Here’s the question of the day. What kind of people would put stick-on cherubs on their ceiling?  Rumor has it that at one point a psychologist lived in The Red House. Could the cherub room have been the room where he saw patients? 

Rag rolled blood red with faux walnut trim, there were four cherubs stuck in each corner.   Perhaps he thought it was a “peaceful” room what with the cherub-like angels gazing up at the ceiling? Had I had to talk to this guy in this room though I would have been instantly depressed.  Plus any suicidal tendencies I may have been harboring would have definitely increased.  

The cherubs had to go.  Using a flat head screwdriver, I was able to peel three out of the four of them right off.  The fourth I had to throw away because he was a little stickier and when I tried to pull him off the ceiling I chopped off his legs.  Because I felt sorry doing so, I lined the other three up near the window so they could at least look outside before they went into the trash. 

Faux walnut trim was next. Again, using a flat head screwdriver, the trim came off in sections.  Some of the nails conveniently came out too, others didn’t.  Those that remained I pulled out with pliers.  I looked at the color of the room and knew that painting this was going to be a bitch.  Why?  Because of a project I had started earlier in the day.

An entire staircase plus an upstairs landing had been rag rolled pink. I don’t mind pink, having painted Rachel’s room pink at least twice when she was growing up.  But there are shades of pink that are nice and shades of pink that are hideous.  The pink in The Red House is hideous.  What made it even worse was when I tried putting an initial coat of primer on the walls, the pink still showed through.   What kind of paint had they used that it couldn’t easily be covered?  If I couldn’t cover the pink, how would I even begin to deal with the red?

Theoretically the pink and red painted rooms were supposed to be the easy ones; they were the only rooms in the house that weren’t covered with wallpaper.   Initially, when I started looking at the walls, I figured I could just paint them and be done with it.  But when I started to really look at the walls, up close and personal so to speak, I kept seeing seams.  Was it joint tape?  Masking tape? Scotch tape? 

It appears that the previous owners had painted over the wallpaper. Actually, they painted over two layers of wallpaper. The first was a blue and white floral pattern with an occasional cute little white bonnet that was randomly scattered across the wall.  The second pattern (underneath the blue and white) was some sort of gray and pink striped motif.  At first I tried to carefully scrape off the paint and then attack the wallpaper but I realized this method would just take way too long.  I had eight rooms to deal with where this “technique” had been used.  The only solution would be to sheetrock over the entire mess.   

Overwhelming?  Absolutely.  To focus on something else, I began to count doorbells (four), radiators (14) and the different colors they had painted the floors (brown, red, gray and one that was splattered with paint).  I also counted 23 windows (not including the ones in the basement or the attic) including a “picture” window that is 110 inches wide by 58 inches long and held together with tape. 

Some of the windows open, some do not.  Some of the windows have screens, some do not.  Some of the windows with screens have holes in the screens.  Up until now I didn’t know you could actually buy tiny little sheets of stick-on screen mesh to cover a hole in the screen.  I thought this was really exciting!

If nothing else, I’m learning an awful lot up at The Red House.  And now I think it’s time for a cocktail.


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