Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guest Post: Score, Spray, and Scrape!

I'm back with another fantastic guest post from my good friend Mansi. We attended Miami together and worked as Resident Assistants in MacCracken Hall (one of the most photographed residence halls). Mansi and I share many fond memories playing board games, dueling in mean beans on Sega Genesis, watching Grey's, and eating UDF. I was also fortunate enough to be the Matron of Honor and Mansi's wedding to Calvin (one of the sweetest guys you'll ever meet). Mansi and Calvin bought their house a year and a half ago and have been itching to change the dated look in their kitchen. Get ready for a transformation!

Hello readers of the Whites’ blog!  It’s pretty much an honor that Chanelle asked me to post on her DIY blog since my husband Calvin and I are nowhere near as crafty and skilled as Tim and Chanelle!  Here’s the four of us when we just recently visited the Whites (please ignore the crazy hair!)

Calvin and I are also new homeowners and from the minute we closed on the house, I knew I had to get rid of the wallpaper in the kitchen!  There was simply too much brown in the kitchen (laminate wood floors, brown paint on the bottom, brown trim, brown cabinets, brown window treatments).  

Weekend 1:

Little did I know what I was getting myself into! I did a little internet reading about taking off wallpaper and talked to a few friends. The lady at Lowe’s told me what I needed – spray, scorers, scrapers, and patience (she wasn’t kidding!).  We started by scoring (putting small holes in the paper to let the spray sink through). Calvin and I debated on how much to score – I was worried about damaging the drywall. After a few times, I realized it’s necessary to score a lot to make sure the spray can do its job.  Any scrapes on the drywall could be patched up later.  Chanelle’s advice to me was that anything could be fixed! I kept that in mind as I botched up my kitchen walls!

A scored wall

I used Piranha liquid spray remover.  We ended up using a borrowed wallpaper steamer for a few tough spots the following weekend. I didn’t consider buying a steamer since this is the only room in the house with wallpaper (priced at $55 at Lowe’s), but I did notice it was a lot faster. It may be worth the investment depending on how much wallpaper you are removing.  I was able to borrow scorers so we just had to purchase the spray, a couple scrapers, and big bucket of joint compound (about $40 total).  We'd also bought an electric sander months ago (I’d once dreamed of painting my cabinets white like Tim and Chanelle did). Luckily the sander came in handy for this project.

Back to the task at hand – After we scored the wall, I’d spray it, wait for 15 minutes, then start to scrape and peel it off.  I learned that it is really important to not spray a large area. If the spray dries, then you basically have to spray it again.  I had peeled off a little bit of the wallpaper a few weeks ago so I knew there was at least one layer underneath it.  Good news – there was only 2 layers of wallpaper! Bad news  - at some point, the previous owners did their own kitchen project and half of the time, they took off the first layer.  And the other half of the time, they left it there as a special present for us.  Sometimes bits of plaster fell off and sometimes the drywall allowed the wallpaper to peel off beautifully. Other times, we had to peel and scrape the wallpaper off bit by bit. That’s where that patience came in handy…

Pretty sure we scraped a little too much off here…

 I also learned that the best way to get rid of the small bits that refuse to come off was to get it as wet as possible. I’d spray it with the liquid remover or use a wet sponge, wait 30 seconds, and then use my putty knife to pry the bits off. 

I almost forgot to mention our hasty decision to remove the trim! I wasn’t planning on taking off the trim, but then I saw that there was wallpaper underneath it. We figured we’d take the trim off and just tack it back on…yeah right. Once Calvin got a hold of the hammer and started prying all the brown trim off, it was only moments before it started snapping in half.  I then made the decision to tell him to get rid of all of it except for the floor trim.

Calvin removing the trim

The trim sometimes ripped of chunks of the wall

It took us about 4 hours on a Saturday and about 6 hours on a Sunday to take off most of the wallpaper, border, and the trim. We also used a block sander and the electric sander to smooth down the walls.  I would suggest safety goggles and even a mask as this tends to put a lot of dust in the air. Also be sure to use drop clothes to make it easier to clean up your counters, cabinets, and floors.

I actually look like I know what I’m doing

Weekend 2

We removed what little wallpaper we had left to remove. I spent the rest of the day smoothing over the walls with joint compound.  I just used my cheap putty knife and used spackling technique. Boring, time consuming, but easy.  I learned just how important it is to try to get all the wallpaper bits off. If not, the joint compound’s moisture will then soften the glue bits and the paper will come off as I am putting on the joint compound (how dare they!).

I used about 2/3 of this bucket!

Some of my handiwork

I did all the patching while Calvin was busy with the steamer and started on taping to prepare for painting.

We lived in this kitchen for two weeks before getting around to painting….  Stay tuned for the conclusion of our project!

That's right folks; there is a part two of this project! Mansi will be back in a few days with another post. I can't wait to see the before and after photos!

No comments:

Post a Comment