Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Let the Stripping Begin....

So, after a week of every plumber within a hundred mile vicinity coming to visit, and the arrival of two builders estimates I have made decisions. The gold plated boiler is going to be installed at the beginning of October, and the builders start work on October 12th.

Armed with actual dates, I have hauled out the trusty steamer and begun steaming off the many acres of woodchip that are holding the house together. I always envisioned this being done by somebody else but budgets (and boilers) have made me abandon this plan and the work falls to yours truly.

I have a fantastic range of woodchip wallpapers. My office has three different styles in the one room and there are four other styles through the house. None of them seem that willing to leave which is vexing. In addition to the ones on the walls, there are those between the raftered ceilings which also need to be removed. I am going to have some sympathy with Michaelangelo at the end of this.

So far, after three hours of hot and sweaty labouring I have managed to strip just one wall of one room. I have until the 12th of October to get 5 rooms done. Hmm. It's going to be interesting isn't it?

16 comments:

Cathy said...

I'm not sure what woodchip wallpaper is...is it like grass cloth paper? I usually score the wallpaper with a scaper and wet it down. I've used a vinegar and water solution and liquid fabric softener to help loosen it. You might want to try spraying it down to help loosen before putting muscle to it. Good Luck!

Mud in the City said...

Think of it as Changing Rooms crossed with a workout. By the end of all the rooms you will have muscles of steel!

Mrs Jones said...

Cathy - woodchip is the devil's own wallcovering. Basically it's two layers of thinnish paper with, as the name suggests, a layer of little woodchips sprinkled liberally between. It provides a textured surface and was useful in covering an uneven wall which has small cracks, etc. It was VERY popular throughout the 1960s and 70s so is still commonly found on walls today. It's a complete mare to remove. You basically have to strip it twice - first the top layer comes off and then you're left with the wood chips and the bottom layer to then remove. It's messy and takes forever. I stripped the woodchip from our sitting room 2 years ago and it's taken us that long to recover and finish redecorating!

Welsh Girl - you have my deepest sympathy...

notSupermum said...

Welsh Girl - You have my sympathy. I once had to strip the dreaded woodchip from my old house, and it was a royal pain in the backside to get if off.

Btw, I had hoped the stripping mentioned in the title would involve you and the builder or plumber....

elizabethm said...

I am assuming you don't need sleep? Otherwise you will have to have a stripping party and bring all your friends in. Having seen the woodchip in all its glory and having spent months of my own life stripping it, I am in awe of your determination. I can't make it before the 9th October as going away but I will give you day's worth if that is any help.

The Singlutionary said...

I am all for stripping. I would strip with you but I live in america with my loyal hound. Loyal hound America would love to run around in the woods with loyal hound of Wales but she isn't allowed on the plane. If only I could carry her on like a baby and sit her on my lap but she'll have none of that. And she is 50 lbs.

I love you. And I am so glad to be free of this woodchipping wallpaper junk. I don't know who got that idea but I think Americans threw it out with the tea because I have never heard of it until now.

Rob-bear said...

What? Isn't Loyal Hound doing his share of the work? I thought he had agreed to strip wall paper.

Fire the lazy critter!

And throw a party. Invite all the strippers you know.

Wait a minute; that didn't sound quite right.

I know, invite all your friends to come and strip.

Ummmm . . somehow that's not quite right either.

But you get the idea, I hope.

justme said...

Sympathy! All I can offerin support is chocolate.....
E mail your new address and some will wing your way. x

Welsh Girl said...

Cathy - you are blessed to not know the horrors of woodchip. Mrs Jones's description is accurate I'm sorry to say. Sometimes I dream of living in an American style house. They are significantly simpler and faster to build. They couldn't do Extreme Makeover home edition here because it is IMPOSSIBLE to build a house in a week, however many people are involved. Sigh.
Mud - Muscles of steel and perfect skin from being immersed in a steam bath for weeks on end!
Mrs Jones - Sympathy is needed. I suspect the woodchip is going to prove easier than the anaglypta which seems to be stuck on with superglue and painted over with gloss....
Not Supermum - If you saw my builder and my plumber your deepest wish would be to NEVER see them strip. They are not fine specimens of manhood. Eeeeurgh. I shiver at the thought of it.
Elizabeth - Sleep? Hah! I laugh in the face of it. Offer of help is much appreciated. I am hoping to have it all done by then but if I am still immersed in it then yes please!
Singlutionary - little did you realise what your revolutionary ancestors were doing for you. Forget the taxes. They saved you from woodchip. Extra thanks will be due at Thanksgiving. American Loyal Hound (and you too) are always welcome. Welsh Loyal Hound offers a bone and his favourite rubber chicken as inducements...
Rob-bear - Gave him a verbal warning. He stole some of the stripped paper and went to sleep on it in his bed where it promptly stuck to him. He is ideally suited to being an English workman!! I like the idea of a stripping party though. That deserves some serious thought.
Justme - aaaaah - chocolate! who could refuse?

Tattie Weasle said...

All I can remember from a hazy past was that the stripping got hot and the room steamy - top tip from way back then was to take a fork or any pronged instrument and prick the paper so that there are little holes all over it then the steam can get right in and make the whole job a lot easier. I found it worked better than scoring...Good luck!

Rob-bear said...

A stripping party with chocolate? This is getting more interesting all the time!

BTW, did you know that Scotch goes well with chocolate, as does shortbread? Now you've got the makings of a real party!

When do you plan to hold this get-together?

The Singlutionary said...

I found this article:

http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-homeowner-warning-092209,0,4621981.story

On this awesome blog:

http://singletude.blogspot.com/2009/09/singles-in-news-92009-92609.html

and thought you might relate!

Milla said...

I'm actually completely delighted to hear that you are in woodchip hell, truly. Because still snarling (throat quite sore) over your garden!
By the way, more cheery words from me to you, as a very old hand and 5 houses in I can tell you that boilers are the good value bit. Oh yes.

Welsh Girl said...

Tattie Weasle - a fork eh? Could be worth a shot...
Rob Bear - Scotch and Chocolate? Are you sure about that? Is this some odd Canadian thing?????
Singlutionary - I'll hop over there now and have a look - thanks for that.
Milla -I'm so happy that somebody is thrilled by the cost of my boiler. It has just arrived and hasn't got any gold plate or crystals on it. I am very disappointed.... I'm now horribly depressed by the fact that the boiler is going to be the 'bargain basement bit'...

Rob-bear said...

Scotch and chocolate? Not a Canadian thing, no. It was recommended in a very classy.trendy magazine I was reading recently. High-cocoa, low sweet was (I think) the suggestion -- but you might want to try some varieties. I actually tried in and the combination was very tasty. But don't forget some good shortbread, as well.

Of course, you may find that after your guests have a few, it won't matter what you serve them.

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