Some weeks back when Si was doing the high testosterone jobs, I set about tackling the paper in the hallway. Now this is no mean feat - for one, the hall is a large space that seems never ending, with areas you simply can't reach, two, the walls are somewhat 'glazed' century deep in a layered repetition of paper, emulsion and gloss, meaning wallpaper steamers just don't cut it, even when scored deeply. Because the house is old, so too is the plaster beneath the paper, and when you start to steam the paper it means you crack the skim with it. The all too familiar hollow knock is a telltale sign that we need to get it re-plastered or at least re-skimmed top to bottom anyway, so to that end it got scraped and steamed to death - many, many hours of steaming and scraping. As I was nearing the point of taking all I could of steaming and scraping, Si discovered that the amazing little multi tool we bought is indeed as I said, amazing - if somewhat loud. He found that he can take off the skim with the paper STILL ON, in a fraction of the time it takes to steam! AMAZING!! So you don't need to take the paper off first! A-mazing! So I didn't need to take this paper off first? A-fricking-mazing.
Si precariously balanced over the stairs
Where the paper is no more reveals the streaked walls beneath to be a rich red colour. The dormer window at the top of the stairs (another source of great leaking during storms) sheds so much light on the space. I'm not sure it classes as a room per se, but the hall is fast becoming my favourite part of the house. It's bright, even with slaughterhouse resemblance walls, getting south facing sun in the evening. It's the part of the house that makes me smile every day because I still can't believe this place is ours.
Revealing a very cool water tank
Until now we've kept the carpets down in the hallway as it's been chilly and we've had something to catch the copious amounts of debris and dust. But before long I was itching to pull it up on the stairs to see what they were like. So I did - Immediately regretting it as I then had to promptly remove 300,000 carpet tacks and nails before it got dark in case the cats trod on them. It was hard work, although somewhat therapeutic for the first twenty minutes, and thereafter not so much. They were relentless. RE-LENT-LESS. But Si took a pretty photo, so totally worth it.
As you can see from the before and after photos, the stair is looking so much lighter and brighter already. The plan is to sand and repaint the stairs as they are with the white around the side edges of the steps and bare strip up the middle. Depending on how they sand down I'd like to widen the strip in the middle slightly to make them appear wider and more inviting.
Showcasing the amazing carpet, fashionable never
An improvement already, I think
Apart from the small episode when I feared Si had cut off a limb with an angle grinder, but had in fact gone through an evidently useful water pipe, there's not too much more to report. No, we're not going to dwell on that, the pipe now has a makeshift repair and that's all we'll be saying about it.