How to refinish a dining room

  1. Discuss with your wife what color you would like the walls to be.
  2. Stand by passively while your wife changes her mind seven times.
  3. Agree with your wife’s final decision.
  4. Agree again with the decision she makes after her final decision.
  5. Attempt to peel off the existing wallpaper.
  6. Discover that the existing wallpaper is not dry-strippable.
  7. Attempt to remove the wallpaper with warm water, a sponge, and a scraper.
  8. Discover that you’re digging gouges in the wall.
  9. Remember that a friend gave you the DIF that she used to remove her wallpaper.
  10. Apply the DIF.
  11. Peel the wallpaper off wall in two-inch bits.
  12. Run out of DIF.
  13. Go to the hardware store and buy more DIF.
  14. Continue peeling the wallpaper off wall in two-inch bits.
  15. Realize that you’re peeling as much drywall as you are wallpaper.
  16. Return to the hardware store and buy a wallpaper scorer.
  17. Run the scorer over the wallpaper.
  18. Continue peeling the wallpaper off the wall in two-inch bits.
  19. Go to the hardware store and rent a wallpaper steamer.
  20. Peel the remaining wallpaper with the wallpaper steamer.
  21. Notice that the wall is pitted, gouged, torn, and covered with tiny holes where you used the scorer.
  22. Stare at the wall and wonder what to do next.
  23. Go to the hardware store to buy TSP pre-paint surface preparation.
  24. Clean the wall.
  25. Find the bag your  friend gave you when she gave you the DIF and discover that she also gave you a bottle of TSP.
  26. Apply Spackle to pits, gouges, tear,s and tiny holes in one wall.
  27. Allow the Spackle to dry.
  28. Sand the wall.
  29. Reapply Spackle to any places that still aren’t smooth.
  30. Allow the Spackle to dry.
  31. Sand the wall.
  32. Come to the conclusion that Spackle isn’t the answer.
  33. Contemplate hiring someone to plaster the wall or put up new drywall.
  34. Decide to put up new wallpaper instead.
  35. Discuss with your wife what pattern of wallpaper you would like to buy.
  36. Stand by passively while your wife changes her mind several times.
  37. Order samples of several patterns of toile wallpaper.
  38. Purchase paint for the portion of the wall beneath the chair rail.
  39. Paint the lower portion of the walls red.
  40. When the toile wallpaper samples arrive, tape them to the walls above the chair rail.
  41. Discuss with your wife which of the samples you prefer.
  42. Stand by passively while your wife changes her mind several times.
  43. Agree with your wife’s final decision.
  44. Order the wallpaper.
  45. Discover the style you chose is no longer in stock.
  46. Decide you don’t like the other styles that you have samples of.
  47. Make a decision to purchase textured, paintable wallpaper.
  48. Discuss with your wife which texture you prefer.
  49. Stand by passively while your wife changes her mind several times.
  50. Agree with your wife’s final decision.
  51. Agree with the decision your wife makes after her final decision.
  52. Order the wallpaper.
  53. Discover the style you ordered is no longer available.
  54. Order your second choice.
  55. Receive notice that it’s on back order and won’t be in stock for a couple months.
  56. Cancel the order.
  57. Go to wallpaper store and look at every style of wallpaper in stock.
  58. Tell your wife what you think about the various styles she looks at.
  59. Stand by passively while your wife changes her mind several times.
  60. Agree with your wife’s final decision.
  61. Purchase the wallpaper for $100.
  62. Take a day off work and apply the wallpaper to the wall. (For tips on applying wallpaper with your wife, click here.)
  63. With an Exacto knife, trim the wallpaper neatly.
  64. Decide that your dining room now looks like a room in a Ramada Inn.
  65. Determine to live with it.
  66. While buying something else at a home improvement store, notice they have textured, paintable wallpaper for $50.
  67. Sigh.
  68. Buy the textured, paintable wallpaper.
  69. Strip the wallpaper you just put on the wall off the wall.
  70. Discover that only the outer layer comes off and that your wall is still covered with paper.
  71. Contemplate moving.
  72. Contemplate putting up the textured, paintable wallpaper over remaining layer of previous wallpaper.
  73. Remove inner layer of previous wallpaper with hot water, a sponge, and a scraper.
  74. Clean the wall with TSP pre-paint surface preparation.
  75. Put up textured, paintable wallpaper.
  76. Go to store to the hardware store to buy paint and crown molding. Discover that the store doesn’t have the molding style you want, so just buy paint and crown molding corner blocks.
  77. Drive to another store to buy crown molding.
  78. Measure and cut the crown molding.
  79. Search through the garage for stain.
  80. Apply stain to the crown molding.
  81. Paint the textured, paintable wallpaper.
  82. Realize that the textured, paintable wallpaper is very absorbant.
  83. Give the textured, paintable wallpaper a second coat.
  84. Realize that two coats of paint aren’t going to be enough.
  85. Go to the hardware store to buy additional paint.
  86. Give the textured, paintable wallpaper a third coat.
  87. Apply a second coat of stain to the crown molding.
  88. Wonder if the crown molding really needed a second coat.
  89. With an Exacto knife, trim the wallpaper neatly.
  90. Put up the crown molding.

And there you have it. This list is precisely what we did in our dining room without exaggeration. We started the project in February and finished it this past weekend.

It looked like this to begin with:

Here’s what it looked like right after we took the first wallpaper off:

And the wallpapers—toile on the left and in the middle. Ramada Inn on the right:

And all of that to get to this:

The finished dining room

Finished dining room

 

 

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3 Responses to How to refinish a dining room

  1. Tim S says:

    Wow, is that a new doily on the dining room table?

  2. Roger says:

    No, we just refinished the old one.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I think you left out a few steps; like sobbing, gnashing teeth, and hitting head against wall.

Comments are closed.