Around the House

A Different Kind of Finished Project

I have been waiting for this day for . . . almost 15 years now.

But, y'know, the task is just not much fun.  And I had a hard time settling on a color.  And then, well . . . I just could never line up the time to do it.  Not during gardening season.  Or during the Up North months.  And certainly not during the holidays.  Or probably right after, either.  Because recovering.

So, really.  It had to happen in . . . April.

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Yep.

I'm pleased to announce that my dining room re-do is finally finished!

Wallpaper removed.
Walls prepped.
Primer applied.
Walls prepped again.
Paint.  Paint.  Paint.

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It was truly a family project.  Although Tom and I did all the physical work, everyone else was involved in some way.  Remotely, the kids weighed in on color and design elements, with Brian suggesting we rethink the chair rail altogether.  My dad provided advice and general cheerleading support.  And my sister helped me choose the paint color (thanks to the magic of technology).

I wish we could all gather to celebrate!  (We'll have to do that remotely, too, I'm afraid.)

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I'm so pleased -- and so happy to finally be able to cross this project off my to-do list.

(Click here for the "before" shots.)

(Yikes!  So much better now.)

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Just a reminder:  Tomorrow (April 26) is Poem in Your Pocket day.  Share your favorite!


Unraveling . . . a Dining Room

No time for knitting.  No time for stitching.  But plenty of unraveling going on!

When we moved into our house back in 2003, there was late-80s wallpaper in every room.  Heavily patterned.  Lots of mauves and teals.  Everywhere.  I'm sure it was really awesome and trendy back in the day.  But by 2003 it was dated and awful.  

It took a while for Tom and I to be able to look past the wallpaper to see the promise of the layout of the house.  And it took a generous "re-decorating" offer from the former owners to sweeten the pot.  Most of the wallpaper was removed (and carpet replaced) before we even moved in.  But there were three rooms that would have to wait until later -- the master bathroom (described here), the main bathroom upstairs, and . . . the dining room.

But removing wallpaper is such a pain in the . . . neck.  And it's so expensive to have it done professionally.  So we put it off.  And off and off and off.

It's time now, though.  To just power through and git'r'dun!

Here is the dining room just before the wallpaper removal project started last Saturday. . . 

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Just a little busy, non?

The wall below the chair rail is painted; the wallpaper and the border above some really lovely crown moulding ON THE CEILING need to be removed, though. (Tom also removed the chair rail yesterday.  No more two-tone dining room.)

I found this product online, thanks to a lead from the guys who did our bathroom renovation project a couple of years ago.  (They used a professional grade product that was very much like this one.)

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It really does work as promoted.  It's far less drippy than either soaking the wallpaper down with a sprayer, or using a steamer.  (I've used both methods in past houses.)

You just lightly score the wallpaper (lightly, I learned in my first test area . . . so that you don't damage the drywall underneath), then soak the sheets and stick them to the walls for a while (in my case, it takes about 15 minutes per application).

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The wallpaper really does peel off pretty easily . . . most of the time.

Don't get me wrong -- this is still a tedious and frustrating job.  It's a lot of up-and-down on the ladder, and a lot of work.  But the results are coming much easier than my past experiences with wallpaper removal.

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And it is so satisfying to rip that paper off the walls!

Even that ceiling border is coming off with less hassle than I expected.  (Although what a pain to work upside down.)  (So much respect to Michelangelo, y'know?)

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This morning, I'm faced with the last of it.

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One good session this morning, and the wallpaper will be gone.

Just in time for . . . wall prep and priming.  
(Yippee!)

How about you?  What are you unraveling this week?