Cloth Wallpaper

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Unlike many people, I don’t mind wallpaper – as long as I am not hanging it or removing it, that is. I am sure many of you have removed wallpaper in your time. Whether you have rented a machine, used fabric softener and water, used the tool to puncture mini holes in the wallpaper for better water intrusion, scraping wallpaper off the wall is not anyone’s definition of fun. Not only is it time consuming, unless you have plaster and lathe walls, you can do some serious damage to the Sheetrock underneath the paper which can then require patch work, skim coating the whole wall and/or total wall board replacement!

My father has never objected to wallpapering in my parent’s house. The only caveat have been that whatever wallpaper my mother chooses has to be cloth-backed. My father is the easiest going guy in the world. He has seldom told my mother “no”, but he has steadfastly refused to entertain papering with anything other that cloth-backed wallpaper regardless of how she insists. He has always felt that not only did it go up easier, but that the walls wouldn’t be damaged on removal.

On our long list of renovations this year at the Ann’s Entitled Life household, is painting and carpeting Sonny-boy’s old room. Prior to painting, the wallpaper had to be removed. Hubby nominated me for that job. Since I knew he was going to paint, I didn’t object too strenuously – especially since I knew the paper was cloth backed.

Cloth Wallpaper

All four walls were wallpapered. This was the wallpaper I was to remove.

Cloth Wallpaper

To remove, I slipped my fingernail under a corner, and pulled. That was it. I did a steady pull for each piece.

Cloth Wallpaper

When I hit a snag – like this old telephone jack, I just pulled the paper hard. It would tear, so I’d give it a tug and remove the entire sheet, then go back and remove whatever bits remained.

Cloth Wallpaper

This was how I piled the removed paper. Notice no stray pieces of wallpaper or paste stuck to the floor? That was how clean the removal was! Those two bags are all the removed paper from the four walls.

Cloth Wallpaper

And the wall itself? No damage. There were some nail holes Hubby needed to patch, but the walls themselves were intact, no skim coating, no tear downs, no issues.

If you like to wallpaper, definitely look into cloth or cloth-backed wallpaper. The removal really is super easy! The entire room took under an hour to do , and that included walking the bags of trash down to the garbage cans!

Have you ever used/removed cloth wallpaper? What was your experience?

Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life Ann's Entitled Life


  1. Michele K says

    I have ever heard of it until I read this. Sounds like something to definitely to ponder while we are moving into our house soon. Thanks for this information.

  2. OOOOoooohhhh. Very nice.
    Another interesting component to add to the list of:
    “What to do at the new house.”

    But I wonder if it goes up as easy-or inexpensively-since I’ll be paying someone to do it….

    • Barbee is actually goes up easier because you can move it. It is a tad sloppier than water with paper-backed wallpaper, but being able to move it about, and the subsequent removal make the paste and cloth a great option.


  3. Oh boy… when I bought my house in Texas.. it had the most hideous wall paper on it.. Removing it was the first thing I did after I moved in.. but I had no clue what I was getting myself into.. I did everything under the sun, took advice from everyone and still had a major chore.. sigh.. After I got my living room done, I decided I’d wait to work on the kitchen.. and I waited about a year I guess before I decided to get after it.. I got myself ready for nightmare.. then did just like you did.. just pulled a corner and the entire panel came off, easy as a breeze… They had used that stuff in the kitchen but not the living room.. sigh.. I lived with that monstrosity for an entire year when I didnt have to.. haha.. Oh well.. such are the things stories are made of.. 😉

  4. Shows how dumb I am I never knew there was cloth wallpaper. Is it expensive? When I had this house built 11 years ago they asked if I wanted any rooms wallpapered and I am not a fan so I said no but also they were going to charge alot for doing it. They did everything white which I don’t like but I always think about resale value and people don’t like purple walls, and textured the walls, again I don’t like. They textured the ceilings too and I am thinking of having that scraped off I like my walls and ceiling to be smooth. My son says to quit worrying about resale value but he is the one that will have to sell this place when something happens to me and I want it to be sellable and I want to love it for as long as I live in it. Ann, my wood floors are going to be done in July and I am so excited. The painting of the outside will be in September and my new cedar patio will be in October. In Texas it is too hot to work outside in the summer so I am trying to help my firemen friends and let them do it when they want to. After that I want new or refinished kitchen cabinets but those are really expensive.

    • Well, I am not sure sizing is that costly… I wonder why it was going to be so much, Candie? The cost of the wallpaper depends on what you choose… you know how that goes. For myself? I always manage to pick the most expensive anything when going through the book! Grrrrr

      Nice, Candie! Our hardwood saga begins tomorrow. Should make for a few good posts (OMG what we did with our draperies!) I hope all your renovations go well, Candie!


  5. Skirnir Hamilton says

    Interesting. I have to admit I always hated wallpaper, but it was more the removal process than anything. I didn’t know there was wallpaper that could be that easy to remove. In WI, we paid someone to remove wallpaper and he had a devil of a time getting it off! The wallpaper removal was way more work than the actual painting.

    • I removed the paper back paper from our dining room and was swearing the entire time. We had to have the whole wall reskimmed. When I removed at my old house in Buffalo, that was plaster walls so it wasn’t horrible to remove the paper-backed wallpaper except for the glue mess.


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