Re: [gardeners] Friday in the garden

George Shirley (
Sun, 06 Jun 1999 20:09:08 -0500 wrote:

> Our house also has 20 year old wallpaper and wall tile.  In the kitchen the
> walls were tiled with orange flowers that were about 4 inches across.  One on
> each tile.  Each tile pulled down a big chunk of wall board.  We ended up
> taking down the drywall and putting up new, this was much easier than it
> sounds.  Since there was unseen rot behind the sink, that was repaired too.
> In the family room that shrunk, when the kitchen expanded, there was tan
> wallpaper with dark brown flowers.  Instead of pulling it all down and
> redoing the wall board in there I (over a week my husband was traveling for
> work) pulled only the loose parts down, sanded the rest lightly, spackled a
> little and painted over the wall paper with 2 coats of Kilz (tm) and 6 more
> coats of white latex paint.  It took that much before you could no longer see
> the brown flowers through the paint.  It has been that way for 5 years now
> and there has been no further peeling of the old paper.  You wouldn't know it
> was painted paper if I didn't tell you.

The hall bath in our house was remodeled two years ago. Pulled the old brown shag
carpet up and there was pristine vinyl tile under it so saved that. The wall
paper was a heavy vinyl type that had a "jungle green" (really loud green to me)
with bright chrome yellow flowers about six inches across on it. Really ugly
wallpaper there. Surprisingly enough it pulled right off once you got a corner
started. Same thing with the foyer wallpaper taken off two days ago. Both had the
cloth backing and then the paper so came off easily. Unfortunately it appears
they glued the paper directly to the wallboard in the master bath. It's coming
off a little easier now, I'm using a 50:50 mix of 5% vinegar and hot water, use
the paper scratcher to open up some holes and then spray several times and start
stripping, spray and strip, etc. Gonna take a while but will preserve the
wallboard which is in good shape when I get down to it. Instead of sizing the
wall and then painting I'm using a deep knap roller and mixing dry spackle with
the latex paint, an old painter I know told me how to do it and it works pretty

> Now I am ready to put up some more wallpaper in there.  There has been no
> decision on color or pattern yet, but I already have the sizing that goes on
> first to prevent the same problems we had before.  This time the paper will
> be strippable.  It will be something to help bring the garden inside.
> Anne in FL
> zone 9b

We have two patio doors, one set in the family room, looking directly out to the
patio and the gardens, and the other in the master bedroom just looking out on
the plant benches on the patio. Those two doors and floor to ceiling windows
bring the outdoors in on those days that are cool enough to open the drapes.
Reckon living in southern FL you know whereof I speak. ;-)

Old houses are a lot of work but often provide more house for the money than a
new one.