We have had a wallpaper cat-astrophe.

Can’t believe it’s been almost 2 weeks since our last post!  Although in some ways there hasn’t been much to report — the past 3 weeks have been pretty much 100% focused on wallpaper and paint.  With no exaggeration, almost every room has looked like this:

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Floors covered in dropcloths and protective plastic, stacks of paint cans and buckets of wallpaper paste, papering tables, boxes of wallpaper.  It’s made most of our space practically unusable.  Jack and I have wanted nothing more than to have our house all to ourselves FINALLY, without tripping over all this stuff and having our painting, paper-ing friend working here every day.  We were so close last weekend, until our friend discovered that he had underestimated the amount of wallpaper needed for the kitchen…  by one strip of paper.  No lie — every wall of the house was finished, except for one little strip of blank wall next to the kitchen door.  *headdesk*  So after a few more days’ wait, he was going to come back for a few hours with an extra roll of paper, and finally complete the job.

And then… Saturday morning, uncaffeinated, I stumbled towards the kitchen to make my morning coffee and my eye caught something odd by the planter.  We have a recessed area in our entryway, where a stone planter holds fake plants under a really cool pendant light:

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But something about the newly-papered wall didn’t look right.  Upon closer inspection, I found this:

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What the…?   In my sleepy, freaked-out state, my brain scrolled through everything that could have caused those tears in the paper.  I was out of my mind.  Did we nick it moving something down the hall?  No, we didn’t move anything with sharp edges.  Did our paper-er friend accidentally ding it with his exacto knife?  No, too many marks.  The process of deduction left just 2 culprits: the feline contingent of the household.

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Jack and I asked them to ‘fess up, but they seem to be protecting each other and are both claiming innocence.  Based on prior transgressions, we think Duck is the perpetrator.  He does love to sharpen his claws while reaching up, and his tall cat tree was still in our storage unit so he was lacking a scratching post.  So a freshly wallpapered corner, with a nice planter ledge to stand on, would be the perfect substitute in a pinch.  But since we didn’t catch him in the act, we can’t pin it on him.  Sneaky, sneaky Duck.

When our paperer friend came back to finish the job (finally!), we sheepishly told him that a corner had already been ruined and asked what could be done.  We fully expected that it was going to be another day’s worth of peeling off the paper, sanding down the wall, prepping it, and re-papering.  Instead, he grabbed some of his wallpaper paste, put a little blurt of it over the marks, and used his fingernail to work the shredded paper back into the grooves:

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Voila!  You can’t even tell there was a problem there unless you look for it.  (And yes, we immediately got the cat tree out of storage to avoid future claw run-ins.)

Cat-astrophe fixing aside, our wallpaper friend showed us a really cool trick for another paper issue we ran into last week.  You’ll recall from our last post that we had picked out some really cool silver patterned paper for our dining room…  problem was, we wanted only the dining room area to have that paper, and with the open floor plan of our main living space, it meant that two different wallpapers were going to have to meet at a sticking-out corner.  If you don’t do it right, you’re left with a seam going down a corner that can peel over time if you rub against it or moisture gets in there.  BUT — if you’re planning on doing this yourself — there is a solution!

Here’s what you do.  You leave extra paper and actually run it around the corner so it’s on the perpendicular wall…  then you putty and sand the seam, so it blends into the wall.

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Then you start the new wallpaper right along that corner.

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It keeps the lines so clean, and will last for a long time with no fraying or anything.  Yay!

Now that the wallpaper is FINALLY done (trust me, even our wallpapering friend, who got paid for his work, was eager to be finished and out), we can focus on the next phase of transformation — fixtures and furniture!  w00t!  We should have much more to post in the coming weeks now that we have usable walls!

10 thoughts on “We have had a wallpaper cat-astrophe.

  1. Oh! Those kitties! That’s the very reason we backed out of getting grasscloth for our hall. Let’s just hope it was an isolated incident. 🙂 Of course, my cats would be using that planter for a litter box too so at least you didn’t get that kind of treatment.

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    • Ha! No litterboxing thank goodness, but Skunk has tried to dig in the fake moss. And we do have grasscloth in a couple of places in the house, we’re reeeeally hoping they don’t realize what it is! Fingers crossed!

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  2. Lynn MK says:

    Be careful. If your long, stretching cat is anything like mine they also try to catch light on walls. It could be that your pendent light makes a design on your walls that your cat likes to catch!

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  3. Just wanted to let you know I found you through your interview(was googling something about 1940s windows) and will definitely check back periodically to see what ya’ll have updated. My husband and I was blessed a little over a month ago to buy a 1940s house. We totally understand the dripping nicotine (although not quite as bad as yours lol). We also started ripping up the filthy, stinking shag carpet an hour after our closing. I don’t blog much anymore but just said today I’m going to start blogging about our house soon. We were like you in the way we didn’t even want to see the home (we thought it too close to a busy street) and FELL IN LOVE once we walked in. I do wish we had a few more original things like you do but I’m happy with the ones we have (and the ones we found in the attic). Keep up the good work and check back on my blog soon too.

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