Today marks the half way point of the 31 Days of William Morris. I would love to have at least one big project done before the end of it to feel like I really did something great. My two dream projects are the laundry room and the boys bedroom. The laundry room has the most labor intensive tasks, but it’s also the cheapest to accomplish. The laundry room/pantry/guest bathroom is also the only pocket of our home that is exactly as we found it on move-in day over 7 years ago.
That’s not true. Instead of the shelf we had another thick rod the previous owners used to hang their laundry before and after ironing. They installed that rod in the late 70s. Before that, the back wall was a large window. We may one day bring back the window, but not any time soon. We’re sticking with practical, and practical means having shelves in the laundry room.The shelf was from our closet system in our first home. We needed a place to store our laundry soap and this is what we did on the fly thinking we would tackle the room as we remodeled the kitchen.
Thanks to the wallpaper, that didn’t happen.
The wallpaper. That awful, disgusting, floral wallpaper.
It was everywhere. All over the kitchen, all over the laundry room. We started in the kitchen during the remodel. We tried natural recipes, gel removers (using a tiger tooth both times), a steamer, and at least one other spray. It worked in some places, but in others the paper separated like two-ply toilet paper, leaving behind paper thin brown paper. We tried scraping it, but our walls are plaster; they started to crumble. We reached a breaking point when the we realized the time lost in patching cost more than the price of tearing it all down and replacing it with drywall. So, that’s what we did in the kitchen.
We were so over it that we let the laundry room go. We didn’t have the energy to tackle that wallpaper, or the money to replace the walls.
We walked into the laundry room on Sunday with a spring in our step. We were so excited to revisit the agony of seven years ago. And, honestly, what’s a weekend that doesn’t test your desire to stay married? Not a very exciting one, I say!
We pulled out the washer and dryer and put everything we kept in the laundry room on the kitchen counters and dining room table. While I went through the contents of the laundry room and got rid of what I could (a lot), my husband started scraping.
After a few hours, he knew it wasn’t going to be any better than the kitchen debacle of 2006.
Same backing sticking to the wall…
same chucks of plaster coming down with the wallpaper. Shaina had a similar problem in her bathroom, and because she was dealing with a simple border in a room they rarely used, she and her partner put up oil based primer and painted over it with good results. We couldn’t do that in here, so we cut bait early on and went with our back up plan. (Is it possible we gave up early before we tried that new XYZ product that never fails? Yes. We’re okay with that.)
We covered it with beadboard.
We were able to finish all the walls except this small bit behind the washer and another small patch of wall perpendicular to this one.
It’s not ideal–we’re now over budget, for starters–but I think once we finish it and install the shelves it will look nice. I hope so. I’m not a huge fan of beadboard when it’s not original to the home, but a few homes in our 1950s neighborhood have original beadboard and batten board, so it’s not going to look crazy. We aren’t installing an arched front door imported from Tuscany, for example.
I imagine I’ll be in here all week and most of next weekend. I hope you’re in the mood for lots of posts stuffed with disgusting pictures that only serve to make you feel better about yourself. I’ve got plenty coming right up.
New here? For the next 31 days I’m living according to the famous William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” You can learn more about the project here, and catch sneak peeks of my projects by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (I’m @pancakesfries).