How Often Do You Redecorate - Hubby Doesn't Want Me Too!

Updated on January 08, 2011
M.K. asks from Glendale, CA
16 answers

My living room has not been papered or painted since my MIL did it 12 years ago - the wallpaper is a nice style and good quality, but my toddler has wreaked havoc on it - it has many large areas where she got hold of a sharpie, in a red and black and scribbled all over, also there are areas where the wallpaper is peeling off.
I brought home a paint shade booklet and asked my husband to look at it, I was a bit shocked at his reaction (bearing in mind he has man flu), he says "leave my wallpaper alone, I like it, and I don't want to change it" I got a bit angry at the "MY wallpaper" comment, and the fact that he was not letting me redecorate a very shabby looking room, so I said "choose a color, or you will come home from work to find it painted MY color" LOL, so today I rubbed down and filled dings in the wall, and I am going to prime in a little bit - So am I right to just go ahead with this? is 12 years, sharpie and peeling enough reason to redecorate. also I know you shouldn't paint over wallpaper - but I can't afford new.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for the opinions - my MIL is alive and kicking, living right next door - so that is not the issue - also I would be the one doing the painting, so it is not the issue that I am asking him to do something - I just have a crazy hubby I guess, he takes a lot of persuading to change ANYTHING!!

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answers from Stockton on

I agree with you, time for a change when it's peeling and has unintentional "artwork". Maybe if you try again with the paint samples and really explain why he may come around. Sometimes though, it's better to ask forgiveness than permission. You could always say, "oooooh, I thought you were kidding so I went ahead and painted! Oops, my bad?"

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

peel it all off and give it to him in a box if he loves it so much. ;0) 12 years is time for an update. Could he maybe be worried that once there is new paint you will need new sofas, then carpet, then lamps, then this, then that. It may be overwhelming for him. Talk to him and try to see his reasonings.

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answers from St. Louis on

I personally think wall paper should be illegal, put your foot down and get a nice paint color, you can wipe off marker or touch up paint.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well, you're right, you will regret painting over the wall paper.

We paint here all the time. I like color and it's an easy relatively cheap way to spruce the place up.

And yes, even in good repair I can certainly see how wallpaper would get 'old' after 12 years.

Maybe he's attached to it cause it's his Moms?

A fresh coat of paint has the same effect on your life as a new bra, you know? Breathes new life into ya!


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answers from New York on

Is it possible that he doesn't want to be the one painting? I know that my father HATES to paint, but won't hire someone unless it's a big job. He threw a fit when my mom wanted to repaint the 1/2 hall bath b/c it was "just fine". When she pressed the issue, it was really about him not wanting to come home from work and paint. She said se was planning on doing it himself- problem solved.

As for how often I redecorate... we've only been in our house for 5 years, but what I have found is that once you start one project... whatever is right next to it (like the carpet or the couch) looks crappy too and it leads to another project or purchase!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Is his mother still living? He might have an emotional attachment to her contribution to your home rather than a rational one. OR he may think it's pointless until your kid is older and you can afford to do it right (that's pretty much where we are:)

Still, doesn't sounds like it's going to be a big deal to him when/if you do it..he just sounds sick & grumpy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

My husband always reacts negatively to anything I want to do to the house. He thinks of the expense and the inconvenience, and I hear "NO," or at least a huge, dramatic sigh. Sometimes, once it's done, he really does like it.

There are inexpensive ways to take wallpaper off a wall, and some of those ways you've already heard about in other posts. It's a nuisance, but you'll be MUCH happier with the result if you prepare the wall properly before you paint. It's worth the time and energy.

When you start removing the wallpaper, try to get a big, clean piece of it and set it aside. Later, when you have time, use it as a background for a framed photograph of your husband's family. You don't say whether your MIL is still living, but I know of so many people who have altered a family home, and it turns out that Ma and Pa were delighted to see the change!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

Well, I know this isn't part of your qestion, but if you want to remove the wall paper there are a few things you can try: a solution of water and vinegar OR a solution of fabric softener and water (depending on what kind of glue is on might have to try both) sprayed on the paper to soak through and saturate the glue...then you can just peel or scrape the paper off. A quick sanding and a wash with TSP and you'll be ready to go!

As for the actual question, I would probably give him a few days to recover from his 'flu' and then discuss it again. If he's still being stubborn about it, try and save some of the wallpaper and frame it for him, THEN paint your room :) lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

My husband could care less, really if I decorate or not. I thought most men didn't care...I guess I'm wrong. I always run my ideas by my hubby and he then says he likes a color or he doesn't but he doesn't mind what I do in the end. As long as I'm happy, he's happy! I say, if you're unhappy with how things look, then do what you must to make yourself happy again. I love re-decorating. It's very refreshing to have something new to look at.

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answers from Chicago on

That is weird.
I would pull off the old paper, instead of painting over it. Just a thought. It'll take awhile, but maybe if DH helps you do it, he'll see how bad it is in places. He may not notice it.

At any rate, our walls are painted. So I redecorate with every season, switching up knick knacks and colors that I have around the house. I haven't done any major changes in furniture or anything like that in several years.

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answers from Augusta on

if the paper is pealing you will have to remove it before you repaint.
But yes it's time to redecorate if it's ugly but if you do this with him fighting it , it will cause big problems.

sit down with your husband and strait out talk to him. He is likely attached to it because his mom did it. Explain to him that i't's your house now not your mother in law's. And that you need to put your mark on it , make it your home, and part of that is getting rid of the damaged wallpaper.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

How very odd...I am not sure my husband would even notice if I redid the walls ;). Does he have some sort of attachemnt to it, or did something happen to her that he has some special memories and she did it, or is it maybe a cost thing?

I certainly wouldn't start anything without talking to him either seems like an interesting reaction from a man (I don't "think" most men take much interest in home decorating)....I would see why he feels that way before doing anything more.

As long as money or sentimentality isn't the issue, I would press him on the fact that something needs to be done...and he can be a part of the decision or not...but it needs to happen.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

First of all... Please don't paint over wallpaper!!!!

Secondly... YES! 12yrs is long enough! My hubby says, 'it's your project.' If I suggest something... I do it.

Over the holiday break, I steamed upwards of 4layers of wallpaper off of a large kitchen and stairway. Hubby mudded and sanded and I primed and painted. I didn't ask my hubby to mud & sand, but he did. Now... It looks so nice and it's warm and welcoming.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I certainly wouldn't do it if my Hubby had that type of reaction. Maybe he needs to warm up to the idea or talk with him about it when he is feeling better. If you have lived with it this long a little longer wont hurt.

Maybe he is thinking why do it when you still have a toddler that can damage the new look and wait until she/he is out of that stage. We are in that boat as we would like new carpet but are not even thinking about it with a 2 year old.

My hubby loves to decorate and has done all of the colors, decorating in our home so I usually wouldn't have this situation LOL

Good Luck!



answers from Honolulu on

I would point out that it is actually *his* mothers wallpaper.

Can you get a wallpaper remover. If you remover it you are not painting over it.

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