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Amazing DIY room transformation by removing outdated cork from wall. Just removing the 70's cork panels and re-painting gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

Amazing DIY room transformation

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Amazing DIY room transformation by removing outdated cork from wall. Just removing the 70's cork panels and re-painting gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

Here is our amazing DIY room transformation. By removing the outdated 70’s cork from the wall and re-painting, we gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

When we moved into our 50-year-old house, it needed a lot of updating.  We discovered pristine hardwood floors under nasty red and green shag carpet, for example, (score!) but one of the worst spots was the cork wall.  It was going to be my son’s bedroom, but had probably been a den at some point.

One entire wall was covered with glued-on 1 x 2 and 1/2 foot sheets of cork that were so rock hard so you couldn’t actually stick anything into them.  There was also a lighthouse motif border and faux finish on the ceiling, but I digress…

See?

Amazing DIY room transformation by removing outdated cork from wall. Just removing the 70's cork panels and re-painting gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

So, here is how we did our amazing DIY room transformation.

Luckily, my husband is an awesome handyman and up for any challenge the house could give him.  So, he got out his trusty putty knife and went to town scraping all that cork off.  It just crumbled into bits and we carted out BOXES of it.

Amazing DIY room transformation by removing outdated cork from wall. Just removing the 70's cork panels and re-painting gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

Literally stuck.

After that, all that was left was the sticky residue from the glue. We tried everything to get that glue off.  Heat gun, solvents, more scraping.  Nothing worked.  There were some other very scary solvents out there that we heard about. But since it was going in my 3-year-old’s room, I really didn’t want to go there.

Amazing DIY room transformation by removing outdated cork from wall. Just removing the 70's cork panels and re-painting gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

The solution.

So, finally, we realized the only thing that made sense was to start over! So, he sanded down the rough glue as smooth as he could. And we simply covered the remnants over with new drywall.

Amazing DIY room transformation by removing outdated cork from wall. Just removing the 70's cork panels and re-painting gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

Then it was just taping and mudding.

Amazing DIY room transformation by removing outdated cork from wall. Just removing the 70's cork panels and re-painting gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

Final steps.

After it was up, taped, and mudded, it looked great. Then we re-attached the baseboards and it was simply a matter of priming and painting it, along with the rest of the walls and ceiling to make it a little boy’s dream room.  My son loved Thomas the tank engine, and light walls and vinyl decals brought it all together from the dingy dark cave it was before to a wonderfully light and airy room that my son enjoyed for several years…until he decided he liked pirates more. Oh well, that was also an easy change with paint, bedding and decor. 🙂

Here is the finished wall. Cork no more!

Amazing DIY room transformation by removing outdated cork from wall. Just removing the 70's cork panels and re-painting gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

What a transformation!

Amazing DIY room transformation by removing outdated cork from wall. Just removing the 70's cork panels and re-painting gave this bedroom a fresh new look.

So, don’t fret if you think your walls are ruined from glued-on cork.  This was a messy but easy job. So, what are you waiting for? Go and make your own amazing DIY room transformation!

Let me know how it goes!

~ Pam
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5 Comments

  1. Wow, good job 😍

  2. I would have died for that Thomas the Tank Engine bed when I was little! Some kid is very, very lucky. Great job! 🙂

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