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The Accidental Remodel Part 10 Wallpaper  

Welcome back to Part 10 of The Accidental Remodel!

Ugggg!  Wallpaper!

Before I started with any of the wallpaper, I watched a lot of YouTube tuts and talked to people at Lowe's and Home Depot.  NOTHING worked!

The first nightmare was the over five hours working to get just the 13"x30" spot behind the stove off and utterly destroying the wall in the process.   That was using DIF.

Of all the things we tried, the one that worked best was apparently dangerous too.  The cabinet man told us his wive uses 50/50 ammonia and water.  We had all the windows open and the ceiling fan on.  We were doing the rest of the back splash, which now makes us want to cry.  I'll explain later.  It still only came off in the tiniest pieces and still tore up the wall, but was a little better than DIF.

When we finally are done, I'm feeling so badly that I start googling amonia in the middle of the night and find out just what serious stuff it is.  The smell was STUCK in my head!  The room didn't smell any more, but that's all I could smell.  I actually called the poison line to ask if I was ok.  I was surprised to hear later that DH had the same thing.  We both smelled it for almost a full week!

You can see we replaced the stove vent with a shiny new black one!  What a difference it made!  And just a word about remodeling - there are so many organizations that can put what we remove to goo use.  I gave this to a Veteran's associations and my sink/faucet to Habitat For Humanity (who picked it up from my porch - over 100 lbs.!).  I mean really, why would anyone want to dump more into our landfills when there are those who could actually benefit from it?

I still couldn't decide what to do with the backsplash.  We were getting a granite countertop, but not a granite splash as they'd done it so wrong on my daughter's counter after the tornado, that her new faucet has to sit at an angle!  It's always upset me, (which becomes funny later in the remodel which is soooo full of irony!).  So I didn't want a granite backsplash.

So what to do?  Money is a HUGE issue in this remodel and is why I'm doing all the work myself.  We didn't plan for this remodel, we don't have expendable funds, it wouldn't get done at all if I weren't doing it myself.  So:
  • No granite.  
  • Tile is expensive and I hadn't done it before and was concerned if I could do a good job.  I was quoted $1,400 in labor alone for my existing counter, not even the little counter that will come after the cabinets are in.  Wow!  
  • I combed the net for ideas.  
  • But in the end, the only other thing I knew to do was what I had done in both bathrooms.  (Pictures are in my label cloud under "Money Saving Tips").  I had "painted" the walls with drywall mud and then painted several coats over it.  It's held up perfectly in both bathrooms for many years and we don't have any exhaust fans.  But I really didn't want that for the kitchen and I wasn't sure if it would hold up to that much water, even if I used several coats of hi-gloss.
In the end, with neither of us being able to decide what to do, to keep the project moving forward in hopes of someday being able to use the kitchen again, I did what I knew how to do.  I mudded it with texture.  So here's part of the "sad" I mentioned above.  Since the wallpaper was on sooooo tightly, I wouldn't have had to remove the wallpaper to do this treatment.  But it gets even sadder in that my husband ultimately decided he wanted "some tile," and we didn't have to remove the paper for that either...but now we had to sand it smooth after I'd done all that texture in the mud!   Ahhhhh!  LOL  Don't you love remodels?  God bless the man - he did this sanding for me!  I can't even reach in the corner.  I have to use a stool and then kinda crawl on the stove/counter to even touch the corner.  Yep, tiling was FUN!  LOL!

So the long and the short of it is that we ended up trying so many ways to get the paper off all the walls, FAIL!  And tried sanding down the wallpaper seams and giving it several coats of primer, FAIL!  So in the end, I had to sand transitions where I'd removed paper and skim coat over the paper and the places where paper was gone - almost the whole room and sand and patch and sand and patch and sand ad-nausium!  Mommmy!!!!

I have come to the conclusion that WALLPAPER SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!!!  And all this with my poor surgical hands and arthritis!  I'm going to pout for a while now just remembering all this!

See you next time!  :)

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