After that tirade about the peeling of the wallpaper (2 posts down) and the painted wallpaper, (which, in my opinion, should be considered a treasonous act of hostility against all future possible owners of a property, and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of laws yet to be written,) I did a little homework.
I went to the websites of the assorted home improvement stores. I googled effective removal methods. I even searched for reviews of the products I found. The mixed reviews of the "Paper Tiger" seemed to indicate, (often in broken english -- which led me to believe that the users who wrote some of these reviews didn't possess the literacy level necessary to comprehend the directions for proper use,) that this was the tool I needed.
So I dropped by ye olde home depot. I looked through the aisle alongside the zip-strip and fancy $30.00 scrapers. (For thirty bucks, that shit better have an ivory handle and do half of the scraping by itself while you're on the couch clutching your third martini!) And there, on a peg not 6 inches from the floor of the aisle, (well out of range of the headliner products that the store REALLY wants you to buy and thus puts them on shelves at eye-level). It was seven dollars and forty nine cents. And as far as this home improvement project goes, it was easily the best seven and a half dollars spent so far!
I returned home with my new-found toy and restored hope, and idly gave it a quick twirl in a small area on the wall. My mother, drawn in by the curious noises produced in said twirl, came to observe.
For those of you not familiar with this product, it's a small dome-shaped tool that fits easily in the palm of the user. Under the dome are two small wheels with teeth set at an angle that tear tiny perforations into the surface of the offending wallpaper... and if used correctly, not deeply enough to damage the wall surface below. Admittedly, it makes a horrid screeching noise as you twirl it over the wall, because the edges of the dome are dragging on the wall surface, but that is a small price to pay when faced with the prospect of slowly and painfully scratching through and lifting away painted wallpaper one square inch at a time. (After all, with the benefit of an ipod turned up to eleven, you're not going to notice the screeching nearly as much.)
My mother was amused by patterns left by my screeching new toy. She readily encouraged a brief foray into using it to graffiti by scratching out our names onto the wall before we got serious about using the thing to its full and honest capacity.
After a few minutes, distractions deterred me from continuing. Dinner was ready, and there was something on TV that I think I was actually vaguely interested in watching. And then I came down with a cold and felt like garbage, so the last thing I wanted to do was go to town screeching this thing over the wall... So our names remained on the wall for a couple of days. But since I was feeling better and needed a sense of purpose in my day, I got to work this afternoon, while also doing three loads of laundry, and cooking dinner, (after three days of being miserable and non-productive, I was jumping back in with both feet) I got to work showing that painted wallpaper who was boss.
After doing about 60 square feet in total, and then squirting it all with a windex bottle full of water rather than any fancy over-priced stripping product, I took my trusty old $2.00 scraper and wouldn't you know, that nonsense came off like butter! And so a large portion of the wall just needs a good rinse and wipe to get minimal glue residue off, and it'll be ready for paint! (I don't think it's necessary to tell you that at this point in the game, taping out the tile and window will be no problem and the painting portion will be tantamount to receiving a puppy as a Christmas present... Pure, unadulterated joy. (I would've compared it to getting a pony, but let's be real here... None of us has ever gotten a pony for Christmas. And if you tell me you did, I'm going to call you a liar and demand documentation from your parents and video proof that it happened on Christmas... A puppy on the other hand is far more plausible and likely.)
Anyway, it might seem like a simple thing to you, but these days I deal in little victories.
I think I'm going to get to working on that thank you note for the maker of that fine product... And a letter to my parents asking why I never got a pony on Christmas morning.