I go through life with this ridiculous attitude that I can do things. Buy an obnoxiously big house and redo every room without much professional intervention? *Shrug* I don't see why not.
We have not gotten very far along in our goal to remove the adhesive layer from the breakfast room walls. There is more damage than not, and *self esteem points*, today BG and I realized that it's not just my terrible technique holding us back, but, rather, the atomic-bomb-proof adhesive that Ms. Former Owner paid someone to apply in 1976. Seriously, without our involvement, that wallpaper would have made it into some alien museum with the placard "Example of wall covering on Earth" approximately a zillion years from now.
Painting over the wallpaper was never a viable option for me. I did that once, when BG and I lived in his grandma's old house for a year, and I learned that seams don't disappear just because there's lovely color dabbed on to them. That's why we started down this road to begin with... my stubborn and ignorant attitude that if I want to take wallpaper down and make the walls look new again, then damn it, that is what I'll do, and those wall will cooperate because it's that or else! Lack-of-self-awareness alert: You'd think that parenting would have given me some wisdom when it comes to issuing ultimatums.
I've brainstormed a few options today for dealing with this mess we have created:
~ Continue on and steam and scrape. We did that for two more hours and cried uncle. It is SHOCKING how much damage we're causing to the walls.
~ Sand the adhesive layer into submission. That sorta worked, but it's really just too big of a job for our sander.
~ Cover every inch of wall surface--whether stripped or covered in adhesive backing--with shellac-based primer, then see what's doing in the morning [Note: The shellac protects absorptive material from sucking in moisture; the need for a protective barrier is the reason we're not going straight for the joint compound]. If it dries and seems safe to mud up and prime, that's the next step (with sanding in the middle). If the primer makes the backing bubble up and lift away from the wall, well all the better then. We strip the walls and move forward as if it's Plan A.
This last option is the one we're going with as soon as I hit "Publish Post."
Isn't this exciting? It's a DIY cliffhanger!