Saturday morning, October 8th came with excitement and let’s be honest…some fear. We were gonna to see what this house was about!
Our goal for the day was to start taking down some wallpaper. We had purchased a wallpaper remover with good reviews from Menards- the Wagner Power Steamer 705 . We started in the master bedroom because it was easy to see the seams and the largest room seemed like the best starting point. We found exposed seams and started to pull….AND THE WALLPAPER RIPPED RIGHT OFF THE WALL IN HUGE SHEETS! No steamer needed! We were ecstatic! The drywall under the paper was in great shape and it only took about 20 minutes to take down all the paper in the bedroom. If this was how the rest of the wallpaper in the house was going to come down, we’d be done with the whole house by the afternoon!
Of course, that would have been way too good to be true. There were two different types of paper put up throughout the house- the kind in the master bedroom, guest bedroom, first floor bathroom, and some various closets that came down in sheets, and then there was one other kind that was put in the entryway and up the staircase that was a beast to take down. Thankfully the wallpaper steamer saved the day! The Wagner Power Steamer’s great reviews were right on the money and we would recommend the steamer highly. All you do is fill up the reservoir with water, and plug it in. The water heats up and steam comes through a long tube and out two different sizes of pans that you press against the wall. It’s slow going but after saturated with steam, the paper just peels off the wall. We did use a putty knife to help start in corners and make sure the sheets came off the wall cleanly. We started doing it as a two-person job, but it was just as easy as a one-person job. While I chugged along taking down the difficult wallpaper, Mike started demolishing the kitchen.
We didn’t want to pay for a dumpster (because they run about $500 per week) and because we love Habitat for Humanity, we chose to donate the kitchen cabinets and countertop to Habitat. You can just arrange a pickup online and Habitat will bring out a truck and a bunch of guys and will take your stuff away for free where they sell it in their ReStore. The profits of the ReStore go back into building houses for people who need them plus you get a tax write-off. It’s a win for everyone!
The only down-side of donating the cabinets is that it meant that they each needed to come out in one piece. No Chip Gaines style, sledge-hammer demolition here! Each cabinet needed to be carefully unscrewed and taken out of the kitchen without a scratch. Because I’m not allowed to pick up anything over 25 pounds due to the baby growing in my belly, Mike really had to champion the kitchen demo on his own. A dolly made it possible for him to get the really heavy cabinets out to the garage. We took out the built in desk that separated half of the kitchen and dining room to open up that space and were happy to see that the brick on the fireplace had only been minorly damaged by the desk top. Already the space looked so much bigger and better.
By the end of our first day, we had gotten half of the wallpaper throughout the house down (mostly the easy stuff) and had gotten 1/3 of the kitchen cabinets to the garage!