A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Oops, I Did it Again

Why I shouldn’t be left alone on a cold Saturday afternoon: I went to Home Depot to get a new doorbell (the current one is hideous) and found myself in the paint aisle. I ended up buying a 4-inch wall scraper (in addition to the doorbell).

First I tried the scraper out on the bedroom wall that I started picking at last weekend. It worked great and easily took off the remaining bits that I didn’t get with the putty knife.

Then I wandered into the living room and looked at the ceiling. There are a couple of spots where the paint was peeling. I figured, the floor is already covered since the wood strippers are here, so why not try it out? I was surprised at how easily the paint chipped off the plaster for the most part.

So on Sunday I continued with the ceiling while Pete worked on the walls. The living room and dining room both have textured walls and bad patch jobs. I wasn’t opposed to keeping the texture because I thought I could do a nice color wash that would enhance it, but with the cracks and previous patches it would be impossible to match. So I’ve been checking out the Houseblogs like The Petch House and This Old Crack House for good plaster patching tips.

2008012101.jpg This is what I accomplished in about 4 hours. Doesn’t seem like much, but if we want to do it right (and we do), then we have to scrape. The third bedroom/family room also has peeling paint on the ceiling, but it’s a much smaller room. That room can wait, but it’d be nice to get the living room done before our window coverings are installed. Suddenly we’re looking at our next major project.


  1. PlantingOaks on January 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    So is your ceiling textured, or just the walls? Our textured walls were addictively easy to chip off for about half of it. But the second half about sent us to the nut house. We now have one untextured wall, which we are christening a ‘focal wall’ and leaving the rest as-is and crossing our fingers that flat paint will neutralize the effect.

    If you find a better method than putty knives and chisels, let us know!

    While I’m thinking about it, what kind of texture do you have? ours looks kinda like drywall compound that was just blobbed on. Underneath are the scraps of paste and paper from where they didn’t completely strip the wallpaper off before they started.

    And good luck!


  2. denise on January 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    No, thankfully just the walls are textured. The texture is kind of random—I can’t really tell how it was done: kind of swirly, but not really. It’s kind of a loose texture. It’s definitely part of the plaster, and there’s no wallpaper on these walls. I think we’re just going to try and scrape down the high points and then skim coat it smooth. I really hope I haven’t opened a big can o’ worms, but it’ll all be worth it in the end, right? I keep telling myself that it had to be done. Sorry you had such a horrendous time with yours! Maybe you should paint the ‘focal wall’ a different color too (if you haven’t already)?

  3. Jennifer on January 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    I dream of taking the texture off of my walls and ceilings! I had a run-in at Lowes, too… going for just some 2-1/2 inch nails. 🙂 They were having a clearance sale.

  4. denise on January 22, 2008 at 10:56 am

    ah yes, impulse-buying at the home improvement center—such fun! 🙂

  5. southsideandy on January 22, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Impulse-buying is why I’ve been pretty much silent. I don’t have the money to do much more in my basement at the moment because I decided to spend my Christmas gift card on a much-needed-in-the-future mitre saw that was a “limited time only” 15% or so off. 🙂

    I’ll be back at it soon, but of course, I’ll be following along with your scraping/painting project…mostly because we will have that same project ahead of us (though our walls are NOT textured) one day in the future. Good luck the rest of the way!

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