"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bathroom Redo, Part Two

Remember when I stripped the wallpaper off the bathroom and then got stumped? I have spent months dithering about what exactly I should do next and how. Sometimes the answer was, drywall mud over the whole friggin' thing, glue residue and all and start over...sometimes the answer was old fashioned elbow grease, just a slow manual scrub of every single inch....and sometimes I convinced myself that this whole project was insane for us to be tackling at all and the real solution was to hire professionals and just outsource. I love it when a real person inspires me to suddenly believe in the impossible.

The next thing that happened was that I met Ashley. Ashley doesn't have any inkling that she turned on my lightbulb and gave me real life hope about being a home re-modeler, I'm not even sure she remembers my name...we met in passing at a women's group. She just shared quickly that she is mother of three and that their family purchased a 1929 home (the exact year of our house) that needs a lot of work and she is single-handedly renovating it piece by piece. The day she talked to me she had just finished lining and building a fireplace and installing a mantle over it! Holy moly! Forget my blues...with no training or formal qualifications. She just has an old house that she wants to see live again, she wants to be a can-do woman and she believes she is qualified to learn how to do virtually anything her house needs because she has a good mind and two sound hands. She does it all with her kids by her side with no nanny and her mother living across the country. Dude. She beats the We Can Do It woman all hollow if you ask me!

We Can Do It!Image by The U.S. National Archives via FlickrI went home completely inspired and super motivated. I sat down and did some quick research on what was the correct thing to do with a wall covered with wallpaper glue...no short-cuts or quick fixes or cover over jobs but what was the right thing that a real pro, going the honest route would recommend. I realized that even though it will take longer and in some cases take some special equipment and education I would rather renovate our home the right way than turn it into a giant hack job. That is work that a woman can be proud of with good reason. I'd be busting my buttons if I dusted off our home and made it shine again the right, honest way, giving myself an education in the process.

After my internet digging I found out that the right way is truly to remove the glue. Any other plan might fall right through. Drywall mudding over the top can go awry because sometimes the mud doesn't stick well to the glue or it doesn't stick long-term (even worse!). Painting right over the residue could have similar results and professionals would be very pricey and maybe not even a sure bet for "the right method." The only way to do it was to clean the wall. So then I thought, "Well, then let's think outside the box. I have to get the glue off...I need clever methods of doing it." and the research took another furious bend. And eventually I found Chomp wallpaper removal spray cleaner. I read reviews and ordered it up. It came in the mail and I got right to work testing it out this week. I am happy to say that the glue removal has been vastly accelerated, I am back to dreaming about bathroom paint swatches and feeling more hopeful than ever about my own abilities as woman home renovator. It's crazy to do with a herd of children and my feet and an optimistically small budget but is not impossible. I really believe that sometimes the key is just hearing encouragement, it sure changed my tune. Share your major achievements with people, you never know who really needs to hear a success story!
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