We knew, when taking this project on, that it wouldn’t be easy. There’s lots to do and it’s a pretty large space. What we didn’t expect was multiple layers of hard work.
The building our new apartment sits in is over 100 years old, and I think it’s safe to say there’s a layer of wallpaper for every other decade in each of the rooms we’re working in.
Here’s a list of the wonderfully preserved bad-taste we’ve scraped off the walls:
- TIN FOIL (yes, for real)
- 1930’s brown/cream based floral
- 1950’s purple floral
- 1950’s faux burlap in green and tan
- 1960’s trippy red and orange pattern
- 1960’s faux terracotta tile
- 1970’s faux (textured!) green-ish brick
- 1970’s iridescent ‘paint splatter’ pattern
- 1970’s textured white
- 1980’s plain white
- 1990’s textured white
Ladies and gentlemen, this is no joke. We’ve lugged around 10 industrial sized, heavy duty trash bags full of paper to the dumpster, and we’re still not finished.
We’ve looked online for the best methods of removal from homemade liquid concoctions to power sprayers, but really only a brush and water seem to work on these walls. We’ve been rushing to The Project every day after work, soaking the walls and scraping away with putty knives, but only until about 8:30pm – the little girl next door thinks the sound is ghosts, according to her mother and father who have hung out their window or come buzzing at the door to get us to pipe down.
Sometimes the wallpaper will come off in big sheets (with which we’ll pose for pictures and do a little dance – yay!) and sometimes the paper only comes off one layer and one inch at a time (and then we use all kinds of expletives that I don’t want my mother reading on this blog). The work is definitely really hard and tiring (and haunts us in our dreams – I’m having nightmares about putty knives), but when the walls are clean, it’s a pretty good feeling.
So, we’re happy to announce that the two biggest rooms in the apartment, the living room and the guest room are wallpaper free! HOORAY! AUSGEZEICHNET!
AND we even found a little treasure!
It looks like, sometime in the 30’s (before that floral went up) Wolfgang’s parents had him leave his mark on the walls. I’m guessing it’s a self-portrait, but unless we find him in the neighborhood with his walker, we’ll never know for sure.
We’ve painted over the artwork, but will most likely frame this picture and hang it on the wall in his honor.