My husband and I live in an old Victorian home built right around 1900. We’ve been tackling projects one by one, and this weekend we’re painting the Wii room (because, you guessed it, that’s the room where we keep the Wii.) The room is right off the dining room on the main floor of the house, and is mainly used for TV-watching and other leisurely activities. It’s also my favorite spot in the house to do yoga.
The wallpaper in this room has bothered us since we moved in. To say it’s not our style would be an understatement….blue criss-crossing stripes with leaf accents, complete with a blue border around the top. You can see some of it in the shot above, and a detail picture to the right. That’s all I’m going to show you, because it’s ugly.
Armed with a big steamer, scorer, scrapers and wallpaper remover concentrate, Jon set to work to get rid of the stuff. Little did we know, there was another layer of wallpaper under there. And another―one section of the room had three layers, the oldest of which I’m guessing has been there since the 1920s. Let me explain…
The first layer below the top was this adorable floral with butterflies and vines:
On the interior wall, there were just two layers of wallpaper. Below that, we found this:
Cool, huh? We also found some other writing that we assume was by these same remodelers.
On a different section of the wall, we found the names of two other former inhabitants of the house, Hazel and Henry Stevens. They both wrote their names on the wall (and addresses, which is funny…because the house hasn’t moved.) Pardon the blurring, I’m not ready to share my address with the interwebs.
We also found a section that said “August 7, 1920” (the pencil was really faded and I couldn’t get a good picture of it). I’m guessing these two were the folks that worked on the room in 1920. This was most likely the wallpaper they put up, which is another beauty. It was a fun surprise to find another gorgeous layer:
And a detail view:
If we could have restored the room to this layer, I would have done it. But alas, this layer gave us nothing but trouble. On the 70% of the room that had just two layers of wallpaper, the paper came down in large sheets. But this oldest layer come off in pieces no bigger than an two or three inches at a time, sometimes not even that. It took days, and a lot of patience on the part of my darling husband, to whom I give all the credit for cleaning off our walls.
And, for your viewing pleasure, here are a few shots of the room looking like a wrecked mess:
(If you’re interested, you can see what’s on the other side of the curved wall here.)
After lots and lots of patching and plastering and sanding, Jon and I finally painted the room this weekend–I’m so excited about the difference it’s making! I’ll share pics as soon as I can.
**UPDATE: View the before & after pictures here.**