We had a crack house wall in our living room.
Nearly a year ago T and I had an argument and out of frustration I started ripping off old, ugly wallpaper that I despised. It was either I ripped the wallpaper apart, or T was losing limbs. Lucky for T the wallpaper couldn’t run away.
I searched my picture inventory and can’t seem to find a before photo of the wall. But lucky for me (and you) I just went upstairs to my closet and snapped a photo…because the paper resides in there as well. And it’s in as good as shape as the living room wallpaper. Peeling, ugly and all.
As I started tearing the wallpaper down I quickly discovered why the previous homeowners had put wallpaper up in the first place. They were trying to hide a dirty little wall of a secret!
There were huge areas of never sanded down putty, upraised sections of paint (we didn’t know why it was upraised), divots scattered over the entire wall and several holes. Not to mention the bits of wallpaper that did not come off due to my height disadvantage, and the massive amounts of glue left as well. It was hideous.
As soon as I saw what I had unearthed I was embarrassed by my actions. How foolish I must have looked angrily ripping wallpaper down. Only to find this crack house wall behind it? I had made it an uglier wall than it was with the paper on it. Little did I know this wall was going to become the biggest DIY project I had ever taken on.
It wasn’t until 2 weeks ago that I began working on the wall. That’s right, I left it there for nearly a year. I didn’t leave it out of laziness people, I had been recovering from a shoulder injury. My shoulder has been doing really great lately so I seized the moment and put T, B, and myself to work on it.
Everyone, meet my crack house wall. (That’s B gettin’ to work! He rarely wears clothing indoors…)
The picture doesn’t really show how terrible it is, but you get it I think. We started with peeling the paper remnants, then tackled the never-sanded putty. Right around where B is standing there was a 3 foot section of upraised “something”. We thought this was putty that was never sanded but painted over instead. As we worked on it we discovered it was 3 layers of paint and a layer of wallpaper. Weird right? Sections of the wall endured 3 treatments of paint thinner, scrapping and chiseling, sanding, 2 soapy water baths, additional scrapping to remove glue after each “bath”, and putty-ing (thats totally not a word and it bothers me) the divots and holes followed by a final sanding. Not to mention the sweeping, shop-vaccing and dust wiping that took place between each step. This took us 4 full days. GIVE ME A BREAK! Seriously, I was exhausted. This is what we ended up with. Ya, I know. I was thinking that too.
After the wall was done I was eager to start painting. We had moved our living room into our dining room and honestly, I was becoming very claustrophobic. I started painting.
Although the paint can said I would only need 1 coat, my walls were special. They needed 2 thick coats. (1 coat is pictured) Of course it couldn’t just be as simple as painting the walls. As I was painting around the edges, prepping the walls, it became very apparent that the trim and ceiling edges would need a coat as well. Oy Vey. Would this project ever end?
T had started his new job and was not present to help me with the painting. I tackled this beast of a room and got it done in 4 days. Which is quite impressive when you factor in all the stay-at-home mom duties of cooking, feeding, cleaning, playing, school-time, bum wiping, nap wrangling, and other blog writings. And we can’t forget about my height disadvantage. I’m 5’1 all stretched out and painting the top edges, trim and ceiling while standing on a plastic lawn chair was quite the challenge for me. I lost 3 pounds though, so I consider it a success. The painting turned out good too.
I did 4 walls, all the trim, ceiling edges, as well as the front entryway and door. To give T some credit he helped for an hour or so with the entryway trim, door and some of the too-high-for-me-to-reach places when my shoulder started failing me. But only a little credit to T, like 5 dollars worth.
So here is my finished living room (crack house wall no-more) and entryway/door.
Next I shall fill the room with modern-day furniture produced in this decade that is not held together by pink zebra striped duck-tape. It will be bought brand new from a warehouse, not from a deceptively misleading online ad. All in time, all in time.
Farewell, Crack House Wall. I bid you adieu!