We now own 2 houses. For a couple of weeks until we close on our existing home.
Last week, we took ownership of our new house and then a few days later, we took possession of it. Let the fun begin!
Because it is dramatically easier to paint (the inside) of the house and to replace carpet when the house has no furniture in it, we’ve decided to do those two things before we move in. Seems simple, right? Especially when you consider that we’ve ordered carpet from Home Depot (so that they’ll install it) and that we’re hiring my uncle, who is a professional painter to do the painting. Seems really simple.
But it’s turning out to be ALOT of work. And we haven’t even moved yet (that happens this week). The complexity comes in when you start talking wallpaper removal. What fun that isn’t! There was wallpaper in each of the 3 bathrooms, a border of wallpaper in the master bedroom, and the entire kitchen was wallpapered. Now, I don’t like wallpaper. Mostly because I don’t like removing wallpaper. It’s never a blast. But this time? Oh wow.
In the kitchen (and I’m suspecting the 1/2 bath on the main level), the wallpaper was applied directly to the drywall. The drywall was never primed. Never painted. Never prepped for wallpaper. They just stuck the wallpaper right onto the wall. And now, 27 years later, when we want to remove it, it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s taken over 80 man-hours of work (I have wonderful family and friends!) and in the process, the walls got severely damaged because the wallpaper was so glued to the drywall.
We had no choice but to get the wallpaper down by any means necessary (read: lots of water and soaking and elbow grease). After that, we sanded down the walls to as-smooth-as-possible surface and then had to prime the walls with an oil-based primer (apparently, if you use a latex primer, any glue or residue left from the wallpaper will eventually soak through and you’ll again have sticky walls). Next a drywaller has to come in and patch the walls to get a smooth and flat surface. Then we can start the real painting process.
It really wrecks timelines. What I thought would take 1 evening to do with 8-9 people working on it, has now taken 3-4 days and the drywaller hasn’t even started his work yet. His work will take 2-3 days to complete (a couple of coats of mud over a few days). And we haven’t painted yet. And that isn’t even taking into account what else we’ve had to put aside in order to dedicate so much time to this.
We will be moving in Wednesday, no matter what the house looks like. With me being 38 weeks pregnant and Phinehas having been born at 38.5 weeks, I really am itching to get in there. If there are unpainted walls, well, so be it. Better that than having to direct movers around while I’m in the hospital or while I have a 3-day old.
So please don’t install wallpaper in your house. Future homeowners don’t need that headache. And if you must install wallpaper, please prep your walls well. (“They” say it’s possible to install wallpaper well, but I don’t know that I believe them anymore…)