Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bye-Bye Wallpaper

Since the first day I laid my eyes upon it, I have had a disgruntled relationship with the wallpaper in the powder room.  Quite simply, the wallpaper was just not my style.  In addition, the brass hardware was definitely not my style.  Therefore, I had toyed with the idea of removing the wallpaper for months, but never got around to tackling this project until now..... To fully appreciate the before, I have posted two photos below....

As you can see, the room is quite small, and the wallpaper did not do anything to open it up.

Removing the wallpaper was not as easy as I had hoped. Whoever applied the wallpaper did not do the prep-work necessary to protect the drywall. Therefore, the wallpaper came off in two layers--decorative, and then the papery gluey layer that held on extra tight to the drywall.

There are many ways to remove wallpaper. I initially started with spraying the walls with a hot water/fabric softener solution, but I found this to be very messy and extremely ineffective (it smelled really good though). I then moved on to working with a commercial clothes steamer. I highly recommend using steamer.... All you do is steam the paper/gluey layer until it is nice and moist, and then pull the paper layer off the wall. You can use a metal scrapper too while working with the steamer, but you need to be super careful you do not gouge the walls. As you can see below, I worked my way from the bottom of the way up removing the glue/paper area.

We also had to remove the toilet during this step because we could not remove all the paper behind the toilet.

Once the entire paper/glue layer was removed, my husband and I scrubbed the walls with a TSP mixture. Make sure you buy lots of disposable sponges. We went through about six two-packs scrubbing the excess glue layer off the wall. It took us about five hours total to do this very small room, but we wanted to ensure we had as much of the glue removed as possible.

Next, we had a professional drywaller come out to patch up all the gouges in the wall. There was a particular focus on fixing the corners where major parts of the drywall came off with the wallpaper. We could have probably fixed these ourselves, but our walls were majorly damaged, and we wanted to leave it up to a professional since we did not have the experience with patching walls with these many problems.

Once the walls were repaired and sanded to match the existing drywall, we primed/sealed the walls with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer. Because we were not able to remove all of the glue 100%, we needed to use a primer that would seal the rest of the glue into the drywall so it would not be visible once the new paint was on the walls. The Lowe's paint department highly recommended this brand, and so we went with it.

The Zinsser primer worked like a charm, and dried super fast (in 45 minutes), but BOY was it SMELLY. I mean TOXIC and SMELLY. It set all of our carbon monoxide alarms off in our home. Therefore, make sure you wear a mask if you use this product (which I did), and also make sure you have the area you are applying it to SUPER ventilated (many fans pushing the bad air out, and fresh air in).

From here, I needed to pick my new paint color. I decided to choose Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore. I wanted a gray/bluish hue that would be spa like, and pop against the white molding. I also thought this color would look great with the new brushed nickel light, faucet, and other bathroom hardware (not pictured). To ensure I liked the color, I got a test hue, and applied it to the wall (sneak peek below). You can kind a see it below, but it is quite a bit lighter than what it will look like once two coats are applied to the walls. Also the lighting is off a bit since the actual bathroom light will not be installed until the painting is complete.

Therefore, the bathroom waits until Tuesday for the painter's arrival.... You may be asking why I am not painting it myself, but the short answer is it is against doctor's orders..... By no means am I revealing that I am with child, but rather I have a nerve disorder in my forearm that is limiting future projects for several weeks as I complete physical therapy. Thus, I can't paint or do a lot of the other fun things I have been doing for the last few months.....

At any rate, look for a big reveal in the next week of our new powder room!