And for once I was SuperMom

Friday, November 29, 2013


I wonder if this comes up?
I dig a finger nail into the corner of the room, underneath an edge of lavender painted paper.  The prying nail pulls away the edge.  Finger tips grab hold.  Pull.  Hands grip into fists. Pull.  The entire wall of paper comes off in one big sheet.  I stand amazed, elated at the accomplishment, discouraged at the second layer of paper underneath, and knowing that the rest won't be as easy.
As I examined walls, squinted, scratched, and picked I realized that every wall in our house was covered in wallpaper.  Some walls with two and in special sections three.  We Googled 'wallpaper removal,' like do-it-yourselfers, and found out the best processes.

"Wait, is this like, a thing?" a friend asks.
"Yep, Google it," I say, like Google is the holder to all things true, "this is really how you do this, scour it, spray it with the fabric softener, and then scrape away."  Out of the corner of my eye I see her long dark ponytail wiggle as she scrapes at the wall.
We've discovered that the best scraper is a long handled four inch scraper.
I smiled as I realized that I scrape wallpaper the same way that I carve stone, left hand holds the shaft and presses down applying pressure, right hand (dominant hand) drives the scraper at the back.  I've found this is the most effective way to remove the paper, scrape after gravelly scrape against ancient plaster.  Over the past few months I've found my body will actually crave the sandy scraping motion.  My shoulders and arms wanting the workout.  Finding myself sore for days afterward, I decided that this does indeed count as a workout.
After hours of scouring with the Paper Tiger (a little red device with sharp cutty wheels in it that you run over the wall) or cutting into the paper with a box cutter (only recommended if you are cutting through several layers of paper, it will cut into the wall if you have only have one layer), at least five large bottles of fabric softener (including one of those terrifyingly large ones from a bulk store), and even more hours of scraping we are done.  The last of the paper was removed this week.  This photos are taken from our first day working, that was in August.  Notice we are still smiling.

Our friend Becka joins us, here she is taking on the living room.

We've hit pay dirt!  Or horse hair plaster.
You can see swirly lines from the
Paper Tiger.

 I discover that those wall paper scrapers are sharp.
My ghetto first aid job, thanks to Becka's duct tape.

Emma and Carys get in on the act, it's not toxic, right?

The three layers in our hall;
fake collage, pink, flowers and then cracks.
After our ten year old nephew discovered this
crack, he suggested we leave the paper,
"I think it's holding the wall together."
Truth from the mouths of the young.

At least she can sleep. Later this
renovation will keep me awake at night.

No comments: