When we moved in our new home, there wasn't much that we had to do to make it comfortable. (I mean aesthetically comfortable.) Most of the paint colors are really nice, the flooring is beautiful, counter tops don't need to be touched, cabinets are already finished beautifully. It was pretty much turn-key, move in ready. However, one of the guest bathrooms needed help. A lot of help. And it still needs help.
Although its not horrible, its not me. And I really wanted something that looked more like this:
OK, I know what you're thinking...pink walls?! Pink ceiling?! No, not pink walls, nor pink ceiling. Have you met my husband? Pink won't fly. But I love how FANCY it is! I love the gold and silver and copper all used together. I could live without the gigantic foot statue, but you get the point. The walls are saturated with color, the decor is elaborate but not overwhelming, AND I have a large gold framed mirror that might just be spared from a can of spray paint and a terrible DIY experiment if I can make it work in the bathroom. I also think my grandmother's crystal lamp with the dangle thingys will be beautiful in here...can I put an antique lamp in a bathroom? Sure, I can! Its MY (our) house! I can do whatever I want (unless Matt invokes the power of Veto...)! (I tell myself that on a daily basis. Is that rug too trendy? Does that couch match the coffee table? Sure, it does!)
I learned a long time ago, that my house only has to be perfect in MY eyes. I will never have the "Pottery Barn" or "Pier 1" house. I just won't. I have beautiful hand-me-down furniture that I refuse to replace. I have rugs that were bought from an ad on Craigslist, I have pillows that were perfect and beautiful until my dog decided they tasted as good as they looked, and there is a constant coating of cat hair all over everything. But, I. Don't. Care. I think its perfect! I mean, who's grandparents bought timeless furniture and took such good care of it, that you can just buy new cushions and continue to use it? My grandparents, that's who?! I am such a sucker for the sentimental, there is no way I could part with that sofa and love seat. (Hmmm, I feel a pictorial about couches coming...)
And really, you shouldn't care if my house doesn't look like Pottery Barn either, because if you call before you come, the cat hair will be gone (for the most part) and the chewed up pillows will be an excellent topic of conversation. Any-who...I've strayed from the topic at hand; back to the guest bathroom.
So, I decided to be proactive while Matt was offshore. I read and watched a TON of tutorials on how to remove wallpaper. I went to Home Depot and bought my supplies. I got gel wallpaper adhesive remover (highly recommended by several bloggers), a 4 pack of scrapers (various sizes), a wall paper scoring tool (pokes tiny little holes in your wallpaper to allow the gel to really soak in and dissolve the glue), gloves, and since I was feeling extra productive, I even chose a paint color and purchased my paint, brushes, rollers, trays, tape, etc. The paint color is called "Sweet Rhapsody" but I really think its more like "Tiffany Blue." Ahhh...my perfect bathroom would be done in no time!
So, you're probably wondering when you can see a picture of the finished product. You're thinking, "Isn't that coming up next?" Well, my friend, I'll tell you....NOT TODAY.
Have you ever removed wallpaper from unfinished drywall? No? Well, there's a reason for that. The stuff does not come off easily. I even went back to Home Depot and bought the super-duper, melt-your-skin-off, wallpaper adhesive remover that is applied with a compression sprayer. The idea is to "soak" the walls. Yeah, you read that right, SOAK the walls. I mean, I'm pretty sure its called "dry wall" cause its supposed to remain dry. The idea is to let the wallpaper get so wet that the top paper part just falls off, then the scrapers are used to remove the remaining backing and adhesive from the drywall. Think soaking a price sticker on a piece of glass with Windex then removing the white paper stuff with a razor blade. Its pretty much the same concept, but on a MUCH larger scale. But, to no avail, that didn't work either.
Let me ask you a little favor. If you ever decide that wallpaper is fashionable and belongs in your home, please prep your walls first. Don't skip the step where you prime your newly hung dry wall with Kilz or some other sort of primer/paint. This step will make your life (or someone who renovates your house later) much easier in the long run. I have found some painted over wallpaper in our house, and can't even imagine trying to remove it after the bathroom fiasco...we'll just keep painting over it till it falls down!
It has been three weeks, and I can't even bring myself to open that bathroom door.
Have you ever seen that episode of Friends, when Joey tells Monica he can replace her dingy bathroom tiles, then rips one up and decides they're too glued down to remove, so he puts the toilet brush over the hole and walks away? That is exactly what I want to do. Just put a toilet brush over the whole bathroom and walk away. Unfortunately, I think Matt would use his power of veto.
So, I asked a few friends what they would do, and I've received some good advice. Most have said to leave the wallpaper up and go with a faux finish paint, Tuscan-style plaster if you will, on the walls. But I'm not so much into the plaster look. And I'm not sure my "Sweet Rhapsody" paint will look good with a plaster finish. Another friend suggested just putting new sheet rock/dry wall panels on top of the existing. That's a great idea, if I knew how to hang dry wall. But I don't. So, my solution is this: I will work on removing the bathroom wallpaper every day, for 15 minutes a day, until it is all gone. I will not freak out. I will not get in a rush. I will be patient, I will not get "spun up."
Instead, I will relax! And I will remember (try to remember) what I said in one of the many paragraphs above:
I. Don't. Care.
If you come visit, that bathroom door will be shut and locked, so I won't worry about what you secretly think of it taking me sooooo looooong to finish a tiny bathroom. I will not even mention the bathroom. And if you need to use a bathroom, good news, we have two more!
But I would like to know what YOU would do. Let me know about your wallpaper nightmares and how you resolved them. Or if you're like me, and you haven't resolved your problem yet, tell me how you're dealing with it and what your game plan is.
And here's the FUN part!
Scroll back up and read the title of this blog. If you can tell me the movie in which the title is quoted, the "then again, maybe not" part, I will mail you a piece of the scraped-off-wallpaper, complete with my blood, sweat, and tears.
What? You don't think that's a good prize?