Monday, March 31, 2008

Home Improvements I

When we bought this house, there were two things that really sold it for us. First, it has just an amazing backyard. I love sitting in this room, looking outside, even in the winter.

Secondly, it had "good bones." Which means we like the layout of the house for the most part, but hated the decorating of the house. It has old carpeting. Lots of wallpaper. Some pretty hideous bathrooms.

For most of the winter, we have ignored it. Miss Thing's room was painted when we first moved in, as was ours (because Mr. H was concerned about his manhood being permanently sucked away due to the heavy pink walls and carpeting). We were also going to do the kitchen this winter, but decided to wait so we could save a little more. We made due with the rest of the house with the occasional spackling and 3 corner tear to the wallpaper. These, we said to ourselves, were to inspire us to get working on the house.

Yesterday, Mr. H had originally planned on working on the boat, but the weather was not quite warm enough. So instead, we through caution to the wind, got the living room primed and stripped wallpaper from the dining room. The dining room should be done by today or tomorrow, and then I get to work on the hallway wallpaper. The carpeting in the dining room is disgusting (especially so after spending the day soaking it with a vinegar solution from wallpaper removal), so we will be ripping up the carpeting and laying down hardwood in some form (I really love the concept of bamboo as a sustainable resource, but damn if it doesn't look funny).

The goal is to have all of this done in time for a graduation party in the late spring/early summer. Or maybe late summer. Since several of our friends are sailers, it's hard to throw a party when the weather is nice enough to go sailing.

I have never removed wallpaper before, but I have heard what a pain in the patootie it is. While it is time consuming, honestly, I didn't think it was that bad. If I could manage to peel the top layer off, getting the glue and backing off was fairly easy with a mixture of boiling hot water and vinegar. I took my time, trying to make sure I could get all the glue off, and trying not to damage the plaster. It appears that they did put a primer down before they papered, and I'm pretty sure that helped a lot. It took me about 5 hours to get through half the room. One wall came off like a dream, but the other ones needed a lot more time and care. I hope to get through the rest tonight. As I sit here and write this, I listen to Mr. H and Miss Thing peeling off wallpaper making happy cathartic noises, much like I did when I would sunburn and then peel the skin off. Quite similar really.

I'll scrape tonight again. Mr. H will sand down the walls and then paint.

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