Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goodbye Grasscloth

This weekend we said so long to the 27 year old paper adorning the living room walls.  Goodbye really is easier said than done, especially when removing wallpaper.  Oy.  Note to reader- this post and its pictures are pretty gross because this job was particularly, well, gross.  27 years of dirt collecting in this mangled mess of grasscloth.  27 years of dust and debris and funk gathering and clouding the walls (hey, sort of like my own brain). One thing is certain: it was not a bittersweet goodbye. Should auld acquaintance (err grasscloth) be forgot, and never brought to mind?  Lord, we hope and pray so.

It began on Friday with a bottle of M1 Wallpaper Remover and a few scrapers.  Grasscloth does not want to give up, it was clinging to the walls for dear life like a bug on a windshield.  When it was all said and done, the total project time of removal and cleanup was 12 hours, 5 on Friday and 7 on Saturday.  Ugh.  But, so so worth it.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely not.  I'd hire someone else to do it.  Yuck.  But, if you are wanting to remove wallpaper of your own... here's how we did it.

You'll need M1 (works like magic), strippers (no, not the high heels wearin' kind), scorers (helps get the M1 behind the paper), gloves (I made the mistake of doing Friday's job without gloves, and got several blisters, boo), and plenty of drop cloths to protect your floors (and to make cleanup a cinch).  The method that worked best for us was score, spray, strip, repeat.  Score, spray, strip, repeat.  Score, spray, strip, repeat.  You get the idea.  Over and over and over and over. 

And it looks like this (you've been warned, this is gross):

Wow.  I cannot even believe that was the room a few days ago.  Once all the paper was down and every bit of glue scraped from the walls, it was time to patch up holes.  We used a 5" putty knife and joint compound to get the holes and imperfections. 

Then you'll need to sand the walls smooth and wipe down with a damp cloth.  Then, finally, 12 hours later, paint. 

After one coat of Behr Plateau (and you can see my testing corner of creamy white paints, the winning color is Windswept by Benjamin Moore...) :


We also sanded all of the wood (before we painted the walls).  That took about 4-5 hours between prepping the room (really covering everything up, sort of resembling a Dexter kill room), sanding, and cleaning up all of the fine dust left behind.  Ick.

But, 17 hours of work later, the room is ready for lots of paint!  And that's the easy part! Pinnochio is finally becoming a real boy.  And to that we'll take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne.


Sara said...

Yay keep us posted!!!!

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