Monday, April 4, 2011

End Vacation with a Little Home Improvement

We spent Saturday listening to LDS General Conference and removing wallpaper. This lovely striped wallpaper was "in" during the late eighties, so from the previous homeowner's behind the times taste, we're guessing it was installed in the mid-nineties. It was on the inside and outside of our stairwell. I would have left this project until next year (there were uglier walls to tackle first, believe it or not) but Henry had already started stripping the wallpaper for us.

With the research we did, multiple sources directed us to Zinsser wallpaper removal products, most importantly DIF, an enzyme gel solution that dissolves the glue. We would recommend DIF and the Paper Scraper. The Paper Tiger wasn't really useful because we were able to pull the vinyl coated front off the wall in one piece, leaving the backing glue and paper exposed and ready to absorb DIF. It's still lots and lots of time-consuming work, but we were able to get it off without damaging the wall. This experience makes me hate wallpaper even more, though. You should have to buy a bond when you install wallpaper, to ensure that you're the one who eventually takes it down. Otherwise the bond would cover its removal, because I feel like the last homeowner left us holding the bag of this house with all it's outdated and unattractive-in-the-first-place wallpaper. Also, they should be shot for painting the ceilings in the house the color of the walls. It's bad enough that my bathroom is bright yellow, but it's worse that the ceiling is bright yellow. Ceilings should NEVER, NEVER be anything other than flat white paint. So over the next few years, we have four rooms of wallpaper to remove and a household of ceilings to paint. Now, the fun part. I need to pick a paint color. There are some creative constraints here- the formerly wallpapered area is only the lower half of the stairwell. The upper half would require professionals to paint because of the very tall wall, and the fact the ceiling (two stories off the ground) is painted the wall color. We're not ready to hire professionals right now, so we're only painting what was previously covered with wallpaper. The question is do we go with a color very similar to the upper half of the stairwell, paint the walls the same color as we painted the living room/hallway last fall (a warm off-white named "Toasted Cashew"), or pick something bolder?

Leave suggestions in the comments please.

Also, a public shoutout to my brother Sam.  His gift of a gently used computer allowed us to watch general conference on an actual TV, while sitting on couches, in our own home for the first time since we moved out of Utah.  Thanks also for Dallas's technical support.