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Monday, June 2, 2014

A Little Sweat Equity Can Go A Long Way

Jake and I are getting ready to put our house on the market. Turns out our "forever home" isn't as "forever" as we thought it might be. It's a long story. You can read about it out here...

and here if you're curious about the whys behind our pursuit of a drastic life change.

So in preparation for our realtor who was coming over to look at the house, I went upstairs to do some cleaning. Jake has been doing a little cosmetic work up there and the floors needed a good sweeping. Upon entering what we fondly refer to as the "rain room"—named such because the previous occupants had textured the walls with a thick white putty that made it look like angular rain—I noticed that Jake had done a little scraping to see if it was possible to get the texture off.

So I peeled off a little bit more. And then some more. Aaaaand then some more. And then my interest in sweeping the floors vanished and the rain room became my White Whale. I was now Ahab, determined to conquer it at all costs.

The textured walls of the "rain room."

The wallpaper came off with a little elbow grease, hot water, and a... scraper... big fat knife thingy. (I don't know what that tool is called.)

Peeling off the wallpaper.

All wallpaper successfully removed!

Yay, the wallpaper was off! I felt so proud of myself!

There were lots of little holes in the wall that needed filling. Marks left over from the trim molding. Screw anchors stuck in the sheet rock. A massive mess at my feet. Puttying that needed to be done. Taping. Sanding. More puttying and taping. Painting. Cleaning...

What had I gotten myself into?!

Regardless of the overwhelming nature of my little DIY kick, I was determined to get it done. Weigh anchor and set sail!

I did discover one interesting thing about myself after sanding down all the joint compound, and that's what my hair will look like in 40 years or so.

Dani in 40+ years


The mess before the beauty

Most of our upstairs is covered in beautiful hardwood floors, so, out of curiosity, I peeked under the rain room's ugly carpet to find more gorgeous hardwood flooring. Why anyone would have wanted to cover this up is beyond me.

So long, carpet! To the plank with ye!

After spending a good portion of three days working on this room I feel like the outcome was definitely worth it. No longer does it have thick, textured walls that look like a tsunami, but instead a classy room that will hopefully entice potential home buyers or vacationers looking for a place to rent.

Sweat equity is the best way to increase the value of your home, or at least help turn it into a place that you're proud of.

And I don't think my DIY kick is over just yet. So now it's onto the "weird old-fashioned light switch" room.

Keep workin' :-)


  1. Wow, what a transformation! Your hard work definitely paid off because this room looks fabulous.

    I took down the wallpaper in our kitchen a few years ago so I know what a bear it can be. Way to save yourself a ton of money!

  2. Thanks so much, definitely a chore but I love the outcome!