Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grass Cloth Removal - Check!

Grass cloth removal in process...
Original to Our Care-free Home were three walls covered in grass cloth. Perhaps they were stunning 50 years ago, but more recently they're dated, dirty and torn. The two walls of grass cloth in the master bedroom were relatively easy (but time consuming) to remove, as they were attached to drywall. Some water, elbow grease and six or so hours, and the grass cloth was gone.

The single wall in the living room, however, was more of a challenge. The grass cloth on this wall was attached to wood instead of drywall. As a result, it took about six more hours to complete the removal - despite the wall being about one-quarter the surface area of the master bedroom walls.

How did we do it? Six simple steps...
    Taping is best completed with Coors Light.
  1. Spray the wall with water.
  2. Wait five minutes for the water to permeate the grass cloth and paper foundation.
  3. Scrape off the grass cloth with a large putty knife.
  4. Spray additional water on the paper foundation.
  5. Scrape off the paper foundation with a large putty knife.
  6. Scrub the wood surface with thick sponges to remove the glue.
(A tip for anyone embarking on a similar project: Limit the water so as not to warp the wood beneath the grass cloth.)

Finally, after a seemingly endless removal process, the walls are clean. And after four additional hours of taping, the walls are ready for... sanding.

Will the painting NEVER begin? Because I'm all prepped out and only three walls down.


  1. Hi there- So glad to see you guys fixing up the Alcoa house! You may or may not know it, but you have many people pulling for you on the Facebook group "TC MCM (Twin Cities Mid-Century Modern)". My girlfriend and I were at one time interested in purchasing the Alcoa house but it was already under contract. We ended up fixing up a 70's contemporary which we are very happy with.

    In regards to your grass cloth, if you are interested in replacing it to achieve a similar look, check out a vinyl version at Hirschfields. We installed a textured vinyl grass cloth wallpaper and it looks like a million bucks in my opinion. You have to touch it to know it's not real. Keep up the good work, looks like you guys are doing great!

  2. Thank you, Tim!! We SO appreciate the support and encouragement!!!