Saturday, 1 December 2012

Renovations - No turning back now!

Since Richard and I purchased this house we have been tearing pieces of the ugly green painted embossed wallpaper off the kitchen wall.  On November 24th it became more serious and I came home to find Richard had torn quite a bit more off  the walls.  Needless to say I joined in and when I had had enough for that day this is what we had done to one of the walls.

 So in these pictures you see the horrible green the the walls are painted.  How badly the walls were papered with the paper not being actually stuck to the walls.  The various layers of wall paper from the embossed, a mottled beige and white, panel design and then the vinyl grey stuff.  Over the various layers that have been partially removed over the years, someone has added mud (plaster) to smooth things out.  The lower half of the wall has painted faux tile sheets.  We are still debating whether to remove or just repaint any suggestions?

We love the ceiling which has been added to replicate what is in the living room, but I hate the type of ceiling covering that over the years has become grey with cooking and just general living in the house.  I can't imagine painting it without taping all the wood so we do not get paint on those faux beams, because I really do like the idea of the ceiling just not the sponge stipple stuff.

Today, December 1, 2012 I once more tackled the walls, using a slightly watered down fabric softener solution.  It did work a lot better than using the steamer but is a lot messier and makes the floor very slippery which I had to be careful walking on.  I made sure that I cleaned up the mess every so often and washed the floor down with plain water.  I did not want to track the mess through the house.  So what does it look like today.  Here are today's pictures:

This is a corner I began and found some very interesting DIY attempts. There was chunks of mud in the corner with paper taping on that then more mud on top.  As you see there is patches of newer mud and then grey vinyl paper under that mud.  In one section it looks as if the original plaster wall was painted a blue/grey.  The black stuff I have no idea what that is unless I chip the skim coat off mud that is in patches everywhere.  The panel patterned paper is hard to get off and then that vinyl stuff is loose in areas; I've accidentally dug into parts and pulled it off.  I was hoping to leave the grey vinyl stuff intact so we could either paint or wallpaper over the top, as it is fairly smooth.

So this is the wall I started with and as you see most of the vinyl is intact but not sure anything will really stick to it.  There are more areas of patching as you see.  Still don't know what to do with the bottom portion of the wall.  Richard wants to just paint it and he doesn't want to help with the wall paper stripping other than pulling the easy stuff off.  He said it's my thing all he wanted to do was pull off the green stuff and slap up some more of the same paper and paint it a more pleasing colour.

In the picture above this one you see the various levels of paper, the green, then the mottled beige, the panel patterned and the base vinyl.  In the bottom picture you will see I have reached as high as I can with a one step stool, I'm not very good on steps but will probably have to purchase a three step ladder so I can reach to the ceiling.  10 ft ceilings do have their down falls and that is they are hard to reach to the top to get the rest of the paper off.  I know Richard is 6' 3" but does not want to work on the scraping of the old stuff.

I know this was supposed to be just a quick face lift but I can't leave a job just half done.  I feel you have to do it right or not even start.  So here are my questions:

1. Do I patch where I've pulled parts of the grey vinyl off and then paper?
2. Do I take everything off the walls including the vinyl and patch the damaged plaster and then smooth the walls and paint?
3. Do I allow my hubby to gut the walls pulling all the plaster and lathe off, then have to have all the wiring checked because I know we aren't going to find anything good in that wall, then drywall, tape, mud, sand, remud and sand some more then put a fresh coat of paint?

There you have it folks what would you do if this was your kitchen?

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