Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bathroom progress

Remodeling our place has been quite an adventure thus far. When we got a first look at what is currently our home we had to really use our imaginations to see what it could ultimately be transformed into. It's not that the place is's just so boring. Off-white walls all throughout the house (that's right-no color whatsoever), humdrum dome light fixtures, and basic builder features with no personality or style. Okay there was some wallpaper and I'll admit that was ugly, but everything else really just lacked pizzazz and only needed a few tweaks to look great! The hubs and I decided to start small and focus first on our guest bathroom. It was one of the rooms with wallpaper and we wanted to rip that all down and give it some life with a nice blue color.
Here it is before with the lovely floral printed paper. What you can't see in the picture is that the wallpaper also had a sheen to it. You're probably thinking I'm crazy for wanting to take it down now, huh? ;)

Pretty, right? Not so much. It reminded me of my grandma's house, and while I love my grandma, I don't particularly want my house looking like hers. Taking the wallpaper down was a pain in the butt. We tried a few different methods suggested to us by different sources to see what worked best.
Method #1-A mixture of fabric softener and water: This worked well but you run out of the stuff fast and it's also fairly messy. We poured the mixture in a spray bottle to make it easy to put on the walls but since you have to apply it so liberally to get the paper soaked enough to want to come off, you end up with bluish colored puddles in the floor to deal with cleaning up.

Method #2-Using a scoring tool and steamer: Scoring sucks. It would be time-consuming to do an entire room from top to bottom and the sound it makes is like nails on a chalkboard. The idea is that scoring the paper allows the steam to penetrate better thus making the paper come off the wall more easily. It was more of a headache than anything so we did only one wall this way and called it quits.

Method #3-Wallpaper remover concentrate: We didn't read the instructions before we bought it, but discovered when we got home that this product also required scoring to be effective. I stubbornly refused to score anymore walls again so we didn't end up using this as it was meant to be used.

We ended up kind of combining all these methods to successfully get the wallpaper and glue removed. We put the wallpaper remover concentrate (mixed with the recommended amount of water) into a spray bottle and sprayed only the top of the wallpaper around the ceiling. That enabled us to get the paper peeled down enough to allow the steamer to effectively separate the paper from the drywall and from there things got much easier!

Typically you would uncover a nice primed surface after wallpaper removal, but apparently the contractors that worked on this house decided to cut some corners and so this is what we found instead:

That, dear readers, is drywall. Unprimed drywall that required much sanding and spackling before we could even think about priming it. A few friends in construction confirmed it's unusual for a builder to leave walls like this. Guess it was our luck that we got stuck fixing up a lazy person's negligent mistake! My goofy husband got it all primed quickly though and even had time to write me a cute little message on his shirt:

Gotta love him! After the longer-than-planned wallpaper removal project was finally finished we did get to paint and I am in love with the color. Such an improvement from the floral mess that was in there!

Color is Valspar Summerhouse Blue. I think it really pops. And the crown moulding that we put up sets it off well too. It's amazing what a two-inch piece of wood near the ceiling does for a room!

I'm hoping to have full reveal pics to post soon. We've bought all the accessories we just need to paint the oak cabinets white and get some hardware and we're done!

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