We knew the minute we moved into the house that we needed to change something, to feel like we were making progress on this mess of a house. So, what’s the easiest, cheapest fix? Paint! The first room on our list was the kitchen/family room because it is the most used room in the house. The only problem with this room was that one of the walls was “textured.” The texture job was terrible. It looked as though they had prepped the wall for something to be adhered to it and just left it. It was plasticy and gross.

So, we decided that the only way to get rid of the texture was to sand it down. Oh contraire. The texture melted and gooped all over the sander and considering we were borrowing a friend’s sander, we didn’t want to ruin it. Plan B. Scrape it off? That didn’t work too well either. So as we were pondering our next move I started looking at what was below the little bit that had been sanded down. It seemed pinkish and…wait a second, that’s not drywall! They had, get this, textured over textured wallpaper. But, as crazy as they had been, the wallpaper actually made our job of getting rid of the texturing a little easier. We scored the walls and used our borrowed steamer to try to get some moisture behind the thick blanket of texture goop. And it worked! We were able to easily peel away the wallpaper with the gross texture all in one piece! There was only one tiinny problem. The wallpaper was ancient and left behind that thin brown adhesive paper.

No big deal, we thought. We’ll just steam that bad boy right off too! NOT! Now what? We tried plain water, that stuff you spray on wallpaper to make it loosen up, just picking it off with our fingernails (the scraper got a little aggressive and tried to take off the brown paper and some of the drywall, we had to give it a time out). Nothing was working. (We actually lived with it like you see in the picture above for about a month. We got used to it, but I’m sure everyone who came in to our house was grossed out.) My momma suggested that we use fabric softener and water. It worked like a charm. The key was to keep the brown paper really saturated with the water/fabric softener combo and then use a plastic scraper to remove the adhesive.

This break in the wallpaper code gave us the encouragement we needed to finish this project and stop the grossing out our guests. So, we gathered our tools and our stamina, finished scraping the wall and gave it a good coat of drywall mud. I immediately had to try out my paint colors, of course.

I was so proud of the work we did on this wall. But, sadly, we weren’t quite done with this room yet. We knew that there was a beautiful calla lily wallpaper border that needed to be removed (not only was it ugly, but they had put it up upside down!). So, Matt borrowed a huge ladder from a friend and got to work with the steamer (can you notice a trend with all of our tools used on this project?).

We were not surprised when we discovered that there was not one layer of border up, but three. Why take down wallpaper when you can wallpaper over it, texture over it, or paint over it? The eternal question.

We were finally ready to paint. I had a hard time choosing colors for this space because I felt limited by the pink tile. So in the end, I decided on a cream for the kitchen and green for the family room.

It’s a good thing Matt is tall!

Here are some before and after shots:

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Please ignore the lack of window treatment. We removed the peach vertical blinds and hadn’t put anything else up yet!

It felt so much better to have painted one room of this crazy house! Now we can breathe a sigh of relief that we are, in fact, competent enough (or at least we have the courage to try!) to fix up this house and move on to the next project. Now…what to do next?

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