Nose for News: Use the winter to catch up on indoor projects

Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

Every year at about this time — as the end of winter is within sight but still too far away to get too excited — I find myself eager to get started on a new home renovation project.

For a few years it was removing wallpaper and painting rooms, sometimes it’s daydreaming about renovating my fireplace or knocking out a wall, and other times it’s something as simple as rearranging my furniture.

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I don’t know about you guys, but I go outside much less in the winter, and after staring at the walls of my house day after day for three to five months, I’m always ready to change it up a little by the time the season wears on.

When we first moved into our house about 5 1/2 years ago, I spent a good portion of that winter off and on removing loads of wallpaper put on place by the previous owner.

At first I tried a wallpaper removal spray without much success. Then I discovered a wallpaper removal machine that steamed the paper and helped me get it off much quicker. Even with the machine, though, it was quite the chore — so much so that after completing two rooms of paper removal and then painting both, I haven’t done another room since. And there are a few more rooms that still need to be done.

Lately, some of those rooms have really been sticking out again, and I have been debating whether to dig back into it.

But then after the wallpaper, there’s the basement floor, the kitchen backsplash, and the list goes on and on. When will it end?

I always have such big dreams for my house — especially after I get the opportunity to see beautiful homes for Albert Lea Magazine — but between time and resources, these dreams don’t always happen.

This year, after taking a tour of the house Brad Kirchner is restoring on Park Avenue for the magazine, and seeing all the work Kirchner has done himself and with the help of a few others, I’m determined to at least get through another room of wallpaper removal before the weather gets nicer.

I’m excited for you to read about his efforts in the upcoming March/April issue of the magazine that comes out at the end of February.

In the meantime, if anybody has any wallpaper removal tips, I’d love to hear them!

Let’s take advantage of the time indoors before the weather improves — before we know it, gardening season will be back upon us.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.