Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fixing Clothes Dryers and Scraping Wallpaper

There's nothing quite like opening up the back of your clothes dryer and watching a bunch of matches fall out of the flex hose that is supposed to be venting to the outside.  This was our adventure on a recent Friday afternoon when I informed Noah that the dryer was no longer heating up.  Exactly how you want to start your weekend.

Thankfully, the matches no longer had their flammable heads (I'm guessing they disintegrated in the clothes washer before getting to the dryer) and we were able to fix the dryer by installing a new fuse.  We also gave it a good vacuuming to get rid of the lint, dirt, and matches that were clogged in various places.

Such is life when you own a home.  There's always a surprise waiting around the corner.  Like when we discovered, after living here for several months, that one of the bathroom cabinets wasn't even a cabinet but some sort of drawer that tipped forward, like for storing towels or laundry.  Or when we had a huge storm one night and found water dripping from the middle of the doorway to the laundry room.  And the various things done by previous homeowners that make you ask, "Why did they do that??".

One of those "Why did they do that??" moments happened when we looked at our home for the first time with our realtor and noticed they had painted over a wallpaper border in one of the upstairs bedroom.  It looked like an easy enough fix, and we were able to scrape the paint off of the wallpaper very quickly, but then the project was stalled for several months because we couldn't figure out how to remove the wallpaper.  Perhaps they used a strange glue to attach it or maybe we just didn't know how to do it properly because we hadn't done it before.  We used water, scrapers, and some sort of wallpaper remover borrowed from Noah's mom.  All of this couldn't remove it, so we shelved the project for quite a while.

Eventually we got to thinking about it again and Noah's mom came over one day to work on it, armed with a giant sponge and a bottle of fabric softener.  She worked tirelessly for several hours and was finally able to finish the section of wall we had worked on before.  A week later we decided to tackled the remainder of the wallpaper ourselves.  Either a sponge and really hot water is all it takes, or maybe a different adhesive was used on the other side of the room, but we were able to scrape off the rest of the border in only two hours with both of us working on it.  We used a sponge to continually saturate the wallpaper with very hot water and then I used a wide scraper to remove the bulk of the paper and as much glue as I could while Noah came along afterward and removed the rest of the glue with a smaller scraper.  We were so surprised that it took us only two hours to remove the wallpaper after avoiding the project for months.

As you can somewhat see in the picture below, whoever put up the wallpaper border had also filled in the spaces between the panels beforehand so that they would have one continuous flat surface for attaching the border.  That filler is going to stay there because honestly it wouldn't be worth the effort to dig out all of those grooves.  It'll become part of the character of the room.


After spending time wiping down the walls and scraping off remnants of glue and scotch tape, the room is ready to be painted!  This bedroom is one of those rooms where everything is painted the same color.  The walls, ceiling, outlets, switches, and part of the trim are all painted the same light green.  The rest of the trim and the doors are painted a darker green.  We'll be painting the ceiling, trim, and doors white and then use the same blue paint from our bedroom and the nursery on the walls.  When this little bedroom is completed we'll finally have a proper guest room!