Monday, February 3, 2014

how I banished the wall paper

Otherwise known as making a mess and having to clean it up. Why is it that any project always and inevitably leads to making a gigantic mess! Here are several pictures of our current mess. 
And as a side note, I could not have accomplished this without the help of a dear friend, M you know who you are if you happen to read this post. Thank you again for laboring for nearly 12 hours on these two rooms with me with short breaks only to consume food. The other thing that kept us sane during was great music; of which it turns out we are both currently obsessed with Echosmith, follow this to give it a try.


Complete with cornice board and sage green and cream wall paper. In and of itself the pattern wasn't completely intolerable, however it was so old that there were discolorations in between the paper panels. Not to mention that there were also at least 25 holes in the walls that I would never be able to (nor choose to) cover up with an equivalent quantity of art.  

It was so exciting to finally get down that cornice board. I felt like it dated the room significantly and made it appear shortened in room height.

 The paper in this room came off quite readily with just a small application of water and vinegar with an over-sized sponge and a bit of scraping with a putty knife. However it left behind quite a lot of glue residue as you can somewhat discern from the yellow coloring of the walls. I was shocked that there was only a single layer of wall paper considering the age of the home. So either, the previous owner took the time to remove paper before subsequent applications (which was not true in the kitchen), this room was originally painted, or this is literally from 1970.


purplebathroom (4)This is the original garage that they converted into livable space at some point. My husband thinks I am crazy but I literally want to gut the entire thing and start fresh. Maybe with board and batten 2/3 rds of the way up in white, then fresh paint all in the same color for the rest of the wall and ceiling (after I scrape it flat). Maybe like this  from Infarrantly Creative, though not in purple. While purple is undoubtedly my favorite color since childhood I have hit my purple quota with the guest bedroom. I would love to stain the concrete underneath the carpet and put down rugs for entry, mudroom, and add plenty of organization. So much to do!

 PS, I think that my two purple nalgene water bottles are starting to become a where's waldo in these blog photos (pictured at least twice in this blog). At least I am staying well hydrated lol.

This room, despite the fact that the wall paper was literally hanging off in big chunks in some areas, was significantly harder. The paper was somewhat shiny and the water didn't appear to soak through to the under layer of paper well. So the most effective thing ended up being to remove the top layer either by hand or to skim it off with this style putty knife . Then soak the under layer of paper and it came off breezily. We added downy fabric softener to the water when it started to give us trouble. It seemed to work well for the under paper too and had the benefit of smelling nice.

 This is what I lovingly dubbed zombie apocalypse chic.

 Ugh its so hideous (before and after)! And I felt literally beat up following complete with soreness, blisters, and scrapes. Despite all of this I found wall paper removal to be satisfying to the soul. I was totally geeking out every time I got more to come off. And my gluey hands were nothing that this Instant Manicure set from BeautiControl couldn't solve. Now I just have to figure out how to finish treating the walls for a smoothly painted finish. I see a lot more prepping, primer, and paint for both walls, ceiling, and trim in my future. I finish by March it will be a miracle!