I’ve talked about renovating our library a few times, but I finally started this project.  Does that ever happen to you?  You think you want to re-do a room and for a variety of reasons you just don’t  get around to that first step (in this case, removing wallpaper).

Before renovation (above), after wallpaper removal (can you believe the room was pink?…more on that later).

The room used to be our dining room (read about the switch HERE) but now serves as a smallish “sitting” room which I affectionately call the “library” since the wonderful southern exposure makes it a great room to read in (and yes, the walls, under the wallpaper, were pink)   As with so many benefits (plenty of sunlight) there is a down side…everything fades within a very short time due to non-stop sun exposure.  I will have to either upholster with Sunbrella fabrics next time or have the windows tinted, or both.


Can you see the faded sofa fabric…if not, that’s a good thing because it will be awhile before I reupholster.


The thing is, I figured since upholstery is still a ways off I should go ahead and paint the room.  Painting became more of an urgency when I decided to move the large, framed print (in picture above)  to another location in the house.  To my dismay the wallpaper was so badly faded from the sun it looked dreadful.

Stripping the wallpaper wasn’t too difficult.  I have used, with success, the liquid remover that you mix with warm water and spray on the walls, then begin to strip the paper using a light hand with a scraper.  The labor-intensive part was using TSP and warm water to dissolve and remove the wallpaper paste.  If you do not remove every bit of paste your paint will crackle and ruin your new paint job (I speak from experience).

Ta-da…here is the paint color, finished and ready for furniture.  What’s missing?  The ladder-back chair that sits to the right of the gate-leg table is being repaired.  The sun had really beat up the finish and my furniture re-finisher said her could fix it for so few dollars that we decided to let him work his magic.

Finding a paint color wasn’t easy, as I mention HERE.  But after an exhaustive search I ended up with a fairly safe, and very pleasing choice—the same color I have in our dining room, which I really like.  Dunn Edwards “Inside Passage”.  This color can take on a variety of hues depending on the time of day and the amount of light.  It has a grayish look and that is what I was searching for.

I kept most of the accessories and wall art in the same place (I did replace the botanic art (which was badly faded) for an etching Son #1 and his lovely wife brought me from Paris, which makes me smile every time I walk into the room.  I did add a basket of childrens books under the end table for upcoming visits from our granddaughter.

Oh, and about the pink walls…many years ago I was a total English Country/Mario Buatta gal and cabbage rose-filled chintz with all the accents were my deal.  I had a Ralph Lauren “Alison” comforter on our king sized bed in the master bedroom.  Hubby used to smile at his friends and declare, “I’m very comfortable with my masculinity”.  Bless his heart.  Anyway, the pink wasn’t nearly as “pink” as it appeared to me upon removal of the wallpaper and like many things in those early years after about 10 years of pinkness I was over it.  There was a collective sigh of relief from hubby and sons #1 & 2!

In the above image I forgot to take the towel off the love seat…this is where the cat sleeps and the amount of cat hair that little towel keeps off the cushion is amazing!  On the right is the sofa sans towel.

This is probably the first DIY project that was this involved I’ve taken on since I’ve been working full time.  It was rewarding but I confess it took a village…thank you doesn’t begin to cover the appreciation I must extend to my dear friend Gretchen!  She spent an entire day helping me paint and then returned the following day to help me paint the crown molding.  Gretchen, XOX to you and my offer to help you garden stands!

There you have it…my “before” and “after” Part I.  When I reupholster the window seat, sofa and possibly the ladder back chair I’ll post pictures.  Any thoughts, suggestions?

One quick note about the Jerk Chicken—I prepared it and it really was easy and delicious.  I made a couple of changes and thought I’d pass them along:  I substituted jalapeno chiles (fresh) for the habanero chile the recipe calls for. {only because my market didn’t have fresh habanero chiles}…and I used boneless skinless chicken breasts.  They were easy and because they marinate overnight, they were very flavorful.  It’s a keeper recipe, in my book.