Friday, March 25, 2011

The Dangers of Not Taping (and Hideous Paint)

Really?! There is absolutely no excuse.
 The person who painted the guest/child's bedroom had very interesting taste. As in no taste at all.

One wall is half neon green and half black chalkboard. The other wall is blue and green with painted circles. Both walls are hideous.

In addition to a general lack of taste, the person who painted this room must have lacked painter's tape. Rather than taping, they allowed primer and multiple coats of paint to drip all over the aluminum that holds the drywall in place.

What would ever compel someone to paint an architectural masterpiece without taking the simple step of taping? Shame on you, former owners!

This left us with a few options:
  1. Do nothing and suffer with the hideous walls.
  2. Paint the aluminum and the walls the same color.
  3. Repaint the walls only and suffer with the neon green and black splotches.
  4. Go through a painstaking paint removal process and properly repaint the walls.
Being the gluttons for punishment that we are, we obviously went for option No. 4. And boy are we ever gluttons for punishment.

We tried washing with water - stupid idea. We tried scraping with a putty knife - scratched the aluminum. We tried nearly every method we could come up with - terpentine, latex paint remover, paper towel, toothbrush, scrubby - but nothing was terribly effective and everything took a looooooong time. Over an hour into the project, not a single aluminum strip was clean.

If we just buy a little silver spraypaint... Nobody ever has to know, right?  :)

Ultimately, instead of taking the easy way out, we removed the aluminum strip from the wall. We'll be scrubbing each strip with paint thinner, washing it clean, then repeating the process for another six to eight hours until each aluminum strip is spotless. :)  In the end, it will be worth it.

At least that's what we keep telling ourselves.

The best paint remover we used.

Paint remover and paper towel... Not a great solution.

Paint remover and toothbrush... getting better.

Paint remover and firm scrubby... even better.

Paint remover and putty knife... not a good idea.

Removal of the entire aluminum strip was ultimately necessary... Unfortunately there are a dozen in the room.
Now we're doing it all over again. Joy. 


  1. The last owners were very good people. They did very little to the house. Lissa came down with a terminal illness and they foreclosed because she had to quit her job and pay medical bills. She spent most of her time in the house in bed. They planned to restore the house tastefully keeping the original architecture intact. They were not going to pull down walls or put in fancy bathrooms. They did not put in the ugly kitchen. They are wonderful, kind and good people.

  2. I am sure that the last owners were very good people and I have the deepest sympathy for anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness.

    That being said, the current owners are also wonderful, kind people that plan to restore the house to its fullest potential and provide necessary updates to make it comfortable for family living.

    I'm guessing that it was the actual child who occupied the room that painted it green and chalkboard. That would explain the lack of taste and tape ;)

  3. I'm sure that Lisa and Jesse, the immediate former owners, were good people with a lot more than neon paint to think about. Given we don't know when these changes were made, we're making many generalizations about "former owners" that could be spread across five decades. Please don't take the blog post as anything other than insight into our process... and at times venting over the painstaking updates that we need to make!

    :) Whitney and Rob

  4. keep up good work, photo's are cool. i live in the care-free home in Pittsburgh

  5. also, try "peel away 7" with a magic eraser. it should get paint off aluminum.

  6. Thank you, rocket! Appreciate all the advice we can get!!