mad catches a break

Last summer, mad started the journey of rehabilitating our home room by room. We started in the living room, thinking it would take a week and that would be that. Starting with that fateful room, mad soon learned that this was not going to be a fast process. The wallpaper in this house seems to have been partially infused into the wall, all to address cracks and damage to the plaster walls. We realized each room would take weeks or months to strip, repair, prime, and paint. Our dedication to rehabbing this house “right” was recently reinforced when I read a well-written blog by a couple in Chicago who are rehabbing their Chi-town bungalow. When presented with one wall in their bedroom that is like every single wall in our house, they decided to leave the wallpaper and paint over it. It’s become clear to me that our path might be honorable, but it’s also lonely. We started building our arsenal of wallpaper removal products, from scrapers, to DIF gel, to power steamers. It was with this sense of patience and determination that we decided to head to the next room for repair, the dining room. Our dining room is the largest room in the house and serves as both dining room and my home office. It has great bones, and we were thrilled that due to the presence of tin wainscoting that lines the lower five feet of wall (more on that in a future post), we wouldn’t have as much wallpaper to remove.

That thrill was initially squelched when we first moved in, removed some wallpaper in the room “dry” (without any removal gel or steam), and discovered three layers of wallpaper on the walls. Last week, however, we decided to jump in and attack a very small stretch of the dining room with all of our newly found know-how and our arsenal of supplies. Lo and behold, that section of wall was free of all three layers in under an hour. Before we knew it, we removed a third of the wallpaper in less than three hours. Yesterday, mad was committed to getting the dining room to a wallpaper-free state by the end of the day. And I’m happy to report at exactly 11:59 pm last night we stood and looked at the hospital green walls now visible where wallpaper used to be. In addition, unlike every other room in the house, the dining room has three cracks total that will require the infamous Big Wally’s plaster magic. That means we won’t have to skim (and therefore sand) the room. That means we can do minor repairs, and then immediately prime and paint. We might even have a finished dining room before spring is fully upon us. We are eternally grateful to this room and this house for finally giving us a break.

A view of the three layers of wallpaper found in the dining room.

Who would have thought mad would find an expanse of hospital green walls in their own house so beautiful.

2 Responses to “mad catches a break”

  1. Bungahigh says:

    We’re totally impressed! Stripping wallpaper seemed like a pretty insurmountable (or at least undesirable) task to us. Kudos to you and yours for getting that stuff down!

  2. denise says:

    We consider that high praise! Thanks for the comments.