Sunday, February 03, 2008


Those who have visited my little 1956 house know that I am in a long-term war against 45 years of questionable decorating. When I bought the house a few years ago I made great inroads on the flooring front by removing the unusually blue carpeting that was smothering perfectly wonderful honey-oak hardwood, and replacing many of the ugly-puny light fixtures. I was victorious again when I successfully tiled the fireplace, banished all popcorn ceiling and replaced tired tan wallpaper with paint in the livingroom. Since then the war has been stalled. The greatest ongoing battle is being waged in the front hall. Years ago someone glued down faux flagstone sheet vinyl directly onto the beautiful hardwood floor. Who would do such an atrocity? And the walls were covered with 2 layers of wallpaper, then painted, then covered with 3 more layers of wallpaper; all of it ugly beyond belief. For at least 2 years now I have been scraping at both walls and floor, hoping to preserve what lies below. Considerable elbow grease has resulted in little progress. To add to the, um, scenic nature of this battle zone, Zach has decided that if I can scrape at the walls, so can he. He has designated one of the walls as a scratching zone. It was clearly time for an arms escalation.

I am now the proud owner of both a heat gun and a wallpaper steamer. You can rent either of these tools, but the number of hours needed would cost more than buying the equipment. I spent way too many hours yesterday wielding the scary heat gun. I know it was way too many hours because I can hardly move today. Encouraging instructions on the 'net say just heat the surface and the flooring and glue will easily scrape right off. Not exactly. Six hours of heating and scraping cleaned up about 4 square feet of flooring. Still, this is more progress than I have managed in 2 years.

Next weekend I'll try out the wallpaper steamer. War is Hell.


Sharon said...

Wow - that was a lot of work for that space, but it does appear the wood is unhurt. Half down, half to go - on the floor that is. It looks good.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

It is a nice house Amy, and I'm sure its glad to have you, even with Zach using it as a scratching post :)

magnusmog said...

Keep going with the floor - it will be beautiful in the end :)