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Saturday, January 29, 2011
Mirror, Revisited & Wallpaper, Rehashed
I have a couple of pictures of the new mirror hanging in place now, and this time you can see the sconce and part of the parrot picture reflected from the opposite wall. You can also see my palm tree wallpaper a little more closely. When I went to pick out new wallpaper for the den several years ago, I saw this pattern right away and liked it, but I spent hours looking through books and samples to see if there was something I liked any better. I ended up back where I started, and I've been happy with it ever since. The one thing I didn't like was the bright coordinating border I bought to go around the top of the room. It had a wine-red background, and when we hung it, it just seemed to close the room in and overpower it, so we scrapped that part of the design.
I don't know if you can tell, but if you look closely to the lower right of the mirror, you can see the outlines of the ugly, gray electrical breaker box that was installed in the den wall. Why would someone do that--put an ugly electrical box front and center on the den wall???? I covered it with wallpaper, too, as you can see, and it isn't very noticeable, even in person.
Originally, the walls in the den were completely panelled (as so many houses built in the 60s were), so shortly after we moved in, we prepped and wallpapered over the top half. Let me tell you, that's a job! First you have to paint the wood and let it dry thoroughly, then paste and hang the fabric underlay to help hide the seams and let that dry thoroughly. Next you paint the underlay and let it dry, and finally you paste and hang the paper. This is the proper way we were told would be necessary to prepare the unsealed wood for accepting the moisture of the paper and hiding the panel seams.
Doggedly, we did this enormous prep work for the exterior wall and the two smaller end walls of the den--which took about 4 days of waiting between jobs for things to dry--but after so much labor, inconvenience and waiting, we decided that the interior wall would be just fine if we hung the underlay, let it dry and then hung the wallpaper. What could it hurt? Ha! Famous last words. As we sat relaxing in our new country blue patterned den, we suddenly heard a noise that can best be described as the sound I imagine an avalanche makes before it breaks lose! Terrified, I looked around to see what on earth had made the terrible noise, and it soon became apparent that as the walls of the unprepared wood dried, the wallpaper was wrenching away from the drying wall with a horrible ripping sound. As the papered wall came "tumbling down," we were forced to take a utility knife and cut the wall sections into three large panels. The underlay had become "cemented" to the wallpaper, and the resulting panels now looked like large sections of stiff, printed paneling. We moved the furniture, repasted the sections, and hung them again, but periodically over the next several years, we had to reattach parts of it to the wall. It never looked as smooth and nice as the correctly prepped side did, and we were continually reminded of our misdeeds when we looked at the wrinkled, gaped paper.
So---when we re-papered with the palm tree design, we finally did the remaining wall properly, and we've never had so much as a whisper of complaint from the walls.
Also, we decided on a medium oak floor today and have it acclimatizing in its new home. Laminate "floating" floors have to get used to their new environments for about 48 hours before they're installed, so we have ours stacked up in the den behind the love seat. Marcus (our son-in-law) plans to get some guys to come and help him start on Monday to begin the installation. We have a couple of low places in the sub-floor that will probably need replacing, the old tile will have to be removed, and the underlay will have to be put down before the floor can be installed. Based on our previous experience with not doing things properly with the walls, we will definitely follow the directions for the floor. What kind of sound do you suppose a floating floor would make if improperly installed with all us heavy humans walking on it? Pictures beginning Monday!