Monday, August 11, 2008

Wallpaper -- love it or hate it?

Earlier this year (I don't want to admit how long ago) I decided that I couldn't live another day with this wallpaper in our guest bathroom. It was there when we moved in. Our house was built in 1976 (brick rambler) and we are the second owners. Anyway, a little corner of the paper was loose so I pulled it to see how easily it might come off. The top layer peels off rather easily. But the backing comes off in three more layers. Two days after starting the project, I fell and broke a bone in my ankle. It's about 95% now (probably as good as it will get), so have finally motivated myself to get back to this job. I try to work on it at least an hour every day, but some days that isn't possible.

Some of this paper must have been put up with gorilla glue! I have a little round tool that you use to score the paper, and then I wet it with hot water with white vinegar mixed in. I wait a few minutes for it to soak in, then scrape it. There were stronger solutions at the store but when I read the precautions I decided to go with a less toxic, but obviously more labor intensive method. Some parts have needed to be wetted (is this a word?) and scraped four times to remove all of the paper.

This is a small bathroom. The toilet is in an alcove. I have finished the alcove, except for the paper that is behind the toilet's water reservoir (do they always do that? -- will need to have toilet disconnected and moved temporarily to get to that paper). I have finished one adjacent wall and can see where there was an earlier vanity that was over two inches shorter in height than the current one. Weird.

I've pretty much decided that when all of the paper is removed, we will hire someone to paint. I definitely will not be putting up wallpaper in there again. Eventually, I want to get a new tub and have the floor tiled, but not this year, so for now this will freshen and brighten up the bathroom so that I'm not grossed out every time I see it. The vanity is very plain but adequate. I will dress the doors up with appliques, paint it white (it's white now), put up fresh, new towels, and buy a pretty a new rug. That's the plan, as of today (but it could change tomorrow). I'll be looking at a lot of blogs for inspiration. When (and if) it is finished, I'll post pictures.

Wish me luck (and stamina)! Joanie

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