23 February 2011

Are you still workin’ on that?

This is almost embarrassing. But it's the reality. We still haven't finished our remodeling work.

Oh, the whole upstairs is done, except for the light fixture over the "new" staircase. The walls are all painted, the floor and stairs are all varnished. It's all furnished, and we are living up here. It's where my computer is, and where I am right now. We still haven't hung things on the walls yet, but we'll get that done before summer.

This week I stripped the old wall paper
off these walls and part of the ceiling.

The part that isn't done is the stairwell, landing, and hallway downstairs. It's that old wallpaper. After Walt injured his neck last fall while he was painting the upstairs ceiling — he had to wear a special collar to immobilize his head and neck for about a month — and then I badly sprained my ankle a few weeks later, the work ground to a halt.

I'm just getting back to it this week. It's not fun, but fortunately there's not a lot left to do. It's the wallpaper on the ceiling that is the biggest problem. The walls are easy — I spritz soapy water onto the ugly old wallpaper, wait a couple of minutes, and then scrape the paper off with a wide putty knife.

The old wallpaper you can see in this photo
is all that's left now.

The paper fairly falls off the wall at that point. A lot of it comes off in big wide strips. I did a whole section of wall a couple of days ago. It only took me a couple of hours.

The ceiling is a different story. First, it's hard to spray it, because spray bottles like to be held upright. Otherwise, they don't work the way you want them to work. And then the liquid you spray on the ceiling drips down on your head and clothes, and into your eyes if you're not careful. And remember, you're balanced precariously on a stepladder.

Stripping wallpaper off the ceiling is not a lot of fun.

Well, it's nearly done. I might even finish the job this morning. You can see from the pictures that I don't have a lot left to do. It's only taken us about eight years to get rid of all that tired old paper. Painting the walls will be easy, once they are prepped.


  1. I "maudit" people who put wall paper on ceilings. It's so hard to get off.

  2. Bravo! Great job! The end is in sight!

  3. Not a difficult job, but very tedious, I should think.

  4. Very impressive! I'm looking forward to the final result, especially now that you've told me that you will be painting one wall red (or terracotta)! Great minds think alike ;)!

    WV = bluss, shouldn't that be 'blush' considering the context??

  5. Martine,
    It could also be bliss, considering the same context!

  6. I hate wallpaper anywhere on walls or ceilings. Good job Ken!

  7. I've never actually seen wallpaper on the ceiling.

    Wouldn't that be ceilingpaper?

  8. Meredith, you are so right.

    Cheryl, thanks, maybe the job will all be done by the time you come back to see us (it's been nearly three years!).

    Tedious, yes, Jean, especially since I have a stiff neck these days. But I am determined to finish. Made progress today but still not done.

    Ladybird and CHM, LOL

    Nadège and Pepe, you are both right. The days of ceilingpaper are numbered.

  9. Cheering you on, valiant

  10. Great job! The end is in sight!

    It's a pity that you didn't check with your paint shop/supplier to see if you could have hired steamer that's made to remove wallpaper. When if I have to remove my wallpaper on my last room this will be what I will be doing.

    I handed removed one bedroom it took 3 days and I was fit then, next room double the size with three layer of wall paper, we hired a steamer it took 3 hours.

    Claire M
    Brisbane Qld Aus.

  11. Who in their right mind wallpapers a ceiling? I don't envy your task.

  12. Aww, we're going to miss that charming old wallpaper. (Not really.)

    I'm actually admiring your industriousness.

  13. Please be careful. xo

  14. Consider yourself relatively lucky, Ken.
    Our 1910 house had wall paper on both walls and ceiling, affixed with a glue that had aged to "perfection". To make matters worse, the wall paper had been painted over.
    Using hot water, commercial products, scrapers of various kinds, and even a professional steamer, we were able to take only about 30% of it off of the lath and plaster walls.
    Ultimately, we bashed out the plaster and put up new sheet rock.
    I'm glad your project turned out like it did.

  15. You asked if we had any unfinished DIY projects. I have to remove wallpaper that I had put INSIDE A CLOSET over 20 years ago. What was I thinking? I also still have the kitchen to do. There, it is the soffit above the window that I am really dreading. It is a large window and outside is a drop off of perhaps 30 feet. UGH!
    Perhaps your industriousness will inspire me to start in...

  16. Mary, if I were in you place, I would probably just close the closet door and leave the paper in there.

  17. The only problem with just closing the door and leaving the wallpaper is that it is the hall closet and whenever there are guests, I open it and hang up there coats there. :-(


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