Remember how we had to get all loose paint scraped off in order to get our mortgage? Our poor house actually looks worse after the paint scraping than it did before.
This is the back bedroom. We think we'll be using this as our bedroom even though it is the smaller of the two rooms. It has a delicious view of a huge camellia bush, whereas the larger bedroom has a view of the neighbor's house.
(Notice the lovely wood in the hallway. Robb tore out carpet that covered all that, yesterday. He's been laying down on the carpet when he needs to rest. Clearly, we need to bring over our air mattress.)
Do you see the weird texture on the ceiling? Unless I'm mistaken this ceiling was never actually finished. What you're seeing is the "scratch coat" of plaster over the lath. This should have had another smooth coat of plaster applied over this coat. More on this later.
When I've told people that the first task Robb and I will be tackling in the house is wallpaper removal, almost everyone urges us to save the wallpaper. Really folks, we know what we're doing, here. The wallpaper is is horrible condition, and it needs to go.
I read up on wallpaper removal, and came prepared with all the tools I thought we'd need. It took a bit of experimentation, but Robb and I got into a good working method. I did the major scraping, and Robb scrubbed off the remaining paper and paste.
We make a good team, probably because we both knew that we had to pace ourselves, and took lots of breaks.
How about our beautiful wooden doors? And the lovely old doorknobs?
We know that this wallpaper is as old as the house, because it's on top of plain plaster. There's no paint on the walls. Well, almost none. It seems that the painters did the trim on the doors, before the wallpaper was hung, and apparently they just wiped their painty brushes across the white plaster.
What a bunch of slacky-pants those painters were!
What's amazing to me is that I can see the brush patterns of the person who glued up the sheets of wallpaper. Having spent quite a lot of time hanging wallpaper recently, this really makes me smile. I like the connection to the artisan who originally hung this paper.
I have to say, there was a lot to enjoy in this process. I loved the way the paper curled as it came off the walls.
I was also amused by the amount of plaster dust I released. I got to the house before Robb, and was already hard at work when he showed up. He laughed at me, because he said that I looked like a model in an advertisement about home renovation. The smear of plaster dust on my face looked so perfect as to seem totally fake -- like a makeup artist had applied it.
When I couldn't stand this task any more, because my hand and shoulders were cramping up, I went out back, and continued to hack at the overgrown tangle that is our yard.
It was a good day.