The Wall of Pain
Wallpaper pain, that is. Old wallpaper. Two layers. Applied straight to raw drywall back in 1957. Back at the Overlook House, I gleefully tackled this relic of past decor, ripping off huge swaths of the dingy golden stripes. Woo hoo! It's coming off! Then reality set in.
I was left with the backing it separated from. How hard can that be? I tried water. Vinegar and water. Hot vinegar and water. For two days I sprayed and picked and scraped, making nothing more than a placemat sized dent in the covering and a mess of scratches and dents in the wall. Hubby said, I used to have a wallpaper steamer, that worked when nothing else did.
So I jetted off to my new favorite place, Parkrose Hardware, a well stocked friendly shop just down the street. I could rent a steamer for $25 for a half day, or I could buy one for $50. I thought a half day would barely get me started so I decided to become the owner of a wallpaper steamer (friends, remember this, your day may come and you'll be glad you know me).
The steamer finally did the job, oohhhhh sooooo slooowwwwllyyyyy. Wow. A paddle the size of a piece of copy paper is applied to the wall for at least 10 seconds (make that 30). It penetrates and softens the old wallpaper, making it come off, more or less easily. One layer at a time. I spent an entire week peeling wallpaper off a small entry way and hallway.
On the bright side, it looked even worse when I was done. Now it was raw drywall full of scrapes and dents. Luckily, I know a guy...
I have always envied people who "know a guy" who comes in and solves their problems, and I am slowly getting to know some of these guys too. This guy does drywall, in the evening after his real job, for a very reasonable price. He is a drywall magician, an artist. He took one look and said, this is easy! It looks really good, no problem. Whew!
I primed, he mudded, I primed some more, he sprayed.
A few evenings and paint rollers later I had walls that looked like new!