This Time of Year


I spent two and half days trying to think of an interesting or exciting or heartwarming or funny! little anecdote about how I went to Vermont but it turns out Vermont resists such things.  Anyway, I went to Vermont.  Now there’s nothing left to do but wait for my half gallon of maple syrup to arrive in the mail.  Also, I should probably tell you that some lady in the pre security gift shop in the Burlington airport was clucking on sadly about how you couldn’t bring more than 3.7 ounces of syrup through security and I practically had to sit on my  hands to keep from rushing up to her and announcing proudly that I had gone to the post office that morning and mailed some syrup to myself, so I think you can see that all the work I have been doing on controlling my know it all gene has not gone to waste.

Anyway, internet, I need your advice.

Please observe this hideous vista:


This is the hallway in my house that leads to the bathroom.  Please note, it looks horrible, because in typical shoddy fashion, the house flippers chose to coat every single problem in this house in one layer of crappy watery beige paint and walk away.  However, it turns out that this wall is pretty messed up, so as  best I can figure, before beigifying it up they smeared a bunch of joint compound on it, which means that the paint didn’t stick, and so it started to bubble and peel because of the powdery layer of joint compound underneath it.

And obviously we can’t have that in our freaking hallway, so I’ve been trying to get all the old paint off so I can prime and repaint this nightmare.

Of course, not ALL the paint will come off, no matter how much I sand and scrape, and I’m worried if I don’t get all of it off, you’re going to see the patchiness under any paint I put on top of it.  What do you think? Should I keep on sanding and scraping and try to get all of the paint off, or do you think I can just wash the wall, paint two layers of primer over it and then repaint it and have it all sort of level itself out? This wall is plaster, and I have neither the time nor the funds for any kind of replastering hoo ha.  No drywalling.  None of that sort of biz boz, but other than that, any suggestions would be welcome, unless your suggestions come as thinly veiled histrionics regarding lead paint exposure, in which case I’d suggest you email Mr. E so you can invite yourself to his party.

In other news, there is an expression I’d  like to use to describe scraping paint on a 100 degree day while having major intestinal distress and that expression is “sucks major belotes.” (It’s less crass if you use a foreign language).

At least I am close to the bathroom.  Looking on the bright side and all that.

Also, I was thinking when I was done (I will obviously never be done) that I would hang pictures on this wall, but I can’t decide if all black and whites is lame or awesome.  Also, some of my favorite pictures aren’t black and white.  Please advise.


13 Responses

  1. Disclaimer- I’m lazy re: household projects, so am always going to vote for the easier option. But in this case I really think you will be okay if you paint it with primer and then the paint. I would think the only way someone would notice is if they stood with their nose right up against your wall looking very carefully at the texture. And if that’s what your guests are doing, then you have bigger problems 🙂

    Oh, and I love all black and white! Classy!

  2. Primer. There are MANY ills that a good coat of primer can help solve and powdery walls are one of them.

  3. Why don’t you go with the texture and purposely put a bit more texture all over the wall (in a fashion you can control) – then coat w/primer and paint. That way you don’t have to fight the texture, and if you do all b/w photos with simple b/w frames it won’t look too busy on the texture. Are you repainting it beige?

    That seriously does not sound like a fun job. No, thank you.

  4. UGH – My God. I hate me some plaster walls. We have plaster walls. Our house was built in 1955, and in the last 30 years or so, the previous owners did NOTHING to ensure the staying power of said walls. So we wound up trying to do the same thing. Sand. Chip away. Mix plaster. Patch. Drywall Putty. Patch. Sand some more….. what a nightmare. So a good friend of ours decided we should just re-texture and roll with it. We did an orange peel texture over the existing wall in drywall putty, painted an amazing color, and VOILA!! Looks awesome. Hides ALL errors previously made, and NO sanding. You can rent texturizers all day long… just dump drywall putty in, and go to town.

  5. If it were me, I would try to primer then paint. But then, I am not a perfectionist.

  6. I think mostly black and white, with a few random pops of color photos.

  7. I have no suggestions, no advice, my eyes started to roll backward at “joint compound”. I sure hope you fix it before I come over, though. PRESSURE!

  8. Okay, call me master of the obvious, but because of the potential of this problem repeating, hie thee over to a home store (Depot, lowes, Menards, etc.) and find an employee who knows what he/she is talking about. My fear is that the paint didn’t stick because of oiliness, which would need a different kind of treatment than poor spackling. I would take several pictures, up close in addition to the one you posted. so they can actually see the problem. It’s unusual. When I first saw the picture, I thought it was an intentional attempt at some kind of marbling, especially because it’s clearly “contained” by the rail.

  9. i don’t know anything about painting, so i’m no help there, but since you slipped in that link to your pics on flickr just wanted to say that they’re beautiful! was that vermont?

  10. umm, am I the only one that thinks the wall looks completely awesome as is??? It reminds me of a beautiful aqua and white easter egg. Perhaps it looks different in person but online….awesome.

    I say stick with the easter egg, use black and white photos and an occasional bold colored frame. Probably not the advice you are looking for.

  11. First, slap on a coat of KILZ(buy it in the paint department – it is the best primer). This will create a barrier between bad paint and paint you choose. Then go to the evil Home Depot and get paint with primer in it. After your husband applies 2-3 coats of paint, stand back and admire. Then decide that this is not the look you want and make him re-paint the entire wall a different color. So what if is it only 1/2 of a shade darker – it makes all the difference in the room. Hope this works for you. It has always worked for me,

  12. Briar you are not funny

  13. I have no advice about the wall…no help, sorry! BUT! I onced mailed myself dirty clothes and shampoo because it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase and the shampoo was over the carryon limit. Also, I hope to find the Trader Joes you have by you (if there is one) and mail myself the roasted velancia peanut butter because it’s to freaking die for.

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