What about that old wallpaper?

When we first moved in to our house Mike was obsessed with telling me that we needed to remove all the old layers of wallpaper before we painted the walls. I was NOT down with this. What a project! Like an endless project. Removing wallpaper is HARD.

But one day I was standing on the stairway landing and I saw a spot that needed to be picked. You know the kind of spot. It was begging for me to pick and peel and get to what was underneath. It was surprisingly easy to peel off the top layer of painted-over wallpaper and reveal the second layer. We figure the top layer was 1930s-ish (when there was an owner change and a lot of renovation) and the bottom layer was original to 1910.

Since it was so easy to peel off, we went ahead and did it that evening. Every once in awhile I start up again. We’ve revealed quite a lot of this neat old wallpaper but are stumped now on how to “finish” it. Do we peel it all off? Peel more off but not all? Paint over the painted over spots? And is it true that old wallpaper and wallpaper paste often contains arsenic!?

Mike peeling off the top layer of wallpaper

Mike peeling off the top layer of wallpaper

Vintage wallpaper revealed!

Vintage wallpaper revealed!

It's so Titanic era!

It's so Titanic era!

We’d love to hear any suggestions you all may have on how to finish this project!