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home repair, day one the list of things we have planned to be repaired or improved on our house prior to moving in next Saturday is a constantly evolving, dynamic being. within minutes of inspecting the living room and preparing to tape it up for priming and painting i made a momentous decision. we're gonna strip off this wallpaper rather than painting over the paint that is over the paint that is over the paper. its very bubbly in spots. not bubbly in a good way, like the kind you blow in chocolate milk either. bubbly like the kind that makes your open faced paper and paint sandwich rip off in large strips. monday night we bought a bunch of paint, and it cost more than we had anticipated. this is primarily because we didn't check the price of the paint, or compare it to any other brands. we saw the color we wanted and we bought it. usually my wife is much more responsible with that sort of thing, while i usually just buy whatever is right in front of me, especially if its shiny or requires batteries, but that is another story altogether. i am happy with our paint purchase, and have high hopes that the quality of the paint is directly proportional to the price. so when i realized how uneven the paint was going to end up looking when applied, i decided that we needed to take decisive action of the paper stripping kind. we went to the HD and bought some more tools and materials for the project. as my wife is finishing up paying our tithe to the orange-robed hardware deities, i received a call from my friend Joe, whom i had left a message for. Joe used to run a professional painting company, and he knows what's what. He gave me a lot of good advice, and some warnings. Here are some samples from our conversation: sample 1. Joe: use the concentrate stuff, mix it in a spray bottle. dont use the gel. Me: i bought the gel. i'll return it though. sample 2. Joe: use the wallpaper scrapers they sell Me: i was going to use a putty scraper. i'll go get the wallpaper scrapers though. sample 3. Joe: if you find bare plaster underneath the wallpaper you'll need an oil prime before you can paint, regular primer wont work Me: how do i know if that's what i have? Joe: you know that oaktag type manila paper they gave you in elementary school? its like that color. Me: that is what we have, then. do we need the special oil primer? Joe: yes, if you dont use that, the paint will peel off soon, and you'll have a failed paint job. Me (thinking): Bridget is in there paying for regular primer specified by the paint we bought on Monday Me (spoken): OK Joe: so, don't go buying 20 gallons of paint, if you haven't already Me: we did that Monday. Joe: (laughing) i'll try and come take a look at it tomorrow Me: that would be great! so by this point Bridget has come out to see why i haven't yet bought the stuff from ACME that i was supposed to be getting while she finished the hardware checkout. the phone was breaking up in the ACME so I was still standing on the curb talking to Joe. after a quick grocery pickup, we went back in to HD to return the gel and buy the concentrate, along with a wallpaper scraper and extra blades. its great to have neighbors we know, and that seem to like us well enough. Erika invited us over for dinner, and later desert, which gave us needed breaks from the wall scraping. She also came over to help us work on the walls. you can learn a lot about people by the way they do this sort of work. i would start a new wall, get huge pieces torn off, moving along and trying to get the largest areas cleared. about three quarters of each wall can be done this way, but the rest seems to have an awful lot of glue on it. these sections require a lot more scraping, and various tools of wallpapery. when i reach these sections i tend to work around them, and get the largest portions done. Bridget and Erika, on the other hand, will both patiently sit in one place working over the same space again and again with the scrapers, tiger claws, water sprayers, razor blades, and whatever else is available until that section is completely clean. there is a lot to be read into these approaches, i'm sure. so go ahead, read away. those official wallpaper scrapers really do work wonders, by the way, thanks Joe. i returned late last night to get two more, because they are so handy. yesterdays totals: trips to home depot: 3 friction/papercut wounds suffered by pulling painters tape too quickly while holding the roll around my thumb: 1 hours of sleep: 5

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