Thursday, June 24, 2010

The latest renovation - AKA "Next time, leave the wallpaper"

Some of you have been following my latest renovation saga via Facebook. Here are the pictures to go with the ranting. The following are the nice peaceful pictures of a bathroom with old lady wallpaper. Totally functional, just not my style.

Yesterday, I began stripping. Wallpaper that is. It is a stinky process involving water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Peeling wallpaper can be a little thereputic, or maybe I just enjoyed the destruction. Beneath or "old lady floral" wallpaper, I found this funky stripey patterned stuff. I'm usually good at dating things, but I have no idea when this type of pattern would have been the vogue. Any ideas? When reading an article on how to remove wallpaper, someone stated, "If wallpaper rips off in one piece, not leaving any backing behind, stop ripping down wallpaper and go by a lottery ticket; today is your lucky day." Well, in some areas I was that lucky. My luck ran out after I saw what was behind the wallpaper that had so easily torn away. Bleh!
What you are seeing here is actually a rare thing. No, not huge (and possibly lead) paint chunks, but the pattern actually imprinted into my ancient and original plaster walls. You have to look closely, but they are there. I thought that this was so weird, so I did a little research. Turns out that a lot of homes built between 1890-1930 once had this feature. They exist in very few houses nowadays. While this is cool and I like to keep with the character of the house, only briefly did I consider these tiles into my design scheme for the bathroom. They can't be painted over without some serious mudding and sanding to make the smooth. They are in too bad of shape to repair them or leave them as they are.

I had already carefully chosen and had mixed the perfect color in a gallon of paint. This was no easy paint job. We needed a plan B. One that would comver up my newly uncovered wall's imperfections. So, onward to Lowe's.

We settled on trying Venetian plaster. I have apply the first of what will surely be two or three coats. It is an interesting and easy application. I kind of like working with it. It's just is yet to cover the "tiles" on the wall, which is all I'm really hoping for. Plus, it costs twice as much as a gallon of paint ($36) and I've already used most of the first gallon. Stay tuned as this project continues...

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