17 August 2015

The Pink Bedroom Makeover...and lessons learned by a rookie about wallpapering!

I love pink...but it was time for change.  
Which meant saying goodbye to the pink painted walls in this bedroom.
A trip to the the décor shop, 
and an armful of gorgeous (and rather expensive) wallpaper, I'm good to start!
Or so I thought!
Now this was the first lesson of the pink bedroom makeover.
  • Never - EVER- buy the wallpaper first: thinking 'how hard can it be to you hang it yourself!
The stripping of layers of paint began!
Layers is an understatement!
I remember 28 years ago choosing the prettiest Laura Ashley wallpaper
 to put up on the walls - I even found a little snippet of what that looked like...
Then in the years following the room was updated with layers of mauve paint, 
ragged with pink, became blue, and then lime green.. 
to be returned once more to the glory of pink!
Work that out folks!
and then...FIVE layers of paint.
Which actually turns into TEN layers of paint with a double coating!
I LOVE stripping wallpaper, I think it is therapeutic, but this was a nightmare!!!!

Here is a little excerpt from an email to a friend:
{ Man I have lived this old house for such a long time!
Thank goodness my daughter is helping me with the stripping.  Horrid job, when you get to the original wallpaper backing paper and old glue.
Therapeutic it is no longer,  and I am already declaring 'never again' and wondering why the heck I thought it was a good idea. LOL
I have decided painting things is much, much easier.  
In fact I think I LOVE PAINT!  (Yip - that wallpaper love affair is officially over!)
And the hallways which were to be wallpapered too are now just going to have a lick of paint to freshen them up.  }

Thank goodness someone whispered in my ear 
  • that adding a large cap of fabric softener to the soaking water helps soften the old glue. (You just soak the wall with it and leave for ten minutes before scraping.)    That's lesson number two! It really works!  I have a moment of happiness!
 Finally after a week of stripping, it was done!
But this is where lesson number three happened.  
If you have an old house with old style plasterboard, get a professional tradesman to advise pre wallpaper preparation requirements.
Best to do this before stripping so you can calculate your costs accurately.
And what happened next was...'
The professional tradesman stayed!
I was shattered from the stripping process...and crying because of the cost.
Which leads to Lesson number Four:
  • Always do your homework and costings before doing any home upgrade, especially if your home is an older style, even if you think it will be easy and cheap to do!
So my darling Tradesman rescued the situation....
He painted the walls with a special sealer.
(If you are into clean and green and breathing pure air, 
then I can assure you it is best to move out and stay with friends whilst this stage is happening!)
The fumes were nasty even with the French doors open! Two days later:He plastered the gouges and evened up the walls.
When it was dry - he sanded it.
And then....
 Because I had completely given up on the idea of attempting to wallpaper myself:
 The wallpapering table and special pasting machine appeared.
 And just like magic...
Grey and white gorgeousness became a reality!
But because I had pre-bought the wallpaper, we were 1 roll short.
Once again my clever master tradesman resolved the situation,
 matched and cut in a few inconspicuous places, 
which thanks to his skill and my busy pattern you really cannot tell.
So that is lesson number five:
  • Always buy an extra roll of wallpaper.  Especially if you pre buy on sale as I did!  That way you will have a enough to do the job, and for future repairs.
This wallpaper is:

Review of 'The Lessons' for a Wallpaper Rookie:
  1. Never - EVER - buy the wallpaper first, thinking you will be able to hang it yourself!
  2. Add a large cap of fabric softener to warm water to wet walls before stripping.   Leave 10 minutes and then strip.  The softener helps loosen the old glue and makes for an easier stripping process.
  3. If you have an old house with old style plasterboard, get a professional tradesman to advise pre wallpaper preparation requirements BEFORE you buy the wallpaper!
  4. Always do your homework and costings before doing any home upgrade, especially if your home is an older style,  even if you think it will be easy and cheap to do! NEVER EVER MAKE ASSUMPTIONS!
  5. Always buy an extra roll of wallpaper, that way you will have a enough to do the job, and for future repairs.  If you pre buy on sale as I did you may not be able to source more, or acquire it at the same price.
so now it's time for the fun part - 
(the job I should really stick to - décor styling)
It's time to dress the room!

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