Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Great Kitchen Caper

So, Jon and I decided that we have had enough of our terrible wallpaper in our kitchen. By Jon and I, I mean just me, really. So, I've decided that we should remodel the kitchen.

As is the case with many, times they is a-tight for us. So, we thought, this might be a project we could manage ourselves. Everyone suggested that we just paint over the wallpaper. So, that's the plan. Please keep in mind, Jon and I have NEVER done anything of this magnitude. I've painted plenty of rooms but this is my first ever wallpaper experience.

I thought I would keep a daily journal of our remodel.

We've taken next week off and have been preparing for two weeks with colors, etc.

Day 1-Saturday, September 29
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon spakling the cracks we have in the wall. Easy enough. This morning, I was following the directions on how to sand things when off comes a HUGE chunk of wallpaper. On the phone with my remodeling expert Mother, she tells me that I will probably just have to remove the paper. Ugh. There goes my timeline.

Off I go to the Depot. I buy Dif and various tools for wallpaper removal. At 8:30 am, I begin to remove the paper.

9:00pm. Only two walls done. My god, this is hard. I should not be surprised at how badly the walls were underneath or what cockamamie job the previous owners did at wallpapering, given their talents in other rooms we've already remodeled. There was layer after layer of god only knows what. None of it liked coming off the wall, that's for sure. We are having to remove the paper with our fingernails. Pulling each layer off in one inch strips. But, there has to be a better way. I say, Jon, "wouldn't a steamer be more helpful?" He says, "yes, that's what the professionals have and I think they rent them from the Depot." Why didn't you tell me this 10 hours ago??? Back to the Depot. Jon and I work with the steamer (yea!) until 10:20pm

Day 2-Sunday, September 30

8:00am. Jon starts to work with the steamer. His sister, thankfully, takes Jack away for several hours so we only have Eva--and Eva likes to nap. Wahoo, we're getting Lots done today!

12pm-Jack's home. Time for Mommy to stop working. We still only have three walls done. Ugh. Jon is working HARD!

2p-Nap time. Will this ever end??

8p-FINALLY finished wallpaper removal. Oh, man, you should see how badly the walls are damaged. Call Mother (again) and she tells me to go to HGTV.com to find out how to fix it. They are very encouraging with a step by step guide. They have rated my problem/solution as a level 2 out of four on the easy fix it scale. I'm about a level 1-A but two is not so far out of reach.

Day 3-October 1

Off I go to the Depot (again) for more supplies. I'm armed with my printout from HGTV. Jon's off to Miami (conveniently, I say), so I"m flying solo for two days. Fortunately for me, Jack is off to school this morning so I just have Eva. Who likes to nap.

While at the Depot, I realize that I have no idea what I'm doing. They say to get drywall compound. All I see is joint compound. Is that the same? They don't have any tools that look like what I'm seeing. I flag down a friendly Depot employee who then asks another employee to help me. While I'm waiting, a friendly painter is nearby. He sees the look of terror on my face and offers to help me. He says to save money, I should roll a coat of flat paint over my holes so that the drywall will stick. Great. Another step and another day lost. Good news, I know how to roll out paint. Tomorrow, is the big drywall day.

Day 4-October 2

My week is quickly slipping by. Am I even going to be close to finishing this project? By the way, I have determined that I HATE DRYWALL! Why is this a level 2? I would hate to see what a level 3 would be! Thankfully, Jack's in school and Eva likes to nap because I swear, this is just WAITING for their little handprints to come in and smear around. Jack has been very good thus far in staying away. We're on day 4 and I'm not sure how much longer he'll stay away. So, here I sit, 5:30p. My wall is drying and it is looking very scary. My sister insists that all will be taken care of with a little sanding. A lot of sanding, I think. Honsestly, I'm beginning to worry that after all this work I'll have to pay someone to come in and do it. It's like when those mom's go through 17 hours of labor and have to have a c-section. That's my kitchen. My 17 hour labor/c-section project. Actually, having had a c, I think I felt better after that than I do right now with this f*%$$%$ kitchen.

Day 5-October 3

Ok, I must admit. I took today off from that kitchen. Thankfully, Jon came home last night and only one of us could sand at a time. I decided to change out the kids clothes from summer to fall. All day long I hear Jon in the kitchen grunting and sanding. Ugh. It's 2:37p and I have inspected his work. I have to say, my sister might be right. The walls actually don't look THAT bad. I really don't want to get too excited. I'm afraid of what will happen when we put the primer on in a few minutes.

Put the primer on. Only created one one-inch hole in the wall. Beyond that, it's great!

We have to put the project on hold to go to a wedding tomorrow in Philly. Hopefully, nothing will fall apart while we're gone.

Update--Let me just say, when you say, you hope things don't fall apart, you really should just watch what you say. Jon noticed a little mold on the wall in our pantry on Wednesday evening. He then put his hand through the wall. Apparently, we have a leak in our washing machine that has had water flooding in our walls for sometime now. According to the handyman who had to come today to help us, it takes a LONG time to mold insulation. Ours was barely recoginzable. Ugh. So, we have to fix this, before we can finish our project. I really love being a home owner!


strawberryfields4ever said...

Oh Bink...those pictures make me tired just looking at your kitchen and all of the work! I know that stuff is so tiring...but it will be rewarding when you get it all finished!

Dad 2 eight said...

Sister Bink:
I think I once saw a movie with Tom Hanks which closely mirrors your experience. HGTV makes it look so easy that we actually start believing that our hair-brained improvement projects are going to look like their's. Sue 'em for false advertising and call a contractor. You should have talked to your decidedly unhandy Dad before you tackled this one.

Laura said...

This is one of the reasons I have to live in a condo.
I am feeling so overwhelmed for you right now- I'm so sorry you are having these kitchen issues. I am not going to whine anymore about my kitchen. (But I have to say that I am glad you didn't paint over the wallpaper. I had to remove wallpaper covered in layers of paint once, and I wanted blow up the wall at one point.) Could someone on Craigslist help you I wonder? I will be thinking of you.