Saturday, August 8, 2015

Wallpaper Woe's

Today The Builder and I headed to Home Depot first thing this morning to pick up supplies to finish repairing the bathroom window ledge in our master bath. The window sill that had been there previously was wrotted out from water damage.

I had a plan. I eventually plan to take out the ugly, shuttered medicine cabinet and replace it with this:
Mandi from Tidbits From the Tremaynes posted a great tutorial for it here and I pinned it as soon as I saw it. I rarely like open concept shelving, but this really appeals to me. The Builder liked it too, so it was a done deal. The other think I like though is the trim on the top and bottom. And since this will be right by my bathroom window, we decided to trim it out the same way for a balanced look. 

I didn't choose the exact same molding she did, and this project isn't on the forfront of my "to do list". But we figured we'd get the molding to do the window and it would be a start. 

"Start" was the key word.

The Builder was cleaning out the window sill, preparing to get it prepped for installation, when he saw a small little piece of wallpaper that needed to be removed so he could do some drywall repair. 

Do you remember the last time I found a little bit of wallpaper that needed to be removed? Yep, The Builder had to completely re-mud and re-texture the wall.  You may guess where I'm going with this story...
Those "sheets" in the bathtub? Umh, that would be painted over wallpaper. They literally put texture in the paint and painted right over the 80's pink and silver swirly wallpaper. And it came off in great big sheets in this section! Of course our concern then was if the whole wall was this bad. 

It was.

The wallpaper came up as if it had been glued on with a temporary glue stick. I kid you not, we literally just pulled it up as easy as you would rip out a sheet of notebook paper. Not good. Eventually I want to put some artwork here and I don't want to have to worry about wallpaper peeling up if I need  to install anchors or want to hang anything up. There's also no point in putting new paint over that. 

This section came up super easy and was done in under 10 minutes. However, the rest of the wall wasn't so lucky.

It appears in this section, they did start removing the wallpaper. And apparently they determined it was too difficult. Probably the same issue with some of the drywall paper peeling up as you saw in the photo above. 

Instead of taking primer, sealing it, and fixing the damage, they decided to throw up a layer of mud through the entire center section of the wall (including where there was STILL wallpaper) and smooth it out. Then they added a heavy texture to the pain and rolled right over it. So in some sections, it was super easy to remove, like this:

Yes, I'm holding the camera and pulling off the "paint" at the same time. 

But the large majority of this section was adhered to the repaired mud. While we didn't need wallpaper remover to get it off, it did take a LOT of scraping and several hours for The Builder to get it all off. 

See the white peeking through under the paint? That's where they did the repairs. Just slapped it on over the gouges and wallpaper and then smoothed it out and painted right over. There's a term I hear frequently here in the south. Hot Mess. And that describes this perfectly. What he couldn't scrape off, he had to take the hand sander too. I am very thankful that this appears to be the only wall with the wallpaper. Perhaps it was a feature wall?

We decided to pull out the medicine cabinet just to make sure we had all the wallpaper remnants out. 

Take a look at what we fond behind the cabinet:

Yes, that's a pristine, never seen the light of day, original piece of wallpaper. Why is it behind the medicine cabinet, adhered to the drywall in my closet? Yeah, your guess is as good as mine on that one. We're going to leave it be since it will never be seen.

So we end today with the wallpaper completely gone and primer where we need to mud over the gouged drywall.

The Builder says all the drywall repairs need to be done before he starts on my window sill. 

While I'm disappointed that they project I really wanted to see done this weekend most likely will be put off until next weekend, I'm beyond thrilled that all the heavily textured walls in my bathroom are gone. We had always suspected there were wallpaper remnants still there, just not full sheets!

For now, my window sill can wait...