Drywall... Let's be friends, ok?


We moved into a house that was a former model home.  It still had many of the features that were a trend in the middle-late nineties, and some others added by its latest owner.
Those features included textured walls, mirrors... good grief, lots of huge, heavy mirrors, and designer paint around the house.
Brown... all in brown tones.
Dark brown, light brown, chocolate mocha brown, metallic brown.  Brown kitchen cabinets, brown walls, brown curtains... Not kidding here, whoever owned this house before us, loved brown.

The day I decided to start our home renovation, I did it in the formal dining room.  It had the textured walls I disliked the most, plus crown moldings painted in antiqued gold.  Yes, gold.
So... I bought some tools and got the room all ready for taking down that texture and leaving all walls smooth and nice.

Before starting with the painful part, remember we moved from Spain.  And buildings in Europe are quite different.
Structures are not made of wood but from brick and concrete.  As most people live in apartment buildings, condos or townhouses, structures need to be strong and walls as thick as possible.  Therefore, the normal thing there if you ever start scratching a wall is finding paint + gypsum + concrete + brick.  Then you will find the insulating materials and more brick that will either take you to your neighbor's house or the exterior.
I thought this was going to be the same.  So I started all excited and happy, with the help of my 9 year old son, scratching the surface to expose all they gypsum and then scratch it again until at least the bulkiest part of that texture was gone.
I was expecting to find, worst case scenario, concrete and then having to refill it with more gypsum or plaster.

Rule #1: never give anything for granted.  Specially when tackling home projects.

My child and I were putting all our energies and effort in that wall.  When I suddenly found some kind of brown... paper? This was new.  I sprayed more water and pulled it off.  Wow, how convenient! - I thought - look! you can pull off the gypsum easily!
So... we started scratching with even more energy, taking that brown paper off.  Until I accidentally scratched beyond the paper and found out there was more gypsum-like material under it.

Well, that was awkward... so, we stopped and I went to my computer.  Searching for information about: brown paper in wall... cardboard inside wall... no, wait, gypsum + paper wall...
After many trials and tying up the information I was gathering, I found out our walls were made of drywall.
Oh dear, what!  Then, research continued and I wanted to learn about the way walls were built here.
The crime scene was clear now: we had messed up that wall which was now showing a big, a huge hole about 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall.
There were pieces of plaster, drywall, paint... everything was on the floor and now we needed to find a way to fix that.
Some people are probably thinking: "Why didn't you do your research on the first place, avoiding yourself and us these horror stories?"
Well, I have been like that all of my life.   Learning things the hard way.

On my next post: fixing messes on drywall.

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