I spent most of the day mud wrestling. I was not wearing a bikini, nor were there others involved. Oh no, I was head to toe in work clothes, wrestling mud onto the walls.
As you will remember, yesterday I had made an appointment to meet the drywall fairy, who was going to help me to fix the damage done to the walls from removing wallpaper, by waving her magic wand. Unfortunately, not enough people believed in her, so she ceased to exist, which left me, several scrapers in various sizes, and a large tub of vinyl spackle.
I love how they call it spackle here, so much more exciting a name than filler.
Filler sounds like what it is, something you use to fill holes: hard work that you have to get right, and often takes several goes. With sanding. Spackle sounds like you wave your trowel around, and magically the holes are filled, with no sanding needed. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Spackle works exactly the same way as filler.
But, I digress. Not only did the wallpaper removal damage the unsealed drywall underneath, it also revealed the amazingly appalling plastering job done by the previous owners. They obviously took the word spackle at face value. And spackled it about. Randomly.
At some point, they moved the garage door, and this is the plasterwork around the new door. I can sort of understand the logic: I am covering this with wallpaper, so why bother taking the time and effort to do a proper job. That, or they were the worst plasterers ever. Either way, it makes me so mad.
Which brings me to a couple of my hard and fast remodeling/renovating rules. Rule no. 1 is: If you are going to do it, do it properly. Seriously, if you are going to take the time and energy to do this yourself, then make it count. Have respect for your sweat investment. Don’t do a botch job, because you can’t be bothered. Really. If you cant be bothered you should not do it in the first place.
Which brings me to Rule no. 2: If you cant do it properly yourself, pay for a professional to do it. I am pretty handy, and can do a lot of things, but there is stuff that I am not great at; or is too dangerous, or illegal, to do it myself. Then I get in the professionals.
Sorry, digressed again.
Before I started to right the wrongs of my kitchen/dining drywall, I decided to take the mirror tile off the hall wall. My reasoning was that there was a pretty good chance that I would need to do some patching afterwards. May as well do all the patching at once.
I was pretty certain that those tiles would have been applied with double-sided tape. Double-sided tape is fantastic for sticking things on walls. Except for the tiny fact-ette that it sticks SO well, it brings chunks of the wall with it when you try to take it off.
I got out my spackle and went to work.
Oh, that looks better!
Next up that fantastic plaster job around the door to the garage. Here is what it looked like afterwards.
Smooth. Like it is supposed to look. Sorry, cant resist a close up of this one.
Then the kitchen. Here is what it looked like before:
And here it is now:
Which brings me to the problem of plastering (or mud work as they call it here). It is fiddly, time consuming and subtle in its effects. It looks like you have done almost nothing. People only ever notice it if it is done badly. It is, however, the foundation for your painting. And it has to be done, and done well.
After that I patched the other walls in the hall which had some cracks and holes. Then I moved downstairs. I was not going to let the day end without answering one very important question that kept running though my mind.
Would the bedroom and bathroom wallpaper come off easily, like the hall? Or was it going to be a nightmare like the kitchen/dining area?
I am pleased to report, it was easy, like the hall. In fact, possibly even easier.
Here is the bedroom before:
And here it is afterwards:
And here is the bathroom before
So our house is now wallpaper-free. Yay!
But stripping the wallpaper from the bathroom revealed another problem. Mold.
Which is why it is a bad idea to put wallpaper in a bathroom. Particularly one without a fan, like this one. Wallpaper gets wet, traps the moisture against the walls. And you get mold.
One other little thing for me to fix before painting. Tomorrow.