Removing Wallpaper from MDF Board

IMG_20170917_114421902_HDRCompared to my other projects, my downstairs bathroom remodel really didn’t entail much work. I don’t even have before pictures for this blog entry. We had done a large part of the remodel a couple of years ago when we replaced the toilet and linoleum. This particular part of the project entailed replacing the old sink fixture and cabinet pulls, removing wallpaper, and painting.

This 1/2 bath is located in the basement of our split level home. Our basement has curious wall boards: a combination of MDF board in the bath, drywall on the inside walls, and cement backerboard against the outside walls of the family room.

20170520_192813Although I had initially removed some thin mauve wallpaper years ago with a rented steamer, this time I was removing some thick grass paper I had installed 8 years ago. I rented a steamer again to remove it, and the sucker just wasn’t working for me this time. I looked online for possible solutions and found this:

I had never used a chemical stripper before, having always rented a steamer to remove several walls of previously installed wallpaper from our 30 year-old-home. But this, my friends, was a godsend!

As I state repeatedly in my blog, I do not get paid to endorse products. No kickbacks for me–I pay full price for everything.  But after using this to remove the thick grass paper I had in the bath, I am almost sorry I removed all the other wallpaper the old fashioned way. With Zinsser’s DIF Fast-Acting Wallpaper Stripper, removing even the heaviest wallpaper is easy peasy!

You might find you need to remove the top layer of very thick wallpaper like my grass paper and/or spray each layer several times. Basically, you just spray to saturate the paper, wait a few minutes, scrape off the excess paper and glue, and wipe down thoroughly with a large sponge. That’s all there is to it!

After cleaning the entire wall with a damp sponge, I painted the entire MDF wall with Behr’s Baked Scone from Home Depot.

We decided to keep the old bath vanity. It and the cultured marble basin were in great shape. We simply updated the drawer pulls and put in a new faucet with shut-off valves underneath. (For some reason, the bath sinks in our house had no internal shut-off valves.)

I removed the old builder’s grade mirror and hung a smaller beveled mirror I found at Home Depot. Since the new mirror was smaller than the old, I needed a back splash to keep the MDF board from getting wet.

I found this Inoxia Speed Tile (Bengal stone) self-sticking tile in stock at my local Home Depot. To lay it, you must have a flat, clean, untextured surface (MDF worked well for this.) Simply cut to size, peel the back, and stick. Unlike the plastic peel and stick tile I used for my RV, this stuff costs about the same, is made of REAL stone, and sticks permanently. I mean it’s super permanent. No bubbling up or wrinkles.

To cut the small tiles, I used a heavy pair of tile nippers.

All in all, this small remodel project was certainly not as intense as the guest bathroom–at least when I had the right tools and realistic expectations. But I dread the master bath project when we get that underway. That’s going to require gutting and a total redo.

For that, I’ll need to get motivated. Right now, we are working on re-siding the outside of our home. My hubby does most of that work, but it’s very hard to get motivated to do outdoor projects when it’s so hot here in St. Louis…

Thanks for visiting,






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