It Takes a Village – the Wallpaper Death March

If you’re reading this you’re probably slightly aware of some home remodeling/ redecorating that is going.  It’s turning out to be my January theme.  It may appear to be quite a bit of work – well, it is – however I haven’t been taking it on solo (okay I was going to make a Star Wars joke and say “Hans Solo” instead of on solo – but realized I’m not really a Star Wars fan).  There has been quite the cast of characters parading through my home that have lent a helpful hand.  There is also a newly formed support group for “husbands of wives who have deserted them to help Becca remodel”.  I hear it’s well attended and is planning a gathering during the next UFC fight.  I am very appreciative for this help as the fiance is out of the country suffering hot summer temperatures in Australia (still).

For the most part things are going quite smoothly, it’s just that the To Do list is very long.  Wait, things were going quite smoothly until wallpaper removal entered the picture.  The first room to be removed was the dining room.  “Ob” handed me an expensive spray bottle of gooey blue gel labeled “awesome wall paper removal gel” from Home Depot.  Not only did it hurt to spray because it was so thick – it also did not work.  Well, it worked, it’s just that a free spray bottle of water worked better – a lot better.  I spent a good evening with the following routine spray, scrape, curse, repeat.  In the end, I got it done, and began to strongly dislike the previous home owners.

The next room to tackle was the upstairs hall bathroom.  I figured this would be easier since it was a smaller space and the wall paper was uglier.  It turns out my “uglier the paper the easier to remove” theory could not have been more wrong.  On a Friday night I had some gal pals over for a stripping night.  The theme of the night was why the husbands lent them to me – I just didn’t explain to them that it was stripping wallpaper.  We started spraying and scraping and laughing in the bathroom – for like 5 minutes.  We quickly found that this stupid bathroom had not one but TWO layers or wall paper … oh, and the bottom layer was actually installed directly on the drywall.  We spent a collective 7 1/2 hours trying to rid the room of it’s hideous green ivy with weird miniature purple berries and by the end it looked like the bathroom had been attacked with screwdrivers from the characters of Lord of the Flies – at the end of the book, not how they were at the beginning of the book.

The next evening two more dear friends came to help with another green ivy with weird flora and fauna.  They brought an iron to attempt to steam it off.  This was working quite successfully – except the cord was not very long.  During my hunt for an extension cord I was very surprised (and slightly annoyed) to find that an actual steamer resides is in this house.  With much joy my friends quickly removed the border.  It was with this excitement that brought a renewed focus on the bathroom.  Fully refreshed (after a night at the Pinewood Derby) “Igi” and I started the removal process once again … only to find out that the steamer still didn’t really help (unless giving be a blistering burn is considered help) in this horrid situation.  We kept picking at the pieces of the wallpaper until 4:00 AM when we decided to call it a night.  A few hours later we awoke and kept removing – begrudgingly.  In the end the bathroom took a collective 25 hours to remove enough wallpaper to an acceptable level for a hired individual to paste and mud it.  I hate that room and the previous owners and their horrid taste in many different wallpapers.

Resolution Update: finished reading “Exact Replica …”.  I wouldn’t recommend it – unless you are interested in reading 156 pages of a woman’s memoir about giving birth to a still born child that could have been adequately covered in 5 pages.

serenity now!


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