The strangely therapeutic art of stripping

In decorating, home, shopping on November 10, 2011 at 11:19 am

I’ve discovered a rather unexpected new way to tone up and release stress – stripping.

To clarify, there’s not a sequinned G string in sight, just a bucket of hot water, a sponge, a stepladder and a scraper, and a load of walls just waiting to be attacked. Yes, the great renovation plan of 2011 has begun, and the clock is ticking.

Having never had to strip wallpaper before; I’ve only ever come across smooth plastered walls; I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the task ahead, but I found the whole thing very therapeutic – watching the reams of paper come away from the wall, removing the remnants of lining paper and – best bit ever – the feeling of satisfaction when great swathes of paper came away from the staircase reaching right up to the ceiling that I hadn’t a hope of reaching.

Quite apart from the opportunity to either bawl my lungs out singing along to my music or simply use the time to think about things that are festering anxiously in my mind, I also lost several pounds over the course of three days – clearly all that reaching,balancing,  heaving and pulling was as good as any Body Pump class. Right now, the sitting room looks ugly, and is so cold without its dado rail and coating of nasty 70s paper, but it already seems so much bigger.

Work In Progress

In the next couple of weeks, the walls will be re-plastered, our flooring will be ripped up to be replaced with rich deep brown elm, and our nasty fire will be removed, to be replaced with this…

We’re at loggerheads at present over new iron balustrades and radiators, but I’m just waiting for the chance to splash out on all of the rugs, cushions, candles and finishing touches that will make the show-house a home.

In the meantime, Project Bedroom is so far going to plan; the chandelier is waiting to be hung, the sumptuous duvet, throw, cushions and candles are all in place, and I’m just waiting for the right weekend to paint the feature wall a deep damson shade. Who knows, maybe I’ll decide I love that too.

In terms of toning up, it’s proving a winner, Karate Kid style. It’s not so much ‘wax on, wax off’ and ‘paint the fence’ as ‘wipe on, yank off’ and ‘paint the wall’. Not that I’ll be winning any trophies soon…


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