh well, live and learn. I’ll just stay back here in the bedroom and enjoy listening to the thunder and rain. This is not the kind of weather conducive for paint or wall projects anyway. The Amazon order will be here in a few days. 

Thanks for all the comments and emails suggesting ideas for me to try. I really appreciate it!


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  1. They've emailed me several times. They say they've never heard of such a problem. I think the Windex is for a simpler wall than what I'm encountering.

  2. The wallpaper maker should know the correct remedy for removal of this wallpaper adhesive, so if I were you I would try the Windex. What a headache!
    And I worry about the birds too. We are kindred spirits. 🙂

  3. I'm worrying about the ridges after the sealer is painted on. Seems like the wall still won't be smooth enough to paint. Hope it all turns out okay for you and you can get your living room back together soon. This must be so frustrating, but at least you can get rested up while waiting for the sealer to arrive. Sounds like you've had more rain than we've gotten here. I love rainy days after a long hot, dry spell.

  4. WOW! Brenda,

    I feel so bad for you. What a nightmare but great blogging material! LOL We're all learning from you.

    During hurricane Irma it got so quiet we didn't hear any birds. I wondered where they all went…somewhere safe I hope!

    Looking forward to the next blog in this adventure.
    Hugs 🙂

  5. Brenda, I am so sorry you are going through all this.. I have learned … I will NEVER put up any type of removable or non-removable wall paper. This is awful.. I have taken down regular wall paper, and it was not fun..But did not have this kind of trouble..
    Praying for you, that this new stuff will be the answer..

  6. Brenda, it seems like if the Gardz seals the adhesive to the wall there will be all manner of bumps and ridges and unevenness to the wall. What do you do about that? Are you supposed to paint right over all the bumps and ridges? Doesn't sound too beautiful to me? Can you ask the Rustoleum folks that told you to use the Gardz?

    It's good you are getting some rain out there. Your plants must really love it. Does the lightening and thunder bother the pupsters? I would think maybe Abi, for sure.

    It's rather funny that the wallpaper company said to use Windex. Doesn't seem like that would help. But thinking about Windex made me remember it's for washing windows and mirrors etc. and that made me think of the fact that I don't use it but use a mix of water and white vinegar for those cleaning jobs. Then I wondered if straight vinegar would work on that gunk. You could try it. That would be a cheap fix!

    Well, my sympathies are with you regarding this wallpaper fiasco. I hope it gets dissolved and resolved pronto!

    1. You have to have a clean washed down wall, which I have now, before you apply the Gardz. I don't want to do that again, as my mop is pretty much ruined now. So I'm going to try this product. If it does not work, I can try olive oil, etc.

  7. Hi Brenda: If the wallpaper maker says to use windex, use it. Buy one bottle and use it. If it makes a positive difference, you have your answer. I once moved into an apartment with a disgustingly filthy bathroom. After trying all the fancy tile cleaners, I tried windex and the tiles were clean in a jiffy. In a case like this, you are preserving your health and your ankle by using a commercial product. The zinsser is a good product, but it won't even out ridges. Good luck!

    1. I'm going to try the Gardz first because I have a pole to do the painting. If I applied Windex to the whole wall, I'd have to get on a step ladder.

  8. Oh, I hope that works for you. How frustrating! Years ago we bought a 100-year old house. Unbeknown to us the ceilings were not painted but covered with calcimine (it's white and looks like flat paint). The cellings were dirty so we decided to wash them before re-painting. What a disaster!! Water and calcimine don't mix evidently because the next morning the calcimine was hanging in long strips from the ceilings. We tried everything recommended by everybody to prep the ceiling so paint would stick and NOTHING worked! So we purchased some gorgeous ceiling tiles and put them up and they were lovely. But … it was a long, aggravating, and expensive process. So I sympathize with you and am hoping this new remedy works for you.

  9. Hi Brenda~

    I think we have all learned a lot here about removable wallpaper problems. I for one will steer clear of it. I wonder if you could have someone come in a put a nice textured finish on it, with wall compound, then you could just paint over it. In one of my homes, I had a really nice textured finish on one wall, not to textured, but enough that it gave that wall a nice finish. I feel so bad that you have had to battle this problem for so long . . . who knew?!

    I hope you can get it fixed quickly.


  10. Brenda, I cannot for the life of me see how painting over the adhesive-laden walls is going to work UNLESS the Gardz takes off ALL the adhesive from your wall. From the company's message to you, it sounds like the Gardz will just fill in the spaces where the adhesive has separated, with more gunk, much as putting a layer of wall compound would do – and that would leave you with a thicker wall which would end where the wallpaper had ended (in your living room). This would make a sort of a hump, top to bottom of the wall there, when looking at the wall as it continues into your dining area. UGH! I would send back the Gardz when it comes and call a professional painter who would agree beforehand to come look and give you a FREE ESTIMATE on removing the adhesive.

  11. I watch a local tv station that has a interior design show which I love to watch. They have recommended using removable wallpaper many times, they even suggested that you could take it down and put it up somewhere else!! Obviously not! Sorry you have had to go thru this Brenda but you have definitely taught this girl a lesson.

  12. Glad to hear that the company was responsive and got back to you with a coherent answer. Hopefully Beth is correct and a solution to your troubles is just a can away. Fingers crossed!

  13. I keep reading about how great removable wallpaper is for renters who aren't allowed to paint. Yikes.
    Good luck. We all are eager to hear whether the new products work.

  14. Brenda, My husband worked in the flooring/janitorial business for over 40 years and he says for you to try a product with D'limonene. This is a natural product containing orange oil as the main ingredient. you could find this product at a janitorial supply store. One product name is citrus scrub. The orange oil is a natural solvent that really works wonders.
    It is non toxic and smells good too. I just wanted to throw that suggestion into the mix.
    Deborah Ruffin

  15. Oh Brenda, I have been reading about your dilemma with your wallpaper. I have never used removable wallpaper. Just regular wallpaper & never had this problem. Just think, when you put this up, you thought you were doing yourself a great favor for easy change. Try to look past all this mess and think of the fun you will have fixing it all up again. Just rest yourself for now & enjoy the down time.

  16. That crazy removable wallpaper. I have had the same problem with wallpaper. I gave up and painted over it. The wall had a little extra texture here and there. I will never ever use wallpaper again. I'm sure you won't either.
    I hope your shoulders hold out.
    Enjoy those birdies and the rain.

  17. I like Mrs Meyers cleaning products too – the Basil, Lavender and Honeysuckle are my favorite scents – I can't get used to the geranium, I think it is.

    What a mess! You must be so frustrated. I want to tell you to just board up the walls with some beautiful old barn board for a really nice rustic look – however the cost and that you don't own the space would make it foolish to waste your $. Oh, how your beautiful old quilts would look against a barnboard backdrop though.

  18. Oh what a mess. So sorry you are going through this. I'm glad a solution has been offered but I can't help but feel that once painted, another problem may surface. The paint may look different on areas where there is more adhesive. I hope I am wrong.

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