Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wallpaper Lies

Hey! Remember the downstairs bathroom with the hideous (well, very, very busy) wallpaper? So busy that I totally missed the fact that there's a pink toilet in there?

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Well, I'm finally getting around to doing something about it. The wall paper was already starting to peel, and sometimes when we go in there, we'd pull of strips of the stuff. It was so old that the wallpaper had separated - the adhesive and flocked backing stayed stuck to the wall while the decorative layer peeled right off.

What you may not know, unless you've heard my rant before, is that I hate wallpaper. Sure, you can get some beautiful stuff, but I've always preferred the simplicity and honesty of paint.

Because wallpaper lies.

I finished pulling off the decorative layer, leaving plenty still covered with the adhesive layer and this is what I saw.

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Attractive, no? Well, let's look a little closer!

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Hmmm... waterstain - must have been a leak at some point. The board's not mushy though, so this stain happened a while ago. And the AC vent? Truly nasty stuff there. Cheesecloth had been stretched behind the vent and apparently forgotten. How long had it been there? Who knows? I just know it was probably one of the nastiest things I've seen in a long time.

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And the electrical work? I'm not even sure where to start there... Under the paper, we discovered that three holes in the wall were fixed with DUCT TAPE! Of course, under paper, how would you know? Unless you pulled it off? I also found that the wall paper had been applied directly over the wallboard - no mudding except at the joints. That makes getting the adhesive layer VERY difficult to remove. After fighting with it most of the day yesterday, I decided to try applying mud over the flocking.

With mixed results. I put it on, smoothed it out as much as possible and let it set. I only did a small part of one wall, because if it didn't work, I didn't want to have to undo too much. Checking on it, I discovered that the adhesive layer was bubbling a bit - crap! This wasn't going to work.

But this morning, I went in and the stuff had all dried and set. And the bubbling wasn't there anymore!!!


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Oh, thank goodness!!! That means I can go ahead and finish mudding the room today and hopefully after a little sanding, paint it in a few days.

Then I can learn how to re-grout.

5 comments:

quinn said...

hmmm how lovely....well..it will be wonderful when you are done.

Babzy said...

Wow, you are right. Wallpaper DOES lie. What a mess under there. It will look so good when you're done.

I prefer paint to wallpaper, too. But would you believe wallpaper is back in style!!

Jenny said...

Oh sweetie. I feel your pain. One I started peeling a border in my old house. There was 5 layers of older borders underneath it and then at thevery bottom, a dead hamster. Just kidding about the dead hamster but it wouldn't have surprised me.

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HoosierGirl5 said...

Great home improvement projects! I've been doing some myself.

You go, girl!!

J.