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Scene of the Crime

For right now, I’m keeping my “Choose My Own Adventure” poll open.  Thanks to those of you who voted so far, and for those of you who’ve stopped by but haven’t, why the f*** not??!  Please go vote immediately.  This is my future we’re talking about.  (Dramatic, much?)

We remodeled our guest bathroom about 2 years ago.

Here’s what it looked like when we moved in (unfortunately I didn’t have a wide-angle lens at the time – or for that matter a DSLR camera – just my little point-and-shoot, so you only get snippets):

Kate's Guest Bathroom Before

The above picture was taken while standing in the bathroom doorway facing slightly left.  The doorway you see ahead/to the right leads into the laundry room with the lovely forest-green aluminum blinds.  (By the way, if you’re ever showing your home for sale, please do not leave the toilet seat up.  It’s unseemly.)

This is looking straight into the bathroom and through to the laundry room.  You can kind-of, sort-of see the fugly, almond-colored bathtub with brass shower doors to the right.

Kate's Guest Bathroom Before

Here’s a better look at that bathtub/shower combo:

Kate's Guest Bathroom Before

We removed the confining shower doors almost immediately after moving in (that tub is tiny), but we were left with an extremely unpleasant shower door residue/fungus/mold-like substance, the likes of which I will share throughout the progression of this remodel.

And we can’t forget the huge-bulb brass light fixture with the charming paisley maroon wallpaper:

Kate's Guest Bathroom Before

The whole thing took us maybe 6 months to complete, and that’s NOT if you count the attached laundry room.  Which is just about done.

Oh, and we still have to paint all of the trim (in the ENTIRE HOUSE!).


Anyway, if you compare this to our kitchen remodel, the hubs and me taking 6 months to complete a project is not a shocker.  In fact, it’s almost timely.

So, did a gruesome murder happen in my bathroom?  Not exactly.  But, here’s what our guest bathroom looked like for probably 5 out of those 6 months:

Kate's Guest Bathroom Crime Scene

As one friend put it, “This looks like a crime scene.”

I promise you I’m not embellishing.  We seriously had guests stay at our home and shower in this bathroom while it looked like this.  It looked like this for a long, long time.

I have no shame.

Kate's Guest Bathroom Wallpaper Removal

What can I say?  We were naive, enthusiastic first-time home-buyers when we made this purchase.  We were excited because only one room had wall paper (this room), and our master bathroom just had a wallpaper border.  We thought we were getting off easy.

But this. room. was. hell.

In all its fury.  In my version of hell, I would be removing paisley maroon wallpaper for all of eternity.

Kate's Guest Bathroom Wallpaper Removal

Here are the tried – and failed –  methods with which we attempted to remove the wallpaper:

  • Dry peeling (simply using a putty knife and our fingers to pull off the stubborn paper)
  • Spritzing with water and then peeling
  • Spritzing with a vinegar/water mixture and then peeling
  • Spritzing with Dif Gel wallpaper stripper (two different formulas) and then peeling
  • Using an electric steamer (borrowed from our neighbors) to harness the power of heat and moisture and then peeling

Nothing worked.  Nothing.

Finally, the hubs ended up taking an orbital sander to the bathroom walls.  He quite literally sanded the whole mess off the surface.  This worked, by the way.

I realize this doesn’t fall withing the traditional code of wallpaper-removal methodology, but you can’t blame us.  We were at our eye-twitchingly wits-end.  My fingernails were navy/maroon paisley.

You. Can’t. Blame. Us.

So no, a murder did not happen in this room (that we know of).  But a double-suicide?

Almost, my friends.



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All in good time! I can’t reveal everything all at once… ;)


CUTE!!! : )


Ha, isn’t this about what it looked like when you visited??


Had the SAME exact problem with our dining room and bathroom. We found that continuous wet sponging and soaking the paper was the only thing that helped. It took Kerrie and I about 12 hours to peel the wall paper off by hand and most of the time only getting dime or quarter sized strips at a time


Oh, I forgot to add sponge soaking to the list of things we tried! That worked for the top layer, but still wouldn’t remove the bottom glued layer. Wallpaper should be illegal!! :)

Rock The Boat

I much prefer the “crime scene” decore. All you would’ve needed to do was get a local artist in with a black marker to ‘colour in’ the white patches and you would have your own guest suite masterwork.

[…] It started out innocently enough — I woke up and took a nice, steamy shower. As I opened the curtain and wrapped myself in a towel, I noticed just how peely that pink floral wallpaper was looking. What if… I thought, tugging at a small corner. It came off in one long, cathartic sheet. Like magic. (And vastly different from our bathroom wallpaper experience in the last house.) […]

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