Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wallpaper from Hell

Today I had everything all planned out. I was going to get up early, take down the wallpaper in the laundry room, repaint, get lunch and then go to the world's biggest antiques fair which is starting today.

There is also some water damage on the wood floor of the room, which I planned to sand and coat with the first coat of polyurethane. The room is very small, about 4x5 feet, so I figured I could do all that pretty quickly.

For those of you who have ever removed wallpaper before, please stop laughing.

It didn't exactly go as I wanted. The first strip of wallpaper was like a miracle. It came down without any remover, all in one strip, and there was wood under it which was awesome. I have never removed wallpaper before, and I thought that was normal. I was wrong.


The second went less well, multiple rounds with the hole poking device, a coat of remover, and then....the scrapening.

The last part was the worst, because the people who put up the wallpaper appeared to have painted that wall, decided they didn't like it, and put the wallpaper up over the wet paint.

So.... around about 8pm I was done talking down wallpaper. Then I had to sand! Actually the sanding was kind of fun. My husband bought an orbital sander and it worked great. It's made by Rigid, and I'm a lady who likes things that are rigid.

The floor still looks like shite. But it is sealed, so no further water damage will be done.

Here's a photo of the laundry room showing old wallpaper, half removed, and the painted cabinets with the (unpainted) wood above.

And here is is mid-painting:

And here it is after:

In the time I did all that my husband cleaned the kitchen, discovered that the fridge that came with house has a freezer full of mold, bought a new fridge, set up the internet, found out that we have one working phone jack in the entire house, made appointments for the phone company and gas company to come out and fix jacks and read meters, took a complete inventory of our outlets and brought me lunch and dinner.

My mother in law recently offered to help remove the wallpaper from other rooms in the house. Yeah, I'll be accepting that offer. In the meantime, ibuprofen and sleeeeep.


  1. We have a century home, too. This is like every home project I've ever undertaken - my house setting up masterful ambushes that pull me in with their apparent ease, only to reveal one surprise after another.

    Sometimes the unexpected works to your advantage. I remember once I found that a wall had been insulted with newspapers from the 1930s and $50 gift certificates to Future Shop (OK, only one gift certificate, but still). So I abandoned the project and spent the afternoon reading stories about the Great Depression while listing to my new MP3 player.

  2. Wow! The best thing we found in the back of a closet was an old Dreamcast controler. Actually, that's not true, we found a laundry chute we had no idea existed when we bought the place.