Friday, April 22, 2011

Home (Un)improvement

I am at the end of a long day attempting to paint my downstairs powder room. Sad thing is, I haven't even opened my quart-sized can of sleek silvery gray paint.

I woke up early, determined to get this job done right. I knew I had to strip the 80s wallpaper first, but hey, that's no biggie, right? I peeled the taupe fan-patterned decorative surface from all four walls. Got the DIF and sprayed it on. Waited 20 minutes. Put hot water on a towel and got to work scrubbing, scraping, and picking off bits of sticky wallpaper backing that held onto that wall like a sunburn to your skin.

I was determined. Focused. Persistent. Ahead of schedule. Singing my lungs out to a new country music mix I made on my iPod.

And then...catastrophe.

Little did I know that underneath the first layer of 80s wallpaper was - SURPRISE! - a coat of teal paint. This paint was effectively sealing in a second layer of 80s floral wallpaper, which had been glued directly onto the drywall. I was going to leave it and just paint over it. But I guess the DIF had DIFferent plans. The teal painted paper started peeling off, too.

I excitedly ripped off a large patch of the peeling teal-painted paper and was completely shocked - because I saw not a smooth white surface, but peely, brown, cardboard-like dry wall.

I'm no expert, but I knew I couldn't paint on that.

So I called my handyman Aaron. Said I'd need to re-sheetrock or just buy new wallpaper. Called Home Depot. They said I probably needed to keep peeling - that the brown was most likely another layer of wallpaper. (It isn't). Called my friend Bonnie. She said to patch up the brown spots with a few layers of spackle, sand it smooth, and then prime and paint everything.

I went with Bonnie's suggestion.

But sadly, I am out of spackle.

And my car is in the shop, so I can't go to Home Depot for more.

So, here I sit, with wallpaper glue permanently under my fingernails, bits of teal paper floating in my hair, and a bathroom that looks like the unibomber got pissed off inside a Sherwin Williams.

I am currently considering the following options:

1) Shutting the door to the powder room and never going back in. Denial sounds nice right now. And cheap.

2) Moving (marvelous idea, Chris Schmidt). Sadly I bet I'd have to figure this out before anyone would buy the place.

3) Leaving the teal painted floral wallpaper/sheetrock blend and saying I'm going for a modern, avant-garde look.

4) Caving in and buying NEW wallpaper to just go over this entire mess. current favorite:

5) Creating a tearful video plea to Holmes on Homes to come help me out. I've always had a crush on him, and I bet he'd give me a great deal since I'm a teacher and all. Too bad I left my Flip camera at school...I'd get to work on this right away.

Now I know:
I would punch the guy that invented wallpaper right in the face.
I would kiss the guy that invented spackle right on the lips.


  1. Good news.. your car will be out of the shop with a working CD player VERY soon :)

  2. honestly...that is my favorite news of the day!! i may just hang out in my car all night listening to cds - that will put me in a good mood and will also take my focus off my powder room!!!!

  3. OOOH dear.

    idea #6) You could trace your body on the wall and have a fun graffiti room.

  4. I feel you pain! Renovation is never without surprises, but your photos of the finished walls look A.MAZ.ING!! Great job :)