Monday, December 29, 2014

Welcome To the Oak Palace

"Wallpaper, well isn't that some fresh new hell."

Afternoon Readers,

I don't have any finite statistics on this, but I'm pretty sure ninety-percent of couples who decide to separate would say their problems started with removing wallpaper together. Research is pending, but I hope to have some concrete data by 2015.

But let me back up.

Kudos to those who can move and blog at the same time. Truly, I bow to you. Unfortunately, for myself, transporting our entire life from point A to point B uncovered my steadfast ability to kick boxes, turn around in circles, and weep because I can't find where I packed my trusty black tights. Oh yes, and I remembered to bring all the children, so any mothering trophies can be forwarded post haste.

Two things happened right after we moved in last week.
1. Complete chaos
2. I was struck down by some sort of mutant cold that both incapacitated and boiled my parenting skills down to letting all children use me as a park bench for three days straight.

Therefore, this is the first chance I've had to introduce to you, The Oak Palace. Like the The Split level, The Oak Palace is also split, but it's split on so many different levels, the splitting ceases to be its defining characteristic the minute one realizes how much oak comprises our new home. A while back, one of you dear Readers remarked, "If you move out of The Split level, what on Earth are you going to write about?"

So, let me preface our new adventures by saying what we gained in space, we also inherited many do-it-yourself dreams/nightmares which will need to be chronicled for my own sanity. For instance, The Palace came equipped with the master bedroom we'd always wanted. My very own closet to throw 2001's latest fashions.

And blue, flowered wallpaper.

The Palace, built in 1985, only had one owner, which is great when one needs the service records of one's new abode. It is not so great when the decor hasn't been updated since 1985. And that's how Husband and I came to be standing side by side, civilly exchanging ideas on the best course of action for the removal of aforementioned blue field of laminate magnolias.

"Don't touch it. Just don't touch it. I'm going to score it first and then soak it in water and fabric softener."

"Score it? Who's winning? Apparently not me. Didn't realize I was second in command here."


"Nothing. Why is it not peeling off? We practically drowned it."

"I don't know. Maybe I'll score it again."

"Well, I'm not sure what the score actually is now, but, judging from that huge hunk of drywall you just pulled out, I'd say I'm ahead."

"This is the devil's paper."

"Nevermind, I just pulled out my own piece of drywall."

"Do you want one of these razorblades?"

"This is stressful, but do you really want to take it to the streets? You'll lose."

I've only dealt with wallpaper removal one other time in my life, and it was so long ago, I had time to block out most of those memories. But it's all coming back to me now. The cracked fingernails, the groans of frustration, the brief grunts of elation at the peeling off of a two inch section without having to sell one's soul, all of it is a veritable walk down memory lane here at The Oak Palace.

But we will conquer and turn this master bedroom into the suite it's meant to be.

Or have a huge razor blade fight.

Stay tuned.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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  1. This brings back memories of removing 1 million square feet of metallic, paisley wrapping paper someone mistook for wallpaper off of our living room wall. A steamer is your friend, your very very good friend!

  2. This is from an old (& also upcoming) post--I may have told you before.
    For those of you who want to change wallpaper, here’s something you might try. (Strangely enough, I don’t believe Martha Stewart has ever suggested this.) A friend of ours—NOT Bud—we’ll call him “Daddy”—had been to a party the night before & was quite hung over. Early in the morning, he was awakened by his very young son calling “Daddy!” He yelled at his son to go back to sleep. Again, “Daddy!” Again, “Go back to sleep!” Over & over, until the boy stopped. His son’s problem was that he had to go potty, specifically, to pee. A lot. Since his father was no help, he had to solve his problem himself. So he did. He lowered his pajama bottoms & diaper & peed on the wall. Then, to his amazement, he discovered that his urine had loosened the wallpaper. All he had to do to peel it off was to scrape it with his fingernail. So he did. When “Daddy” was finally able to get up he went into his son’s room & found a section of wallpaper-less wall about 3 feet square. As I said, you could try this, but you’d probably have to get your husband to reach the higher places.

  3. I've cried and wept while removing wall-paper border, but the only time I was ever faced with removing actual full wall wallpaper that was layers upon layers of wallpaper with the final layer having been painted, I waited until my ex-husband was konked out on the sofa and simply gutted the room - wallpaper comes down very well if you remove the drywall first. (The room in question had absolutely no insulation, so it needed to be done anyhow. He just hadn't planned on starting it so soon.)

  4. Thankfully, our previous owners just painted over the wall paper, so I didn't feel too guilty for the fresh coat of paint that I contributed.

  5. Wallpaper and weapons. I feel like this is a cut scene from West Side Story.