September 26, 2012

the little room that could

we moved in to the house six months ago and i have just now finished unpacking and emptying this little bedroom.  yes, there's a bedroom in there somewhere.

it was used by the movers to dump everything in when i didn't know where something should go.  and it seems i didn't know where to put much of anything.  it was jammed to the rafters.  i continued to use it as a "dumping ground" through two other decorating projects and finally decided this is "the little room that could". 

it doesn't look like much now, but i hope to turn it into a charming little guest room with twin beds.  i picked up two vintage drexel twin beds with headboards, footboards, and rails on craig's list for $140 {for both!}  the room's just 10' x 12' with a good-sized closet with sliding doors.  it has a wonderful view of the backyard and pool.
it's a pale blue with this cute little vehicle border around the entire perimeter of the room. cute, yes, staying, no. it looked like a decal so i just grabbed an end from the inside of the closet where it started and gave it a yank.
yikes.  it's wallpaper.  ugh.  i started picking at it to try to start getting the backing off of the wall, but that wasn't working well. hmmm.
i googled "how to remove a wallpaper border" hoping the remedy wouldn't be vinegar, a self-contained fresh-air breathing apparatus, and a leaf-blower.  the answer was "steam it off", which was the easiest first step, and beginning with the easiest step first is critical to me.  the steps just got more complicated and involved farther down the list, so i hoped steam was going to be my answer.
i'm the kind of person that takes the path of least resistance, a path that won't involve me getting showered, dressed, made-up, and behind the wheel to go get anything to start a project that just popped into my head.  i envisioned having to drive all over town to find a professional wallpaper steamer thingy to steam this mess off the wall.  didn't wanna,  didn't hafta.  i grabbed my travel iron/steamer thingy, filled it up, and plugged it in.  while it was cooking away, i gathered the other tools:  something to scrape the paper off the wall.
the instructions called for a plastic scraper, which is preferred over metal as the metal can make scratch/gouge marks on the wall.  again with the whole "least resistance" thing, i found a plastic scraper on the end of a tube of drywall repair stuff.  i thought, "how perfect.  in case i put a ding in the wall, i'll already have the drywall repair stuff right in my hand!"  a least-resistant path is a path of multi-tasking preparation - in the event i didn't have/do what i was told to have/do, i'll have a way to fix/repair/hide what i had/done.  i threw a sponge in to my arsenal of wallpaper removing tools and was ready to go. 
i held the steamer thingy up to the lower edge of the border and watched with great anticipation as the steam started to melt the glue.  condensation started to gather under the paper and i used the plastic scraper to lift the paper.
it worked!  it really worked! while one hand was scraping, the other was holding the steamer thingy on the next spot to get a head start on melting the glue for the next scraping, and on and on.  i was a machine; steaming, scraping, peeling, steaming, scraping, peeling.  i was on fire.  i even started narrating my actions like i was giving a demonstration.  i can do this!  
it took about three hours to go around the whole room (ok, i had lunch and watched barefoot contessa).  there was a bit of a mess to clean up as i never seemed to get big patches peeled off, just little bits.
but that's ok.  that nasty job is done.  b-t-w, the steamer thingy is blissterin' ass hot, ouch.

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