Except that underneath that peeling wallpaper was another layer of peeling wallpaper. And underneath that second layer of peeling wallpaper was a third layer of wallpaper that was not peeling at all. In fact, that third layer, with its vertical stripes of fat yellow and orange flowers (which, actually, complemented the exposed insulation in the sunroom rather nicely), appeared determined to stay exactly where it was. And given that it had probably been exactly where it was since 1964, I knew I was in for a battle that would make the wallpaper nightmare I once defeated in the bathroom look like a pedicure at Spalon Montage.
One day and two bottles of Dif Stripping Gel Spray later, I was miserable and aching and still had two and a half walls to go. That’s when I happened to notice the fine print on the back of the Dif spray bottle, under the words “Safe! Fresh Scent!” where it said, “This product contains chemicals that the State of California has determined to cause cancer.”
Clearly I needed a new tactic, but the thought of making a trip to the hardware store to try and rent a steamer only enhanced my misery.
My Ho happened to call just then. He asked, “Can I bring you anything?” Because he is good like that. I knew he was talking about lunch or maybe even an Icee, but in a self-pity drenched moment of snark I answered, “Yeah, you can bring me a steamer. Do you happen to have one of those handy?” There was a brief pause, and then My Ho, who is now my hero, spoke these fateful words:
“I have one of those little Scunci steamers. Would that work?”
I nearly wept with joy.
Through the course of the day yesterday, I discovered traces of two more wallpaper layers. For those of you who are not so good with the numbers, that’s a total of FIVE.
Relieved of their unsightly burden, the walls in my kitchen have now been stripped all the way down to the paint they were born in. Way back in 1940, it came into the world a shade of pale, pre-war baby blue.
It's very sweet, really.