I’m exhausted and sore all over. Yesterday my husband and I spent more than seven straight hours removing wallpaper from the dining room. It was the original wallpaper when the house was built, so I would have thought that after thirty years, it would have been screaming to be taken down. But it was rather attached to those dining room walls. The first three hours we spent steaming the paper off. The next four we sprayed the walls with glue remover and scrubbed and scrubbed, and scrubbed some more. Getting the glue off the walls was worse than the paper removal.
After scrubbing until my shoulders ached and my arms were ready to fall off, my husband said, “The second scrubbing will be easier.” Second scrubbing? I simply nodded and didn’t say a word, but though I made sure my face did not betray my feelings, inside I was thinking, you’ve got to be teasing me! Only teasing wasn’t the word that was in my head. Since I didn’t say it aloud, I don’t think it actually counts as swearing. I thought I might build a case for the walls not needing a second scrubbing, but when I leaned against the wall and my shirt stuck to it, it was a dead giveaway that there was still glue on it.
It wouldn’t be so bad if we could put some color on the walls now and be done with it, but now we have to spackle and sand and then put two coats of primer on. Besides sanding the walls, we have to sand all the trim, the chair rail, and the crown molding and paint all that plus the ceiling. When that is finally done, then and only then can we put the color on the walls. Since we can only do most of this work on the weekends, my downstairs will be torn up for at least four weeks. Maybe more.
When we are finished with our redecoration of the dining room and have moved the furniture back in, we will be so glad we took on this monumental task. But right now…not so much. Maybe there is a lesson in this. I’ve been stuck in certain behavior patterns for sixty-four years now and thought it might be time for a makeover. Thinking about that wallpaper makes me see that there’s too much old glue for a redo to be anything less than another monumental task.