Sunday, September 27, 2009

Layer by Layer

I never know quite what I am getting myself into when I start a project here in this little house of ours, especially when my two main ingredients are wallpaper and Ultra Downy. The featured bathroom is in dire need of renovation. (If it can get done we will not have to shower in the bathroom that is probably swimming in mould.) We've been in a contractor's queue for awhile now and a month ago he said that it was quite possible that he would start on October 1st. Perfect timing for Sweet One and I to be gone with all the loud noise going on. Yesterday evening,as Sweet One was going to sleep (she did it all on her own!), I found the energy get started the awful task of taking down the wall paper. The first picture is the top layer. Yes, my friend, there were more than one. Not at all sure just how much of a gong show was going to ensue. As backward as it may seem, my way of expecting a mess and getting a break actually worked! The top layer came off easily in large pieces.
And it revealed an even more beautiful layer! Gross. (Twenty minutes after I started all of the this the contractor phoned to let me know he was going to take advantage of the good weather to get other projects done. Well shit. Another month, at least, to wait.) So I got the section that is in the final picture completed and was exhausted. As I was finishing I told Big Love that I probably wouldn't do anymore until I was back from Montreal. I've been sick for over a week and haven't had a whole lot of energy.
Every time I went into the bathroom I smelled coal dust. If you walk past some houses in this town there are small steel doors near the ground for people to dump the coal directly into the basement rather than carrying it through the house. I guess I never imagined that coal would have been used recently enough to have it underneath the wallpaper. Or maybe I had hoped that the wallpaper wouldn't be so old as to contain excessive amounts of coal dust... but it did! I hated the idea of smelling that for who knows how long, especially since I had no idea if it was detrimental to our health or not, and so I started "a small section to get rid of the dust" this afternoon. This is what was under the second layer of wallpaper!
Even grosser. The grossest! What followed was not uncharacteristic to me. The above section proved fairly easy to get done (believe it or not, only 80% of it was actually still stuck to the wall!) and so I took on the next patch, which lead to the spot above the sink so that I could get rid of all the coal dust. Then since Sweet One was still sleeping, I continued on above the tub because I had gotten into a zone with just enough water/ultra downy being rubbed all over the wallpaper to make the whole process go quite smoothly. (And I only dumped one bucket of my water/ultra downy concoction on the floor!) But what is the point of finishing the wall when I still have a bit more over top of the tub because really, it's a pain to clean wet, ripped up wallpaper out of the tub so I might as well just do it once ... which finally left me with such a small spot that I couldn't not finish it all up. About 3-3.5 hours after I said "I'll just do a little bit" there was no more wallpaper. Just bare walls with this pale yellow paint on top of the plaster.
I am happy that this job is done and the bathroom is cleaned up. I hope we are next on the list soon! The bathroom has so much space in it and huge potential to be a very nice space. And the smell of Clean Breeze shouldn't stick around for too long!

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