Friday, October 17, 2014

Border Skirmish

I don't know who invented wallpaper, but I hope that person is rotting in hell with the guy who invented Linoleum. When Mark suggested wallpaper years ago, I was skeptical. He assured me that it was a great idea and that he knew how to put wallpaper up. He didn't really, but he put it up on the walls anyway. I found out how horrible it is to remove wallpaper a few years later. Back when we were redoing our kitchen in 2001, wallpaper borders along the top of the wall were very much in style. So as a finishing touch, that is what Mark did. He put up a wallpaper border. Now, thirteen years later, it is my job to remove that thing. "Don't worry." Mark tells me, "I bought that new steam machine. It comes with an attachment for removing wallpaper." There are two problems with the steam machine. First of all, steam turns into water when it hits the wall. It then dribbles down onto everything that you do not want to get wet, including the dogs who think I have torn apart the kitchen for their amusement. Secondly, it doesn't work. I tried and tried, but that wallpaper border would not budge. So I got some of that Dif brand wallpaper remover. I did everything in the instructions that I was told to do. I poked holes in the paper, sprayed the Dif on the wall, and waited twenty minutes. It didn't work. After scraping and scraping, all I got was a mess on the wall. I gave up on the Dif and Googled "How to defeat wallpaper" to find out if there was another way. There is. I will paint over that wallpaper border. According to Google I should cover the paper with a coating of 'joint compound' (write your own joke here), sand it down, paint it with primer, and then paint the room. When I advised Mark of my plans I got this, "Sigh, You never do things right. It's going to look like shit."  That tells me that I'm doing the right thing.


  1. This is why, although I've toyed with the idea, I have never put up wallpaper. I did, however, paint Trish's old room to look like a rainforest when Kev was a baby. I used acrylic paint and painted like I was Van effing Gogh. BIG mistake. Don't get artsy with acrylic paint on your walls either.

  2. Wallpaper sucks! When we moved in there was even a ceiling covered in it. We used the DIF. A scorer. A scraper. Lots of elbow grease, and it took 7 years.
    I googled the same thing. There was a site that said just paint with oil based primer and seal that s&*t up then paint over it. My girlfriend wouldn't go for it...

  3. They make new primers that aren't oil based that do a great job covering up crap like this.

  4. I love the opening sentence. I share that sentiment. And wallpaper. Don't get me started. Every room in our house was wallpapered and I spent an entire year removing it and so I will never use it -- ever -- ever.

    It's so much easier to paint.