The second bedroom project gets underway

Though we have untold projects currently in progress, for some reason we decided to start another one.

I moved everything out of our 2nd bedroom and started the (familiar,) long, arduous process of stripping the 4 layers of wallpaper and 4 layers of paint off the walls before skimming them smooth and repainting the room. And all of a sudden, it feels like November 2010 once again.

Master BR north wall halfway through

That’s the north wall of our master bedroom after two days spent stripping last year. (Don’t have pictures yet of this bedroom.)

For some reason, though, this time it seems much more difficult than back in November. Maybe they just used better glue for the wallpaper in here, but it has been seriously slow going, and resulted in a lot of pain to my hands. My right palm has a bruise in it from the stripper handle repeatedly banging into it and I wore a hole in my glove and skinned my knuckle on the left hand without realizing it from it rubbing against the wall while scraping.

So rather than trying to do this room as fast as possible, working for hours at a time like last November, my new strategy is going to be trying to just do an hour or so each day. (Plus side: I get to work on other 12 concurrent projects too!) Once I get all the walls stripped bare (with hopefully no underlying plaster damage), next will be cutting into the plaster on the ceiling and the wall that has conduit running the electrical so we can hide the wiring where it belongs in the ceiling and the wall.

Then we’ll drywall the whole ceiling. We do that because it’s less noticeable up there than on the walls and is much more difficult to scrape the paint and wallpaper off the ceilings.

As far as pointers for similar projects go, this is all I’ve learned. A plain (rigid) paint scraper will cut through almost everything with enough work, but all that you really need to get off is the layer(s) of paint on top of the wallpaper. Once you’re left with wallpaper and glue (provided it’s old enough), all I do is spray or sponge on water and let it soak, sometimes a few times over. And then it just scrapes right off with almost no effort.

I’ll skim all the walls to smooth them out before painting too. It’s inevitable that the scraper will make some gouges, but the surface already has lines and ridges in it from the plaster application, so a skim coat will help smooth them all out and give a nice surface that’s ready to be primed and painted.


    1. Strip walls bare and lightly sand smooth
    2. Move electrical conduits inside the ceiling and wall. Add at least one socket to the baseboard. Patch holes with drywall.
    3. Drywall the ceiling, tape and mud top edges.
    4. Remove OG trim from top of baseboard.
    5. Skim all walls smooth, sand and ready to paint.
    6. Prime and paint all walls.
    7. Repaint baseboards.
    8. Reinstall new og trim on top of the baseboards.

    I’m sure there might be a few more items on that list, but that’s a pretty good start.

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