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01.22.06

Remodel, Part 1: Stripping and Washing

A couple of weeks ago I started on a remodel of the bedroom. This is the second remodel project since I moved in two and a half years ago. The first one being the studio/foyer, which, strictly speaking, still isn’t complete. Two rooms in two and a half years really isn’t going to break any speed records, I realize, but the last project was such a pain in the ass, I was really not very motivated to start again.

You see, when I moved in, the entire place was covered with the same drab textured wall paper, and removing it proved very difficult. I tried all kinds of chemicals and gels before finally settling on muscle and a vinegar/water solution. It took forever.

And then, once I had the wall paper off, I could see that one whole wall was going to need to be resurfaced. And only then could I finally get around to painting. The whole thing put me off remodeling for awhile.

This time, though, I bought a wall paper steamer for $50. Let me tell you, it would have been worth it for three times the price. It made peeling off the wall paper so fast I did an entire wall in three hours (as opposed to the three days it took me the old way).

The first picture (click to enlarge) shows the wall after the first layer had been peeled off. Then, in the second picture, you can see the two steps. First the top part peels off leaving the paper/glue backing which then has to be steamed off.

The third picture shows the closet with the doors off, which I had to do to get to the wall paper tucked behind them.

So after the paper came off, the wall needed to be washed down to remove the glue left on the wall. In this picture you can see how I’m halfway through washing down the wall.

And here you can see Irene helping.

We’re actually still in the middle of this, we just took a short break because it’s tiring work. I hope that we will have this wall and the one with the window finished up today. Next weekend I’ll finish washing down the walls and start on the resurfacing. This wall is the back side of the one I had to resurface last time, and it is in just as bad shape. I actually think I’ll have to resurface the entire room, as there are two walls by the bed that they just painted right over the wall paper, and it’s like sandpaper now. I’m probably going to paint a mural of some sort on that wall and will need it smooth.

I’ll update my progress here next week,