Hitting the wall. or 'The strip tease.'

Ok - so as we know my first task was to paint the living room and bedroom. Bedroom no problem. Bedroom done. Brush, brush, zip, zip.The living room was a WHOLE other story. I got most of the room done on the first night. End of day one. But...The living room wall has this bank of windows - that we are replacing - but the windows clearly let through moisture and the paint on that whole wall was very, very badly peeled. The walls were also very uneven - the face of them was really lumpy. So Rich thought he could just take our handy dandy rotary sander and even it out. Nope. So we tried to scrape them down. Nope. We went and got a heat gun for stripping paint - which is when we discovered the problem. The paint...note the PAINT... stripped dandy. But it quickly was determined that there was also wallpaper which had only been partially ripped up and then painted over about five times. This wallpaper is, probably, between forty and a hundred years old. Lovely. End of wall battle Day Two. So... I figure - bring in the big guns - we go to Lowe's and get paint stripper. I put on the gloves, put on the goggles, slap on the stripper and wait. Nope. The paint comes off great - But the rest of it... the majority of it... is not budging. For the most part I'm still looking at this:


Pretty, no? So then, Day Three. We get Wallpaper stripping spray (don't ask) and try that. It starts to make things better - but it's not perfect... I spend all day doing that and stripping and then doing it again and stripping. By the end of the day I am basically CHISELING the stuff off the wall. Like using all my strength to scrape it off. By the time we go to (yup) Lowe's for another trip that night... I can't HOLD THE PEN. I'm signing the check like Daniel Day Lewis in 'My Left Foot'.

Day Four. Now keep in mind in this time Rich is renovating the store front... He and his Dad are removing radiator's... They're loading in our bedroom furniture... installing ceiling fans. I'm still STARING AT THIS FREAKIN' WALL. I do a final, very rigorous round with the paint stripper again and manage to get the wall looking like this....



Not bad... But the yellowy gooey bits are still remaining wallpaper glue - and I"m worried that the new paint layer will peel again and the wall finish will look crappy.



My mom told me about this stuff. Bermuda (home) is SUPER humid - so you need a moisture sealant. BUT this stuff is also REALLY thick - You don't paint it on - you kind of blob it with a brush and it gives the wall an almost Tuscan Plaster look - but less noticeable. It's just a really nice, even, finish. On top of that I sprayed an aerosol orange peel spray at the finest setting - just to marry the wall texture with the rest of the room. And, by the end of day four, it looked pretty darn good.

Day five. Joel paints the wall. Amen. If rich hangs a single picture on that thing I'm gonna kill him. We are going to spend our old age staring at that wall and LOVING IT.



So today. After I'm done painting. My mom calls and she tells me that she spoke to the guy who painted their house. He says if you want to get wallpaper off use hot water. I tell Janice - who was currently trying to tackle some other wallpaper residue downstairs in the storefront that we're renovating. Then I have an idea. A horrible, horrible, epiphany which makes me want to lose my lunch. We have a portable steam cleaner that Janice brought from their house which has been sitting doing nothing in the foyer for five days. She plugs it in. She tries it. The wall paper comes off like butter.


Lesson learned. You heard it here people. Learn from my mistakes. My long, arduous, tortured mistakes.