Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Things I Learned While Stripping.........Wallpaper

Every winter, it's a toss-up on whether it's going to be a lazy winter or a productive one.  This one had been a lazy one. The project I had in mind was renovating the stairwell and front hall.  The wallpaper in the hallway is the same paper I put up in another house I lived in.....about 35 years ago.

I knew it was going to be the kind of project I'd have to go "all in" with.  And I just wasn't in the mood.

And then the first day of "Spring" arrived, and I realized if I didn't get moving, I'd have to chalk this winter up to be a lazy one.

So I just got up one Sunday morning and decided to start stripping wallpaper.  Unfortunately, I really didn't know what I was doing.  I bought "The World's Best Wallpaper Stripper" and read the instructions.  It said I should "score" the paper so the liquid would seep in underneath.  But I think the scoring tool I used went too deep, and unfortunately I made a pretty big mess.

Luckily, our good friends Cheryl and Gayle visited that weekend, and gave me some excellent advice.  Rent a steamer.  I knew there was no way I'd get all that wallpaper stripped the way I was doing it, so I figured I'd go along with their advice.

I took the day off on Friday and went to Home Cheapo and rented the steamer for $40/day.  My hope was that I'd get it done in one day, but I figured I'd keep it for Saturday if I had to.  I also went and borrowed my brother's ladder to get up into the high part of the stairwell.

I hit my first snag when we tried to put up the borrowed ladder and it was way too tall.  I was anxious to get started using the steamer and not lose any time with it, so I shrugged off the stairwell problem for later and started up the steamer.

It took awhile to heat up, but once it got going it kept going for 3 hours.  And what a blessing it was!!   So much easier and well worth the cost and hassle of renting it.   At one point I realized I'd forgotten to score a section of wall before steaming, and it worked just as well.   Actually it worked better because I didn't cut into the paint and sheet rock underneath and cause gouges.

After working for 3 hours, I took a break and went online and found that Lowe's had a 16' extension ladder for $75.  I used my Hubby's philosophy...that every project needs a new tool....and took a ride to Lowe's and bought the ladder.

I finished with the wallpaper stripping about 4pm, cleaned up and returned the steamer.   I was pretty proud of myself for getting it all done in one day.

Today...Saturday....I spent the day sanding the walls.   The sander can be a pain in the butt with having to attach the sandpaper over and over again, but so much better than doing it by hand.

I thought I might do some gooping and hole-filling-in today too, but after 4 hours of sanding I thought my arms might fall off.  I'll save that for tomorrow.

Gayle has offered to skim coat the walls once I get them into shape. I just might take her up on that because I know I can't do the job as well as she can.   After that, to me, it's the fun part.  Painting!  I always like making things look better rather than worse.

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