Pale Green Hope

The re-organization of the stash room proceeds apace, and hope is now peeking through the big window in that room, though things got much, much worse before they got better.  My big plan was to take everything out of that room.  All the yarn, all the fibre, all the electronics, all the magazines (Joe’s and mine) all the patterns, all the books … everything out, and then take down the counter (???) and the shelves, take out the existing storage thingie,  and strip the wallpaper, then paint the place, whack in all the storage and then put all the stuff back tidily.

There turned out to be a whole lot of problems with that.

#1. I have no idea where I thought I was going to put all that stuff when I took it out of the room. A roomful of stuff takes up a lot of room (one, to be precise) and the other rooms I have already have their own stuff in them and are already really small rooms. Very tricky.

#2. The minute I pulled on the wallpaper I could see that I was on the cusp of a very, very serious mistake. That room has the original plaster and lathe walls, and they are very fragile.  I could tell that very likely, the wallpaper was what was holding these walls up, and there was zero chance that I wanted to drywall that room when the plaster started to come down with the paper- which was absolutely what was happening when I pulled a corner.  I stopped.

#3.  I am doing this by myself.  Moving all this stuff, especially the big storage thing turned out to be impossible. Even when I really tried to be otherwise, I was still a 5′ tall woman by herself with a huge piece of furniture.  I could shove it, but not get it out of that room.

Now, I’m not the sort of woman who comes off a plan easily.  I like to do things the right way, but sometimes that just doesn’t make sense – sometimes you have to be sort of tricksey to get through a mess, and this was one of those times.  Sure, stripping wallpaper before you paint is the right way to do it, but as much as I wanted to, reducing a room to complete rubble in the interest of cleaning up seemed counterproductive.   I opted for plan B.  First I moved the boxes of yarn/fibre in my way to our bedroom. Then I got Joe’s stuff out of there.  I unloaded his storage bookcase and moved that stuff to our bedroom. Then I got Rachel H to help me get that bookcase down to the main floor, carried over the floors and stairs I cared about.  After she left I essentially pushed the thing down the basement stairs, then climbed over it and pulled it to the corner and set it upright again.  Then I hauled all his stuff down to the basement, one armload at a time, and replaced it all on the shelves.  Now I had one clear quarter of the room… so I did something I’m sort of proud of. 

Yup.  Painted right over the wallpaper.  This room, when it’s done, likely won’t have much wall showing, and I just plowed right over it.  It felt both smart and wrong at the same time. Then I assembled a $69 Ikea Billy bookcase, and put that in the painted corner.  With that up, I figured that I could now empty the shelves behind me onto that bookcase, then take down those shelves and paint that section, then put a bookcase up there and move the next section to that finished section.. you get it.  That way I wouldn’t have to find somewhere to put all the stuff, and I wouldn’t have to carry it all out of the room and then back in, which was something that I was loathe to avoid, having just trucked Joe’s belongings over two flights of stairs in about 20 trips.  

I was moving the stuff over from one side of the room to the other, when I realized that the shelves were in the wrong spots.  They’re adjustable, so I lifted the shelf off and went to pull out the first of the four little metal pegs that hold the shelf up.  Although in the Ikea picture, the people are doing this effortlessly, in real life I needed to get a screwdriver to pry it. I was wiggling it free when suddenly it came, I fumbled with my hand, and the peg flew across the room, bounced once, and then evaporated without a sound. 

I started looking for it and though the floor of the room was pretty clear by now I couldn’t find the thing.  I started to worry that maybe it had gone down the heating grate, but told myself that really, a metal peg going down a metal duct would have made a sound… and this landing hadn’t.  I was starting to fill with rage, because the peg has to be somewhere,  metal pegs don’t really evaporate – and if I can’t find that damn peg then that’s a whole shelf I can’t use until I go back to Ikea (and really please don’t make me go back to Ikea for a while) and that screws up the whole plan and I already changed the plan and I was totally getting wound up when I saw it.

