7 Dec 2017

And Then A Lack Of Guidance...

Into the bedroom and double checked the kit for stripping the old wallpaper. Step ladder, brush, bucket containing water with a dash of washing-up liquid and a scraper. Pre job safety meeting held with myself at which time I agreed with me to attempt not to hurt myself.

Okay, let’s go. Soak the first wall and start. Top pattern paper off, re-soak the backing paper and scrape. And that is when I stopped, looked around, went downstairs and pulled every bit of documentation that came with the steps, the brush, the bucket and the scraper. Having gone through a total of eight hundred pages of data and health and safety information relating to the above kit, washing-up liquid included, I found absolutely no warning that scraping old wallpaper, wet thus reactivating the adhesive, would make such a mess of unimaginable proportions.

I’m now sitting here figuring out who to make a claim against first as this is obviously down to the manufacturers of the kit and their total dereliction of duty relating to the care of the perpetually stupid.

Hay, that’s how it works these days, right?

Finally, here’s another top Foggy tip if you’re planning on doing this stripping thingy yourself:
The bucket of water? If using a regular sized bucket, place no more than an absolute maximum of one inch of water therein as regardless of the amount of water you put in your bucket eventually you’ll step backwards and kick the bucket, as it were, over and, trust me on this, one inch of spilled water is so much quicker and easier to clean up in a hurry than a full, half, quarter or whatever bucket load. Again, no guidance on this came with the copious bucket documentation...

Quote;  George Carlin.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

            Harlan Ellison.

“The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.”


Caratacus said...

I sympathise, I really do. If I have discovered little else in my short and merry career on this planet it is this: if there is a task which requires a degree of expertise which I suspect may be lacking in my good self, it may be as well to Get A Man In to do the job. Yes, I know ... this betrays a lack of faith and so forth, and it may involve the diminution of some of the dwindling Caratacus pension pot, but by Dog it saves a lot of bloody heartache and the plumbing of ever greater depths of an already iffy vocab.

And ref. Mr Carlin: I did appreciate his observation regarding stupid people ... "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." As I look about me with what the Memsahib describes as my flinty look, I realise just how apposite his observation was.

Ripper said...

Gee.. You only have one layer of wallpaper to strip Mac? I have 3, each with several coats of emulsion. I got wise to the bucket after about an hour's work and invested in a steam stripper, but I'm sorry I started that exercise at all because I find that all the walls need skimming. The steamer has other uses though, its brilliant at rejuvenating the pile of well trodden carpet and cleaning PVC floor tiles without chemicals, so was a good investment.

But for you, why not replace the bucket and brush with a pressure spray bottle like this one -


You can set it on a really fine 'mist' spray so that you don't have water running down the wall - and its faster acting if your detergent solution is hot. Try to use only as much solution as is necessary - the paper will come off just as good damp as it will saturated, as long as the paste has been liquefied. Score the paper with the corner of your scraper before wetting.

Unfortunately I don't have a quick solution for you regarding the mess. I work with a bin bag to hand and stop regularly to clean up. It doesn't leave much mess and doesn't stick if you can avoid treading on it, my method is to take one of those brush pans, with the rubber strip along the edge, and use it like a shovel. Scrape it along the carpet and it will pick up almost everything. The rest is easily taken care of by the vacuum cleaner.

Mac said...

I do hear you. I just couldn’t face the plastering and that was money well spent. Everything else is progressing but it came as no great surprise that, with age, a task I remember taking an hour now takes a day. A day takes a week and a week takes a month.
You mentioned my favourite word ‘plumbing’ and strangely, the job I was dreading, renewing the kitchen taps, went without incident and was all snuffed-up in a little over an hour with just the one roll of Teflon tape wrapped round my body with nary a hint of it on any coupling threads. That damn stuff do seem to have a mind of its own.
Pension you say? I remember a quote that was popular with Japanese dockers all those years ago when I was on mans boat and was used when any problem was encountered: Never mind, tomorrow may never happen. I believe the full quote is: Live for today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never happen. So do it while you can as later financial requirements are minimal when you suddenly find you’ve arrived at the half man - half sofa stage of old age.

Mac said...

My post was somewhat tong-in-cheek for those of a younger generation. That is other than kicking the bucket over and that did happen with only moments of scraping left and just as I had moved into self congratulatory mode. Damn!
The wetting went okay owing to there only being one layer although I did consider exactly the spray kit you mention.
I use those cheap throw away polythene dust sheets. Finish, roll it up and bag it. But we’re all wood, laminate floors with tiled kitchen and bathroom. Sorry, can’t handle carpet. Having said that, stairs and landing are carpeted.
Oh, and the tap plumbing job? It proved to be a doddle; see above.