...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Moving right along in the boys’ room

removable wallpaper 1

I decided to nix the striped wall. Like the wall color, I actually love the wallpaper (which is removable) just not in this context. I originally used it to widen the room visually and make it feel less like an alley. In that sense, it worked. But now that different pieces of furniture have made their way into the room, the layout is feeling less linear. In particular, the angled reading chair and book crate are cutting away at the alley-ness. I have a few more ideas for softening the rectangular shape of the space, too. I’m on a mission to brighten the mood of this room so I think painting this wall is the best way to go.

Removing the wallpaper was quick and painless. It is removable after all. But I didn’t want to be wasteful and ball it up in the trash. I’ve always wondered if anyone actually reuses removable, reusable wallpaper. I mean it’s marketed as such and it seems to grab the consumer’s attention but I can’t recall any reuse testimonials.

Anyhow, Everett’s school is always asking for any and all art supply donations. I thought this wallpaper would be a good fit whether the school decides to use it for an art project, as a theater prop or as wallpaper. (The school’s common areas have the cutest decor most of which hails from Ikea.) I came up with a method for removing and “packaging” the wallpaper so that it could be reused.

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I bought a 10′ x 20′ plastic drop cloth from Home Depot. Did you know Home Depot has their own generic brand now on many items? It’s HDX. I’m impressed with the few HDX items I’ve bought so far. (That’s not a sponsored plug, btw.) This drop cloth being one of them. It was less than $3 and it was the only money I spent to remove and reuse the wallpaper. Mabrey was my assistant. She insisted on having her picture taken holding the drop cloth. At this rate, she’ll have her own HGTV show by the time she’s 10.

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First, I wiped down the wallpaper. I figured it would be easier to clean while still on the wall. Then I removed the wallpaper in the reverse order in which it was installed. (You can read about the installation here.) This way I could remove each section individually even if there was some overlap on neighboring sections.

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As I removed each section, I placed it sticky side down on the plastic drop cloth. I tried to keep the drop cloth and wallpaper as smooth as possible. I cut around the wallpaper, leaving a narrow frame of drop cloth.

If anyone is wondering about the adhesive quality of the wallpaper, it’s still great. It could definitely be rehung and would stay in place. In fact, there were a few times I wasn’t careful and the wallpaper folded over on itself. When that happened, I had to stick one end of the wallpaper on the bunk bed’s frame to hang it and pull it flat again.

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I worked my way up the wall, section by section. I removed the outlet cover and tie-off for the window shade cord but left the shade itself in place. I simply scored the wallpaper around the brackets to remove it from above the window.

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Even with a toddler in the room (which normally triples the time it takes to do anything), I had all of the wallpaper down in twenty minutes.

When we hung the wallpaper, I remember Steve asking what was the benefit of wallpapered stripes versus painted ones. Well, if the stripes had been painted I’m guessing I would have had to hit up the wall with some sandpaper to smooth things out before repainting. (Taped off stripes tend to have slightly raised edges.) The wallpaper didn’t damage the wall in any way so there’s one benefit over painted stripes.

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I stacked the wallpaper sections on top of one another and then rolled them up. I’ll be dropping them off at Everett’s school tomorrow and they should fit in my car easily. The one drawback is that the plastic drop cloth will end up in the trash at some point. But Everett’s school is really good about using everything (last year they made an art display from plastic “trash” and it was beautiful!) so I’m hoping the drop cloth will see a second life.

If I wanted to store the wallpaper for personal use, I would stick it in a plastic bin or bag to keep it from getting dirty. I’m not sure how the adhesive would fare at high temps so I’d probably stash it in a closet versus the attic or garage.

With the striped wall out of the picture, I’m off to pick a paint color…and I’m afraid I’m making it way more difficult than it should be.

Pssst…click here to see who won the Seed Furniture giveaway! Don’t fret if you didn’t win. You can score 40% off any piece until Monday, April 28th with the discount code “TWEAKING”.

images: Dana Miller


that’s awesome that you were able to salvage the wall paper for a second use!!! I can’t believe how clean the walls look after taking it down!


i absolutely love how you change things up and how environmentally conscious you are, too. i’m sure the school will love that stripey gift! can’t wait to see what you do next!!


I would love to know what colors you are considering for the boys room!


I’m glad you and your assistant were able to remove the stripes so easily and efficiently. Part of me is sad to see it go, but your reasons for moving on seem to be very sensible. I can’t wait to see what comes next. And yes, picking paint is really hard! But we know you and love you, and understand that it might take a couple of tries before you hit on what you think really works. That’s what make your house tweaking adventures so much fun to follow along with.



Looking forward to the new room! Are you putting the fort curtains back up? If you need a different color option, Nate has navy and tan burlap curtains at target that are awesome! Have fun :)


The curtains are still up! You can’t seem them in these pics because I pulled them around to the foot of the bed so they wouldn’t interfere with the wallpaper removal.


Great recycling ethic, Dana. That’s wonderful.

I was hoping the striped wall would stay (I love love love stripes in almost any context) but I get what you’re saying about needing them to go. I just tried wallpaper in our home and have been curious about removable wallpaper and just how removable it really is. Thanks for sharing! And yeah, the HDX line has impressed me thus far.


I love everything you do to your house! Would you mind sharing where you found the striped wallpaper?


so loved the striped wallpaper! can’t wait to see it’s new transformation. i have to ask where did your assistant’s top come from?!? she is quite the model :)


Are those FLOR tiles and are you happy with them? Contemplating FLOR for our basement for the kids to plop down on!


They are FLOR tiles and I’m really happy with them in the boys’ room. They stay put, have a low pile (which makes finding Legos easy), don’t shed and can be removed individually for special attention then replaced. (For instance, when your toddler decides to pee on one.) I ordered a few extra tiles in case I needed a backup and the style was no longer available.

The great thing about the tiles for the boys’ setup is that the trundle bed can be easily rolled out over them without getting caught or displacing them. The gray color is great for hiding dirt but in hindsight I think I would have chosen something lighter. It’s just so much bare rug and the gray sometimes makes the room feel blah. That’s my only regret. xo!