Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Christmas Present

While I was home for Christmas, my intent was to tackle one big project--the kitchen. I really wanted to paint the kitchen cabinets, the walls and perhaps the countertop. Well, it didn'tgo exactly as planned. First, we decided 7 days wouldn't be enough time to properly sand and prime and paint all the cabinets (theres quite a few...), and I was unsuccessful in convincing my mother that painting the floor and/or counter top was a good idea. So what did I do?

Well, I DID paint the kitchen. You're going to have to wait to see pictures of that. We primed and painted the walls, and also gave the ceiling a fresh coat of white paint. But since that didn't really take up my whole week or all of the paint we had, I started looking around for other things to paint. One room that hadn't been updated in a while was the entryway/mud room.

This room was papered shortly after we moved into the house by my mother. She chose a trendy hunter green almost solid paper. It was looking dated, and also my mom runs an in-home daycare center, and the kids had done a little peeling in some spots.
My little helper
There were TWO layers of wallpaper.
The green and a lovely 70's style flower pattern
So I got to work with my friend the wallpaper steamer and one of my mom's daycare kids one afternoon and stripped all that wall paper! If you have to remove wallpaper and you don't own a steamer, I seriously recommend it. Once the water heats up, you apply it to the paper, and it works miracles so the paper just easily falls off. I have used vinegar and hotwater in a spray bottle, and also fabric softener and hot water. Both of these things work OK if the wallpaper is just going to come off easily anyway. But I really don't like how the water gets cold quickly, and then the paper you've scraped off is soggy and cold. Gross.

So yes, this little ~$50 steamer is DEFINITELY worth it.
Buy it here

Here are some in progress pics. After removing all the wallpaper, we washed the walls to make sure any left over pieces of wallpaper were removed. We let the wall dry a little, and then spackled some holes and let it dry overnight. 

Daisy helped

So what color did we use? Well, I had originally picked out a color from Lowes in Michigan by Valspar called Silverware (spoiler: this is the same color that I used in the kitchen and dinning area. Mom liked it), but the Lowes at home(Vermont) had different color chips and didn't have "Silverware." 

Instead I found a really close match called "Silver Leaf."

It's really hard to take pictures of this tiny tiny area. These were the best I could do.

Further considerations: painting the trim white? Sanding and refinishing the door? The door is original and the previous owners of the house went to great lengths to strip the many layers of paint to get it back to the natural wood, so my mother is unwilling (at least at this point.. I haven't pushed much) to paint it white. But she has agreed that we could sand and re-stain it the next time I visit home (probably in the summer).

Overall my mom was really happy with my Christmas present for her!






  1. Looks great! Good job :)

  2. Looks so much better! Congrats! Maybe I'm crazy, but I actually love the look of the rugged door; very country, rustic.

  3. Thanks, guys! I too like the general idea of the door, but I think it needs to be cleaned up a little :)
    Vermont is generally a very "rustic" place.

  4. amazing! looks like a lot of work, but worth it.
    thanks for linking up.

  5. Wow, it's really looking so much better!!! Great work. Isn't steaming paper just the most fun time ever? I kid, I kid.

    ~Allison @ House of Hepworths