25 December, 2009

Why I Am Stripping Wallpaper on Christmas

You know how it goes. You begin stripping the paint off the bathroom door trim, and because it's only right, you strip the trim on both sides of the door at the same time. And as long as you're stripping the wood on the entryway side of the bathroom door, you decide to strip the trim on all six doors off the entryway at once.

And one of those doors leads into the kitchen. And the trim of this door is attached, at the corner of the room, to another door off the kitchen (this one opening to one of the bedrooms); so it gets stripped, too.

 Kitchen corner with entryway door at left, 
bedroom door at right.

So, as long as you're stripping the wood trim on that bedroom door, you might as well strip the wood trim on all the doors remaining on that stretch of wall—an ironing board closet, a pantry, and the back door.

And because each of these doors is surrounded by wallpaper, you decide to pull just enough of the wallpaper away from the edges of each to strip the wood.

But really, because it looks stupid partially torn and you've always hated the wallpaper anyway, you decide to push that part of your renovation project forward, and pull off all the fifty-year-old wallpaper the last owner put up.*

(Of course, you find it ever so slightly annoying to pull off a layer of wallpaper only to discover that there is another layer of the very same paper underneath. WTF?)

So this is how, fueled with too much ambition and hot buttered rum from an old family recipe, you end up stripping wallpaper on Christmas Eve.

But it definitely looks better than it did, and the rest of the wood stripping should be a piece o' cake.

The same corner of the kitchen where the entryway door 
and the bedroom door meet, sans wallpaper.

* In our case, because I am too cheap to rent a steamer and hesitant to use toxic wallpaper strippers, I just scored the paper with a PaperTiger, soaked paper towels in a mixture of equal parts hot water and white vinegar, laid out the sheets of paper towel on the wall, left them there for ten minutes or so, and then peeled the paper off. This worked well because the underlying paint is a semi-gloss.)


modernemama said...

hmmmm, we were there Thanksgiving 2004... we are still at the white wall (primer) stage 5 years later.
I'm sure you are more competent than The guy and I!

Tonia said...

Now that it's New Year's Eve, I can't wait to see what excitement you have in store. Retiling as 2010 rolls around, perhaps? ;-)

Happy New Year, whatever you're up to.

us said...

Merry Christmas - and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than by peeling ugly crap off of walls. Is that wrong of me?
anyway - please stop by the blog and see if you have anything to add to my latest post. I'd love to hear from all of my favorite bloggers.
Happy happy!

Brigid Keely said...

Gah. That wood looks ~great~.

donna said...

I laughed out loud when reading that you found another layer of the SAME wallpaper under the one you'd stripped off.

You do good work. Are you for hire??

Jean Martha said...

Wallpaper on top of Wallpaper...and the same pattern? *headdesk*

Ragnar said...

I've found that one here too... still wondering! And a pretty hideous pattern too, light grey background with brown, yellow and green leaves. If I ever get to stripping the rest of it (about 3/4 done, then I simply painted over the rest using distemper which won't make any difference when it comes to stripping the paper, cold water is enough to get it off).

Chuck and Desri said...

We are just starting on this whole project - restoring, etc. an old home - but I absolutely understand how you ended up stripping wallpaper on Christmas! I look at a little of it, pull, and there I am. I also have run in to the 2 sets of wallpaper matching. Weird. I love your blog!