Thursday, October 27, 2011



I know I know people say wallpaper is back in style, and I don't doubt it, I actually really love the look of some of the new wallpaper, however, I am posting about old wallpaper that has been up for over 20 years and painted over at least 10 years, what a NIGHTMARE!!! I haven't posted any new tutorials for a long time, because I have spent all my "work time" on these dumb walls. It took me 4 days to remove painted over wallpaper from a small wall behind my door.

Believe me, I tried everything, scoring the paper, using vinegar, DIFF, and I even tried to thin the paint and scrape it off before trying to take the paper off. I did not try to steam it off because of the paint barrier, and I didn't try to use Downy because in my experience with wallpaper (yes I have de-wallpapered an entire house before) Downy doesn't work any better than vinegar. After getting the wallpaper off a quarter size at a time, my walls were absolutely destroyed!!! I wanted to cry, I thought I would just wallpaper over it but my husband hasn't jumped on the new wallpaper band wagon yet ( I might be able to get away with an accent wall or something), so I was either going to have to fix the walls by myself and then be satisfied with visible flaws (because there was no way to get it all patched and looking smooth) or get new drywall. Well remember we are working with an extremely tight budget so getting new drywall was out of the question. I made my way over to the ONLY wallpaper store I have been able to find in the Columbus area to find some wallpaper my husband would be okay with......I found out the store was going out of business in a few weeks so everything was on sale. The problem was I quickly found out why they are going out of business, the only wallpaper they had looked like the wallpaper I was tearing down or wall paper I could find at my grandmother's house, it was terrible!!! I was super bummed and felt defeated, the sales lady was really working hard to sale something to me so just as I was about to leave she said, "Well why don't you line your walls and start fresh??""!!!!!!!! I did a 180!!! I had never heard of liner but after she explained it to me I was sold!!! So i lightly patched and sanded all the flaws in my walls, then I hung the wall liner just like wallpaper. Now the instructions did not say to do this, but i put 2 or 3 layers of spakling over the seam and then sanded it down!!

I was in love before I even painted the wall, it already looked so much better, so smooth, so clean!!! I then used a latex paint with primer over the liner, I still had to do 3 coats, because the liner soaks the paint in differently than my other walls. The only problem I have now is that this is an old house, now the lined walls look cleaner, crisper, and better than the walls I didn't line, I have an itch to do all the walls in the house, but luckily we are walking on subfloors right now, so I am distracted by other projects!!!

The first 2 pictures on this post are of the walls in my bathroom and the nook in my kitchen, the AFTER pics are still to come because we are still working on those areas!!!

shabby creek cottage

Monday, October 3, 2011

How To Install Floating/Laminate Floors Yourself!!!

Ok so I don't think that any home improvement DIY-er should EVER hire someone to put in their floating/Laminate floors (unless they really don't want to try doing themselves to save time) because it really is very simple. My husband and I were pretty intimidated at first, it just seemed like a really big project and neither of us had ever done anything like it before. Luckily we have made a new awesome friend who has installed them before and he came over to get us started, and lent us his tools and showed us the ropes. We got these super cool dark planks for only $1.10 sq/ft and then had to purchase the foam that goes under it which was only $20 bucks. We were able to do 400 sq/ft for under $600 (that includes tax and extra planks we purchased just incase we need them in the future, we got such a good deal because this was a closeout item).

Ok first off you need the right tools you'll need to buy or borrow a tapping block, a pulling bar, and a table saw. You will also need a hammer and a pencil and that is it!!

The first thing you want to do before starting, is decide what kind of pattern you want your floor to create, there is more thought into this than I had originally realized because you don't want the seams to be too close together but you probably don't want it to look like a brick wall either. First you put your foam down according to the instructions on the packaging. Then you place your first plank in your starting room corner the first couple rows are the hardest because they don't have support of other planks to hold them in place, so this is where having a second person comes in handy, have them stand or kneel on that first plank while you connect the second plank, by matching the tongue and groove and then hammering it into place with a tapping block and hammer

continue this for your first row, now with your second row, you will want to cut your first plank so it is not the same length as your starting plank (this will start your pattern) and continue matching your tongue and groove, this second row still may need someone holding the other planks in tightly, and periodically you should check your seams to make sure none of them have loosened while placing new planks. The second row you will have to not only match the top of the tongue and groove but also the side, so you want to match the top first, get it in there nice and tight and then do a little wiggle giggle and shake to get that side matched up. Then tighten it with your tapping block, continue your second and subsequent rows, when you get to the end of the row, you will want to measure, mark and cut your piece with a table saw and if you have trouble getting the piece in that is where the pulling bar is needed.

Really it is just that simple, it takes time and patience, sometimes you make mistakes with the cuts but thats ok make sure you have a few extra planks. After doing this only one time, I feel confident enough to be able to do it again and again and help others too, I think everyone who is trying to save money should do this themselves, getting these installed from Home Depot or Lowes would have cost us about $4 or more a sq/ft and we got it for $1.10. We saved ourselves over $1000 dollars YAY!!

If You Like This, You'll Love These!!