16 September 2016

Re-Building Identities

Well hello, today I want to write something a little more positive and something that brings me great joy. I have spoken about this before - I process sadness or grief through hard manual labor. I always have, probably always will. I hadn't realized that I needed to mourn the loss of my job, the loss of love I felt for research, especially the loss of identity that came with the first loss. How did I work it out? Well first I focused on my garden and made several changes to my yard and second I focused on my guest bathroom. The garden I have kept everyone up-to-date on and you all know the bad luck pictures brought but the bathroom that was another thing!

Here we go with the bathroom. What you need to know is that my bathrooms had the most horrible wallpaper in the world! First of all it was an ugly pastel rendition of a southwestern pattern from the 80's that was then painted over with an uglier beige color. What it made it absolutely horrible was the fact that it wasn't installed correctly and you could see every single panel individually, where it either wasn't matched correctly or it overlapped panels. Yeah. Blah.

Okay so again I thought that I had before pictures but once more I have remembered half way through that I wanted pictures. Well to the left there you can see the old wallpaper but you can't see the raised texture or the old pattern, I only discovered that when we removed the bathroom mirror. The whole reason I decided to get this done was because that particular faucet started leaking and I was loosing a lot of water. A previous hack job on the faucet caused that leak and they had superglued that tile square around the faucets together and I actually had to break it apart with a hammer for the tile to come off. You'll see what I mean in a bit.

Below is the back wall of the shower, behind the faucets and you can see the water damage caused by the previous hack job and probably old leak, I also tore that out. On this wall you can also see all of the glue on the walls, that was so difficult to remove! I used a 50/50 mixture of water and Downy Softener, notice I was specific of the brand because towards the end I ran out of Downy and I figured dollar store brand would work the same. It didn't. I had to use a lot more of the dollar store brand for it to remove the glue from the walls versus Downy. Don't use the special scents, just the regular old type in the original blue bottle is what you need. The Downy mixture, a scraper, and a sponge to wipe of remaining residue/mixture is all you need, plus some elbow grease. I was able to remove that in a day.

Now after all this I had to tear out walls and put up sheet rock plus primer, compound on corners and edges, plus texturing of the walls, and then paint over the texture. Yes an extremely long process, or so it sounds it took me about 4 days total including prep time. I chose a white with a blue undertone that changes a lot with lighting. I still have to paint the cabinet, replace the sink faucet, and maybe replace the counter top but I'm not sure about the last one yet. Within the shower stall I ended up removing all of the brown area because it was ripped off by the tile. Once I added texturing to the new walls I also had to prime but I suggest using an oil based primer because it will seal any glue you may have missed. If you don't use an oil based primer the glue will absorb moisture from the air and start lifting the paint and anything else you put on the walls. My preferred primer is Zinsser primers, I have to say that they are the best, the oil based primer even works on laminate surfaces.

Next come the after images and although it's not completely done, you'll see why I say that the paint changes colors with the lighting. I don't mind it, I really like it but it might not be everyone's cup of tea. However, that will be for the next post because this has gotten out of hand!

The take away from this process is the following:

  1. Wallpaper glue removal involves a 50/50 Downy Softener and water mixture because it does a great job!
  2. Prime your walls with an oil based primer for the best results. My personal preference is Zinsser Primer, I do not receive any money or product for this endorsement. This is based on personal use and my personal opinion.
  3. I might suggest clean as you go. At the end of each day I would pick up items and sweep the floors and the day we put up the compound texturing I also mopped. This helped keep the mess localized and helped me feel more at ease with the whole process.

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