Thursday, December 4, 2014

House Chronicles

Things are moving along quickly at our house! On Saturday, I went over there with a spray bottle and some Snuggle and went to town on the wallpaper in the dining room. Everyone had warned me removing wallpaper is the WORST, but I actually found the removal of the top half super satisfying. The bottom You'll see.

Following the wisdom of the Internet, I created a mixture of half hot water and half fabric softener. I spritzed it on the top layer of the wallpaper first, let it sit a few minutes, and then pulled from a corner to take off each panel of paper. Sometimes this worked amazingly well, sometimes it was a little more tedious, but I can't recommend this method enough if you have paper wallpaper (as opposed to vinyl).

After I tore off my first sheet, I was greeted by this patchy mess of backing paper. I then spritzed that with my fabric softener mixture, waited a little bit, and then got to work peeling it off. It comes off in amazingly large strips or — if you're really lucky — entire sheets!

Sometimes I would spritz and be greeted by these really delightful air pockets, which meant it was TOTALLY WORKING.

After four hours, I had accumulated this trail of wallpaper dead and it was SO rewarding.

And then I tried to tackle the bottom half of the walls. And lo and behold, underneath the (MUCH TOUGHER) wallpaper, the walls were completely different: textured and blue, like clouds. Unfortunately, the backing paper was really stuck to this mess and with Sean's help, we finished peeling off the last little bit after four additional hours.

Which meant it took a total of 8 hours to remove all the wallpaper. Completely worth it!

About that textured on the wall: unfortunately, more than half the walls in the house have been texturized. It's entirely possible to remove wall texture with a lot of water, diligent scraping, skim coating and sanding, but on we lack the time, DIY know-how or resolve to really tackle that. Maybe someday if it's really driving me crazy, we can try, but for now the plan is to paint the texture walls a nice flat finish and call it a day.

On Monday, we painted the molding in the den and it made SUCH a difference. I know it's hard to tell, but it makes the ceilings look taller and really makes the beams pop.

We will be painting the baseboard, too, but it will have to be after the hardwood floors are installed, which starts this week! It's amazing to have gotten some of these projects done already, but I've learned in my few weeks of homeownership that nothing is EVER done. Every time I walk through a room, I see to-do lists. But it's okay...that's the beauty of it right?

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