When we moved in, the upstairs hallway had what I’m guessing was a very retro 1940’s-50’s style wallpaper on it that was covering the original plaster walls.  It was in great condition, but didn’t fit in with our vision for the house and had to go.

We knew the wallpaper had to be steamed off, and we weren’t sure how the plaster underneath would hold up to the process, but we rented an industrial steamer from Lewis Rents and got to work.  I don’t know anyone who enjoys steaming off wallpaper, but this actually went pretty well.  Sure, I burned my hands a few dozen times at first as the boiling water dripped off the steamer paddle, but once I got into a groove, it worked pretty well and went relatively fast.  It took a solid weekend to get it all off, plus an additional day or two to scrub off all the little bits of paper remnants and get everything prepped for paint.  But we were very pleased with how well the original plaster underneath was preserved.


We went with a traditional warm yellow color called Goldenrod.  All of the upstairs trim had been painted Navajo White by the previous owner, which is a nice neutral white, but a little creamier than we would have chosen.  However, it’s in great condition and re-painting all of the trim upstairs is just not realistic for us anytime soon, so we’ve decided to just choose wall colors that compliment it.

The beige color you see below the yellow (above right) is the color of the dining room that is carried up from the open stairwell below.  This area had previously been covered with more of that awful wood paneling.  The dark brown color you see smeared around in the stairwell (above left) is actually what was left of the glue that helped hold the paneling in place.  It took a few coats of primer to cover it up, but once it was covered the topcoat went on smoothly, and you can’t even tell.  Below is a picture looking in the opposite direction of the completed upstairs hallway.