Bathroom Makeover : Week One!

I really love removing wallpaper and painting ceilings (truly – I DO!), but I’m always super slow at it, because if I don’t set a timer and just do a couple of small chunks a day, my chiropractor will say, “So, did you too much this week?” and since I can’t GO to my chiropractor, I really need to limit the arms-over-my-head nonsense to a minimum.

Just a quick refresher – here is the before!

After posting the last blog post, my dear friend Jeremy said, “Every time I use that bathroom I feel like I’m peeing in a claustrophobic meadow.”

It’s really the best description.

Without further ado – I started steaming! I always think I should feel bad when I steam off a bird. But, I just don’t. Peace out, winged one.

Maybe the BEST discovery was finding drywall mud BETWEEN two layers of wallpaper. WHO DOES THAT.

I am thankful that we’re both home during the pandemic, both because I want the world to be as safe as possible, so EVERYONE should stay home but also because I can text Doug and say, “I’m sitting on the built in steaming wallpaper. You should come take a picture of me.”

I’m leaving a lot of the bottom half wallpaper on (I’ll explain more later). Here’s when I got the whole top part off – and by top part, I mean the plasticky part of the top layer. The paper and glue is the cream color you see there, so that’s another round of steam.

There’s clearly the outline of an access panel to the shower, but it was just wallpapered over.

Just like in the Balcony Bedroom from long ago, under the wallpaper was a yellow wall, often with a rubbery white film on top, that will have to be skim coated over.

In just a couple of places, the paint layers cracked off to reveal the plaster underneath, which is in remarkable shape! You can also see the rubbery white film a little better here.

Wallpaper! Out!!!

Without the wallpaper –

Next, I painted over the ceiling. Remember how I wanted to not spend any money on this room, and use what I have? Non-Stay-At-Home-Amy would have gone out and bought new ceiling paint. The bucket of ceiling paint that I have was more separated than I’d ever seen, but I stirred it for approximately 27 days and here we are!

I realize that these tile things are ugly and horrific. But they aren’t falling down, so they stay until this room is done for real. Since I can’t buy anything for this challenge of mine, I certainly don’t want to open anything up and discover the horrors that lurk beneath.

Seriously. That faux painting.

SO MUCH BETTER with only one coat.

And with two coats. It’s still a terrible ceiling, but it’s a lot less terrible.

Before :

After! And yes, I promise I’ll take down that exhaust fan and really clean it. It’s revolting.

I hope everyone is doing okay with their Stay at Home orders! We’re trying to walk once a day with the dogs (at least) and we love the message on our theatre’s marquee! We love the Historic Artcraft Theatre SO MUCH. If you can, find local places like the Artcraft near you to donate to. They really need you in this time of upheaval.

The Artcraft Theatre is run by Franklin Heritage, who also has an incredible Salvage Shop that has moved online during the crisis. Please check out Madison Street Salvage and see what they have!



  1. Wow, Amy, what a difference without the wallpaper! “Claustrophobic” was the perfect word choice. Your hard work is paying off already.

  2. Hi Amy,

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long time without commenting. Your kindness and enthusiasm shine through in every post, including this one. I love the challenge you’ve set for yourself and am looking forward to following your progress as much as seeing the final result.

    Be well,

  3. Thanks for sharing. We live in a new Victorian. You are living my dream. Keep up the good work

  4. I remember when we renovated our old house and we found layers and layers of wallpaper. It’s cool to see the different styles overtime but it for sure needs an upgrade

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