It was me vs. the wallpaper in our hallway and entryway. I'd like to think I won, although it did do a number on my fingernails. This wallpaper was thick and stringy. Probably good quality and professionally done but it seemed dingy to me - cream with strings of subtle pastel blues and pinks. Yuck! This sort of shows you how it looked before.
The wallpaper removal was work - hard work! I used a steamer borrowed from a super generous neighbor. It got such a workout that it stopped working halfway through and I had to go and buy a new one at Lowe's. It was worth the price because it made it so much easier than spraying and scraping. I did more peeling instead and then steaming some more and peeling some more (usually with my fingernails - hence the yucky nails but I could see the light and again, it was worth it).
After the wallpaper was completely off, we were left with damaged walls with longer than I care to admit. It was patchy and of course we seemed to have more visitors and company during this time when it looked the worst. The walls were very papery themselves and sometimes came off with the wet steaming.
It probably took me so long to do this because I knew the next steps would be even harder and messier than what I had just gone through. Spackling. This gooey mixture of vinyl spackling must be applied with a trowel/spatula, set to dry, and then sanded. The sanding part is terrible. White dust everywhere and while I wore I mask, I worried about the mess for everyone during this stage and tried to get it cleaned up quick.
Of course, I also decided the wrought iron banister needed to go. Why not add another (major) project to the list, right? It just reminded us too much of an outdoor porch and I had visions of a square wooden post instead (Calvin's working on this one - more to come later. Perhaps much later).
The doors (bifolds and front door) were all cream so they needed a fresh coat of white. We also wanted to replace all the hardware - see the brass floor vent cover. Now silver. Hardware on the door? Now oil rubbed bronze. Love it. Also, no more Fort Knox. The upper locks weren't needed and we removed them too.
I went to replace the doorbell and then realized that we had a quality one with real chimes inside. I couldn't just throw that away because I wanted a different color. So, I spray painted it white. Saved some money and it already was wired perfectly.
This is the before picture of the upper hallway. Dingy and yellow. Needed to be freshened up.
Here is a "during" shot. All ready for a fresh coat of paint. Oh, and that light fixture? Gone. I moved the one from the entryway up and sprayed the chain and crown around the top black. I love it now.
Okay, ready for the results? Ta Da!
Fresh coat of paint - all white! White trim, white walls, white ceiling. Yes, I love the clean modern look of white. The yellow door and new hardware pop and make me smile. It's yellow from the outside too. We decided to remove the wrought iron on the storm door too, for a cleaner look. Calvin spent a good part of half a day just taking that down.
The new light is from IKEA and doesn't quite sit flush against the wall. I still need to work on that. I spent hours searching for a new rug online and was completely overwhelmed. Then I went to Target and this one was right there. Perfect for what I wanted.
Here is that light that used to be brass and is now a polished looking black. Yay. Oh, and you probably can't see from these pics, but the light switches all had to be changed out - from black to white. And new switch covers. It's the littler things that take all the time, and ultimately make a big difference.
Here's a shot of the hallway now. Lots of white but when we get some pictures up, it will balance it out. We also replaced all the doorknobs and door stoppers and light switches here.
I am so pleased with the results. It was sooo much work but really worth it. I haven't tired of the white yet and it really works for us. Now we just need a banister for that climbing/running/curious baby. Calvin's working on it and it will look fabulous I'm sure of it.