Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Scraping Continues

I have finally scrounged the motivation to continue the wallpaper scraping in our bedroom and since it's a holiday weekend I'm dragging Chris down with me.  Since the last scraping extravaganza, we acquired a Paper Pirana (similar to Paper Tiger, but instead hunts in schools?) and also assembled the garden sprayer correctly, so instead of stripping with mostly tears as a solvent, the wallpaper stripper was delivered consistently and evenly to the paper.  I naively thought that this would make the stripping go much easier PLUS with the added benefit of an extra person this room would be finished in no time!

I don't know why I never learn.

There's too much paper on these walls for them to be easy regardless of methods or tools.  The stripping continued using this method:  1.  Dry scrape the vinyl paper and paint and (could it be?) skimcoating material until you can't stop muttering expletives.  2.  Score the remaining paint paper and joint compound and hopefully top layer of paper paper with the PP until the deltoid muscles on both arms ache.  3.  Soak scored paper with bad for the environment, cancer causing wallpaper stripping solution.  4.  Drink beer and sing along to various singer-songwriters from the 70's.  5.  Scrape.  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 until the plaster is clean.   7.  Clean up the giant mess.

Sounds great, eh?  Generally we got about 1.5 layers of wallpaper off with each scraping.  I've been telling anyone who will listen how there's no good reason to strip wallpaper as long as it has a sound bond with the wall surface.  Well, I found a good reason.  Stripping one layer from a room this size probably wouldn't even take a whole day, stripping 4 or 5 may take the rest of my life.  OK, not really.  We worked hard yesterday and it's probably 2/3rds finished, but the joy of wallpaper stripping is that you never really know how it's going to go.  In the same room you could spend an hour working on a 2 sf section and then zip through a whole wall.  I'm remaining positive about the work we have to do today, it's going to be the easy kind... I'm sure of it.

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