Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

Wallpaper, Oh How I Loathe Thee


From the first time Kirk and I saw the wallpaper in this kitchen, we knew that if we bought the house it would have to go.  And fast.



The day after we got the keys my mom came over to help me organize the kitchen (mom, do you know where we put the spatulas?!), but we both kept getting sidetracked. Who, me? Sidetracked?


We would find a new home for a box of spices or a stack of tableware and then steal a glance at that blue slashed wall — our fingers twitching to tug at a curling corner. It didn’t take long before we locked gazes and, in silent agreement, abandoned the nine boxes marked Pantry Goods and started in on the walls.



In 10 minutes we had peeled off the decorative layer of the two-ply wallpaper and were left with a golden fuzz on the walls. It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t horrible either. The sallow tones faded away into the walnut cabinetry — almost too well as I nearly forgot about the felt-like backing papering the walls over the next month.



It was my mom who decided on the new wall color; casually lifting a small glazed pot the color of the sea on a gray day. It coordinated perfectly with the cabinetry and was subtle enough to be, well … subtle. That little pot found a new home in the hyper-organized yellow bath.


I spy with my little eye…

Inspired, I snagged some paint color swatches, found the match (Bear’s Water Mark), and began to envision the forthcoming transformation.

But that was all before I tried to get that fuzzy second layer of wallpaper off. I tried a scraper, I bought a steamer, I soaked it with vinegar and wallpaper removing compounds. But this stuff was the real deal and it made me work for it. Chipping away a panel at a time, by the end of the first week I was left with this (and a very sore bicep).


In the following weeks I moved onto other projects, but these three naked panels plagued my mealtimes, and detracted from my gratuitous baby photo ops.



2013-0818 (2)

And so I wrote this post. Trying to rekindle some inspiration and get this project going again. Because there’s nothing more motivating than a public proclamation — and with it the threat of public failure.



Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

2 thoughts on “Wallpaper, Oh How I Loathe Thee

  1. It sounds like an activity that should be combined with wine? As in, the more you sip, the less your arms hurt and the more you forget how long you’ve been working on it?

  2. Pingback: How Do You Measure, Measure a Year? | Mid-Century Modern(ization)

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