Washing Continues

In between collapsing fences and exploding sinks, I've been making slow but somewhat steady progress on the walls of the Accordion Room -- it helps that the weather has been miserable and anything I might have planned to do outside is not going to happen in this rain.

Before Christmas, I got most of the removed wallpaper into a trash bag using the trusty garden spade, which made moving around the room less dangerous. In the middle of the room is the pile of cut-up pieces of nasty paneling, currently acting as a small table for tools and so forth. We're undecided on whether to get ourselves a belated Christmas dumpster, but it might happen if other things fall into place, so the trash is sort of lingering in anticipation. If not, we have a couple of trash indulgences -- extra bag tags -- saved for situations like this.

And here we are, most of the way through washing:

Progress on washing

You can sort of see the major limitation I have right now: height. On the little ladder I can get up to about a foot below the ceiling, but that's as far as I can reach without standing on the very top of the ladder (THIS IS NOT A STEP) and possibly falling to my death. So Noel is going to help me haul the bigger ladder upstairs, which might mean I can finish washing the walls in one more day of work.

As for how the washing goes, well, it's kind of boring. After scraping the majority of the paste off (it's the grey stuff here), there's still a thin layer and bits in cracks that need to be scrubbed off (upper left side is scraped, upper right side is unscraped, yellow part is scrubbed). So it's up on the ladder with warm water and a scrubbing sponge, washing away. And then when I get all the paste washed off I'll still have to go over the entire room with TSP substitute (after repairing all that plaster, of course).

Partially washed wall

The worst part of the process is the corners. Both the corners of the room and the corners between the wall and the molding, where the paste just sort of collects. They have to be scrubbed out, but it's no fun at all. I'm thinking of getting a toothbrush to reach in there; I think that will be a little more helpful than trying to squish the sponge in.

Tomorrow: more scraping and scrubbing.

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posted by ayse on 01/08/08


Tomorrow sounds like fun. :)
It's starting to look like a room!

Ah, such a life of glamor and bonbons! Definitely try a toothbrush, or better yet, a small bottle brush, like for test tubes.

That room's going to look great.

The prep work pays off in the end. We didn't quite scrub enough of the glue off in places in our hallway, and the paint peeled off with the tape. Well the tape was on for a few months, so that was an issue as well. Opening up the cracks, and using plaster washers is a good idea. The wall that looked the worst in our hall, now looks the best. The other walls didn't get the same attention, and aren't nearly as flat.

Derek: I'm not too terribly concerned about being flat: we intend to remove all the plaster eventually and put in drywall (safer in earthquakes). I'm mostly going to be reattaching the plaster to the wall for safety. I use those little metal washers, and try to only open up cracks that I've already screwed in place (or the whole wall comes down). It's a real blast.

Kitt: The thing is I have a spare toothbrush, but not a small bottle brush.

Just wanted to de-lurk and let you know I love your blog. It's always been my dream to fix up a Victorian but unless I win the lottery it'll probably never happen :). Recently some folks bought the house I used to rent and said they were going to fix it up. I was so excited, until I found out what they meant was "completely gut it leaving nothing original and putting in a modern floorplan." Sigh. I'd go by each day and see the dumpster full of original panel doors, hardwood floor bits and even the woodwork I had so carefully grain-painted. I still get half sick thinking about it. So, I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy reading about your adventures in restoration. Thank you!

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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