From the moment we bought the house, maybe even a little before hand, all I wanted to do was take down the “atrocious wallpaper” that was glistening at me in every single room. Seriously, living/dining area had grey metallic wallpaper. The 50’s were really good wallpaper producers, apparently, because it was still on the walls. We lucked out completely with the wallpaper removal in these rooms because it was literally falling off the walls. Our real estate agent came by one night and helped us “pick the scabs” that was the wallpaper for a while, and it was enjoyable! It came off in such HUGE chunks that it was a ridiculous piece of cake. That is until we hit the points where some “patch work” was done, and I believe elmer’s glue was involved. Note to all wallpaper people: DO NOT EVER try to patch wallpaper that is falling off with elmer’s glue. Not only is it delicious to small children but it also adheres to walls extremely well. And the DIF brand wallpaper remover ($5 a bottle, great stuff) turns it into paste. Super fun process that my very helpful parents got to help me with.
We tackled the ugly spots with the Gel type DIF, which actually worked great. It didn’t have to sit very long and it peeled what wallpaper was left right off. We ended up using hot water and a scraper for the difficult glue spots, but I imagine you won’t run into that annoyance very often. You can also buy it in concentrate form, which I am using currently for the hallway wallpaper. Stay tuned to see how well that works. By the way, we didn’t need it for this room but for difficult wallpaper I highly recommend using a Paper Tiger in conjunction with the DIF. It pokes little holes in the paper to allow some soakage. Has made my hallway a dream to strip!
For some reason, before even owning a home, I’ve always wanted to be involved in the painting process. It’s like coloring for adults, right! Sure, only if you have drippy crayons, only one color , and the upper body strength of a God!! Once I got into it, it wasn’t so bad, but it definitely was not as fun as I had hoped. I was not prepared for the hours, and I mean HOURS spent trying to decide on a color. I’m a pretty done deal decisive person but for some reason the color of the living room was giving me the worst anxiety! It’s like choosing the name of your child (I imagine). If you name is something stupid, like fireplace red, then everyone will make fun of you and your child! With the house being my child, I was pretty sure me or it wasn’t up to the ridicule. I had so many shades of green and blue that they all started to look the same. It got to the point where i was asking co-workers, customers, and random people at the grocery store which color they were “drawn too” first. Dj and I were not in agreement at all with the color. To him everything was too dark and to me everything he wanted was too boring (of course I Got my way eventually).
My Mother, being the wonderful person that she is, was kind enough to prime the walls for me on her day off so that I could paint after work the next day. We used a primer called Bulls Eye 1-2-3, which covered very well. Which I’m not sure about the different types of primer, but my mom’s a professional so could make anything work. (Mother not for hire)
I went to home depot once I decided on the paint and painters tape, and I felt like the dumbest person on the planet. I had no idea what I was asking for. I became a cave man for 10 minutes. “Sam want this color in paint can” and the nice lady asked “Great! Do you want semi-gloss, high gloss, matte, gloss, no gloss, blue gloss, chumbawumba gloss….”. I literally stared at her “Sam want paint living room”…. with a response “Oh honey! It’s your first paint job! How cute!” and she set me up with what was appropriate. I ended up with a semi-gloss. Which works great! I’ll probably learn more down the road about what the effect different shines have but, not yet! I grabbed whatever painters tape was highly recommended, which had a frog on it “Cute! I want this one!” Thank God it worked.
My mom and my Dad set me up with a roller, a paint pan, some drop cloths and brushes. I have since purchased my own and it cost me approximately $40 for all the items. A very easy investment to make when you have so much wallpaper. I taped off the ceiling and the windows and after work for 3 nights I painted. The first night that I painted alone I thought it would never end! My technique was off, I was working way too hard, and I was afraid of messing up the floors (see prev. blog for advice). I wasn’t using enough paint, but managed to get enough coverage because I was basically squeezing every ounce out of the roller that I could between dips. Paint isn’t even that expensive, so I don’t know why i was concerned ($40 spent on paint). Advice to new painters: As long as it isn’t dripping down the walls, you’re fine! I wanted to do it myself because I’m stubborn, but that quickly became impossible. I had a few paint parties, one with Chinese food, Dj and Katie, of which Katie and I did the painting and DJ ate the chinese food, and another with my parents. It went by so much faster with help. And the second coat was a breeze and totally worth it. Always do a second coat… seriously… always. There’s no reason not to. Do it……Always.
The picture below is before….
And this is After
You’ll have to excuse the color changes, lighting, cell phone etc. doesn’t make for teh best color accurate photos. We did NOT do the white trim. This will most likely a project we will do down the road, but as I mentioned before, we just wanted to get in the house.
Do Not’s :
- Do not think painting a huge room like this is a one man job. Especially if you are in a time crunch, ask for help. Beer and pizza are great ways to get people to help.
- Do not leave buckets full of water resting on top of unsealed wood flooring. Guess what happened?
- Do not try to be conservative on paint. If it feels like you are working too hard, you probably are.
- Do not stress over the paint color. The cool thing about painting is you’ll probably be sick of the color before you’re even done. And worse case, you can change it!
- Always prime before painting. It makes the color stand out so much better
- Use painters tape to seal no-paint zones
- Remove socket covers and nails from walls.
- Wash the walls first! We lucked out with little glue, but you may not be so lucky
- Make a mistake! Seriously, you’ll learn from it.
This will vary from person to person based off of what you already have but…
- Paint tools : $25
- Floor coverings: $25-$40. Get the ones with the plastic lining under the fabric. The label may say paint won’t bleed through but it will!
- Paint: $40
- Primer: $30
- Total Cost Approx $155 and time
Here’s how we live in the house today. We still haven’t gotten the trimming done, but once the floors are sealed it will happen.
The next project we did was the fence. I have very few pictures of the process but fun stories to share about it! Stay tuned!
Up Next: Fencing