Handyman, My life

I wish I had worked this hard the whole time my wife has been gone

I would be nearly done with the downstairs by now.

My brother-in-law Diego showed up around 2:00 yesterday. While I was waiting, I finished disassembling the cedar beams around the fireplace. There were still two uprights, one on each end.


After I removed the last two props, the big cedar beam  remained wedged between the two walls. When I looked close I discovered that on the right it was sitting on a book by George McDonald! I had two ladders ready to prop it, so once I got rid of a toenailed nail on the left and lifted it off the book, it dropped onto the ladders. Diego helped me lift it off when he arrived.


The nails that held it together at the top were hidden behind these huge plugs. When I tapped the nails back out, the plugs popped loose. I will cut them flush when I reassemble it. The finished cedar will look gorgeous.


I put Diego to work priming the family room after we finished removing the cedar beams from the fireplace. I didn’t mind the paneling, but the place looks bigger and cheerier with white walls.


After he got a coat on the family room, he moved on to the dining room. Goodbye, striped wallpaper! I took the baseboards, outlet covers, and a/c grills off before he started.


By the time he left last night, we had a coat of finish paint on the ceiling and walls of the family room, and the dining room and most of the living room had been primed. The wallpaper bubbled up in a few places, so I’ll need to deal with that before I can paint it again. I’ll try slitting the bubbles and glueing the paper down. If that doesn’t work, I’ll cut out the bubbles and mud them smooth.




20 thoughts on “I wish I had worked this hard the whole time my wife has been gone

    • It will probably come to that. I detest wallpaper. I decided to paint over it rather than spend the rest of the year trying to remove the stuff.

      The upstairs wallpaper is the really thick fabric-lined kind that peels off in whole sheets, so I’ll gladly rip it out.

  1. Man, I hate having to deal with wallpaper.

    Everything is looking good. I prefer the look of paint to wood paneling. We had our wood-paneled family room painted a very pretty light green but the painters failed to sand first. Subsequently, it has peeled off all over the place.

    • The lamps are imitation Tiffany. We bought them at an antique store.

      I hate wallpaper. It’s very difficult to remove, so we decided just to paint over it. The bubbles are a problem, but we can deal with them.

  2. RuthG says:

    Wait, are you doing all of this AND your full-time work too? Incredible!! And really wonderful that Diego is available to give you so much help. I know you don’t enjoy painting.

  3. g. says:

    Hm, I seem to be in the minority when I say I LOVE wallpaper. Sadly, however, we can’t afford it. (At least not the good stuff.) So we’ve been systematically stripping the paper in our house (built in 1840) back to the bare plaster. I’ve been using a steam stripper and it comes of really easily (for the most part). But my favourite is working slowly to try and differentiate the layers–which often go right back to the Victorians. There are places where you can date the paper according to pattern and it’s hung five or six layers deep. AWESOME.

    • The upstairs paper is the high-quality kind with a fabric layer, so it peels right off. Unfortunately, the wallboard seams were never taped, so I’ll have that to do in a lot of places, which means mudding and sanding. Downstairs the paper might have come off with a steamer, but I didn’t want to try if I could help it.

      Wallpaper can look nice but it’s a remodeler’s nightmare unless that’s what they like doing. I’m sorry you can’t afford it.

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