Rainy. Water pouring in our leaky ceiling. Buckets. Literally.
Which is what we did.
Two children recovering from the flu and strep.
and researched kitchen cabinet whites and cabinet knobs and Grays.
I love Gray days. Maybe it was the growing up in Florida and a Gray day being like a “season”, I don’t know…. but unless they come 10 in a row…I do not mind them.
There are two kinds of people. Pickers and…well, those that can leave well enough alone. I happen to be the former, I am most assuredly, a picker. Literally, metaphorically and absolutely, a picker. I pick zits, I pick boo-boos, I pick apart movies and relationships, I pick Elmer’s glue off my fingers, and last week, I picked at the wallpaper. And then I paid for it.
You might say I make work for myself.
The latest incident occured when I was RE-installing a light fixture.
It was one that I had installed before, actually there were a pair of them. The first time I installed I, in my excited to see them up haste, skipped steps…and like I said…I am paying for it.
Finally I had all the stars in alignment: the hardware, the fixture, the diet coke and the kids occupied and I got ready to put the light fixture back in.
As I readied myself to insert the toggle bolt, I had to peel a little wallpaper (the whole house is wallpapered – no lectures, we painted over it after the walls began to crumble in the first room we tried to remove it in)
It came off much easier than I had anticipated
and under the painted was was the most vibrant Ralph Lauren looking
giant rose pattern wallpaper
The HUGE roses looked lit from behind. I peeled back about 4 inches and kept trying to finish off the edges to blend them into the rest of the wall. Sheets about a foot long kept coming off, old nasty musty powdery dried wallpaper paste and disintegrating bottom layers of wallpaper, just came off under my fingers, they JUST KEPT COMING… and before I knew it and way before I put a mask on,
half the wall was down the 1940’s.
I was cocky still, completely confident, and decided to make a clean break of it.
I peeled back the remainder of this layer to either edge of the wall, which is 17 feet long and 10 feet tall, and planned to prime and then repaint over my mistake.
I bought the primer and a new paint brush and got the tickle in my tummy to get started. On the way upstairs I grabbed my 9 am diet coke and set off to what I THOUGHT would be a one hour job, TOPS.Here is what I learned: Water based primer, has as a component, ammonia. Guess what else has ammonia as an ingredient? You guessed it, wallpaper remover! So as I lay the coat of primer on top of the remaining 3 layers of wallpaper, they began to gently slip off the wall and onto my roller. At first, in denial, I simply dismissed them and pressed the scraggly pieces back down, but it got worse and they no longer even needed the roller to pry themselves from the wall, they just began to leap from the wall, free at last, to my already sticky floor. No drop cloth. I would fire myself if I worked for me.I filled 6 trash bags full of smelly musty, quite possibly toxic, nasty old wallpaper from just ONE wall that week. I no longer felt like picking and did not even go near the remaining walls and hope I never will. I read a decorator blog once where the writer criticized do-it-yourselfers who leave the wallpaper on the walls as “lazy and irresponsible” and I have to say, “Get a life!” I got every single speck of wallpaper off that wall and it looks no better than the rest of them heavy with their 4 layers! I got down to horse hair popping through, had to spend hours plastering and concealing saw the lathe underneath, and the end result is neither pure nor artistic. It is simply…done.Picky Picky Picky! Bergman Gray