This post was inspired by a post from Ned’s Blog about redecorating his house. His description of how he & his ex-wife chose paint colors & carpeting was so hilarious, it immediately brought to mind the time my first hubby & I tried to hang wallpaper in our new kitchen.
Just as an aside, for those of you who don’t know, my first husband & I had some communication problems – he ignored me most of the time & I gave up talking to him. But before we got to this point, we had our adventure in wallpaper hanging. Now I also want to preface this by saying, when I first met H1 (hubby one) he was working at a hardware store in the paint department, so he thought he knew everything about paint & wallpaper. From my point of view, since I had already owned my own home for several years before even meeting him & had already hung wallpaper in a few of the rooms, I also believed I had some actual experience in working with wallpaper.
To be charitable, I did learn about booking the wallpaper from H1 (after wetting the sheet of pre-pasted wallpaper in a tray full of water, you gently fold the paper onto itself so the glue can set up for a minute before you actually hang the paper on the wall). I had not known about this technique before, so experienced some difficulty getting my wallpaper to adhere to the wall at first when I had been hanging wallpaper in the past.
For our first sheet of wallpaper, H1 hung a plumb line to make sure the first piece would be straight. We wetted the strip, booked it & proceeded to hang it on the wall. Since H1 was taller than I am, he worked the top of the paper & I worked the bottom, ensuring the edge followed the plumb line. I was working diligently on getting all my air bubbles out when H1 decided to pull the entire strip off the wall to start again! What? His answer – his end had too many air bubbles to smooth out & it needed to be re-laid. My point – my part of the paper was almost completely finished when he decided to do this without any warning to me! A short discussion followed – most of which would have to be censored here. We finally got the first sheet up on the wall.
We wetted & booked the second strip of wallpaper, put it up on the wall & H1 did the same damn thing to me! I walked off in disgust – “*&!!**&!! finish the wallpaper yourself!” Well, of course that was impossible (H1 was never very good at finishing any job on his own).
In the end, to keep peace in the house, we would wet the paper & book it together, then H1 would take the paper & paste it up on the wall while I left the room, matching the pattern (but with all the air bubbles, etc. still in the paper). He would leave the room & I would work the paper until it was up & perfect, then I would call him & we would start the next strip. We were almost never in the same room at the same time until the job was finished!
A few hours after we finished putting up all the paper, H1 decided to do the trimming (the little pieces at the ceiling & baseboards which need to be trimmed when the paper has set up a bit). He had already put the ladder away so he thought it would be okay to stand on the kitchen table! H1 was not a light weight (former football player in high school) & the next thing I hear is a terrific crash! I ran into the kitchen to find H1 on the floor & the kitchen table top just a foot or so off the floor. All the table legs were bent! H1 was not hurt but even though he straightened the legs, the table was never the same.
H1 & I did not do any more decorating during our short marriage!