Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Slave Labor

When we returned from Michigan we brought along two slaves... er... small family members.  We told my sister (their mother) that we were going to have a great time hiking and camping and toasting marshmallows.  LIES!  She should know that we don't do anything fun!  We just scrape!

On a whim I started stripping the wallcover in the master bedroom.  One morning I was lying in bed just waking up.  Sunlight was streaming in the windows highlighting all of the overlapped seams on all of the layers of wallpaper under the 3 or 4 layers of paint.  I started thinking that if I took the metal nail file from the nightstand drawer and stuck it under the uppermost wallpaper seam that I could peel the paper right off and finally see what's under there.  I've been yearning to see what I could see since we moved in but when we moved into this house I vowed that I would not start a new project until the previous project is finished.  In our last house every room was a work zone and it was miserable.  Chris reminds me of this rule whenever I talk about starting something new.  Also, the kitchen project from last summer remains approximately 99% complete and I've already broken the rule to work on the living room.  Anyway, I grabbed that metal file and stuck it under one of the wallpaper seams, wiggled it around, and then pulled.  I was delighted by what I found:

Pretty yellow paper!  The paint and a layer of what I think is probably a vinyl wallpaper installed within the last 30 years was coming up beautifully leaving this yellow paper behind.  Chris was unhappy when he discovered what I was up to.  In fact, he said, "I will never understand you", but when he saw the yellow paper he began to understand.  

Then when the kids found out what I was doing they wanted to get in on the peeling action themselves.  It didn't hurt that this is the only air conditioned room in the house.
Maddy was particularly entertained by the wallpaper peeling and she stayed for the long haul.  She really enjoyed when the yellow paper started peeling away too allowing the even older papers to show through.

Here's the chronology of what's on the walls in our bedroom.  This pink paper is installed on bare plaster.
This striped floral is installed over the pink.

The yellow and grey floral is installed over the striped floral and the vinyl paper is over that.  It looks like the vinyl paper was blue, but was primed before they painted the room, so I can't see if there was a pattern on the paper.

So, I guess I've gotten myself into another project.  We knew this was coming, you can't keep painting over wallpaper indefinitely.  I'll just keep my fingers crossed that we can get the paper off and leave the plaster intact.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thanks for the updates on the house - it is so much fun to read them - also, the connected gray in the livingroom looks great. Can't wait to see it in person. J.