Not the peg.. the open, mostly full can of celery coloured paint sitting on the floor.  No way…. right?  It dawned on me slowly.  That’s why I couldn’t find it. That’s why it disappeared after a bounce. It bounced, then hit the paint, sinking soundlessly into the pale green mire.  Without a thought, I plunged my hand into the paint, but the can was still so full that I couldn’t put my hand in all the way without overflowing it… plus, it was gross. I stirred around for a while, then I took my hand out and sat there dripping paint onto the newspaper.  Suddenly infuriated, I bucked my instinct to spraypaint the entire room with the bright blue words "SCREW THIS" and I washed my hands, got a beer and called a friend to unload the entire thing on her.  The total and complete rage that I was being held up by a stupid little peg was more than I could bear.  It was so hard already and then to have the shelving unit screwed up because of one part that was probably in that stupid can of paint that I should have covered anyway? She suggested maybe straining the paint through cheesecloth or pouring it from one container to the other… but in the end I had a second beer and walked away for the day.  It was that or do something crazy, and I’m really trying to keep this room from getting crazy, even through that’s sort of pointless because it’s already crazy that I’m in this deep.

The next day I kept going with the plan, shifting things from unfinished zone to finished zone, as I finished them, with that empty crooked shelf just sitting there, infuriating me ever time I saw it… and by the end of the day I had two coats of paint round the whole room and ceiling, and the can was just about a quarter full.   I have the original plaster in this room, and it’s highly textured.

It drinks paint.  It’s not that horrible stuff that you can scrape off either, but the actual walls. I hate it. There’s no answer but to take down the plaster and lathe though, and that’s a nasty job.  I took the can of paint downstairs to put it away, and right before I hammered the lid on, I decided to give the peg one last chance. 

Victory was mine. Meg had a friend over and I’m not sure what he thinks of my sanity, or the fact that I called Meg over to take a picture, that’s how thrilled I was, but I’ve got the peg, I don’t have to go back to Ikea and that is all I care about.

All shelves in that unit are now present and accounted for, the whole room is a pretty pale celery green, and I’m beginning the rest of the Ikea assembly.
For the record, I’m taping cardboard over the heating vent until I’m done with pegs. I can’t by taken down by a
3 cent piece of metal again.  I don’t have it in me.

266 thoughts on “Pale Green Hope

  1. I’m sure your daughter gave a very respectful explanation of your situation to her friend. By the way, your renovation is looking great, and I know you will be looking at your stash area for years to come with pride.

  2. In the US, most neighborhood hardware stores carry those pegs, in their drawers of loose hardware. And IKEA can be convinced to give you extras, if you think of it while you’re there.

  3. hilarious. for the record, I would highly advise never, ever trying to move an Ikea Billy bookcase while it is full & heavy. The paper-thin back will buckle in & you will be brought to your knees (and your painting will once again be held up) due to having saved money by using Ikea storage. I know. It happened to me just a month ago.

  4. Your room looks great! I’m a big fan of the celery color and share your loathing for textured walls.
    That reminds me of the time I took off my sapphire ring and put it into my jeans pocket before I went to the golf range to practice driving. Got home, reached into pocket—no ring!. Drove back to the range, asked if there had been one turned in (yeah, ever the optimist), then resigned myself to the fact that it was gone forever. As a last desperate measure, I went to the place I parked (in a gravel/sand parking lot) and looked around. I got on my hands and knees (amusing/alarming the other patrons) and gave up. Just as I stood up, a twinkle caught my eye. The ring was just poking up through the gravel right in the middle of a tire track. I still can’t believe I found it AND it was undamaged.

  5. I would have seriously done the same thing when it came to finding that peg. It would have driven me crazy! 🙂

  6. I’m about to take on my office/sewing/guest bed/drum room this weekend. I also want to paint it green. Yours is lovely! What color is it?
    Glad you found the peg. I’d probably have just balanced the books carefully, called it a day, and then bitched about it for the rest of my life!

  7. Very nice!
    My stash closet is unfortunately part of the guest room, so I don’t have as much wiggle room as I would like in putting the room together in a way that makes it easier for me to work. I would love to have it as an almost studio space…
    Ah dreams.

  8. Having just painted our entire bedroom with this ‘move stuff from one corner, paint, return stuff’ method and all in baby’s nap time I can feel your pain. Those were a fun two weeks this summer. Especially when the husband returned from work each day to say ‘Doesn’t look like you did much today’!!. Grrrr.

  9. FYI, you can improvise a peg with a thumbtack or a nail or some other small bit of hardware. Of course then you have to take all the books and stuff off the shelve to put the peg in when you find it, but whatever.

  10. most large hardware store have a section of misc parts, and shelf pins can usually be found there. most adjustable shelf holes are 5mm – standard shelf pin size. they may not be exactly the same as IKEA’s, but you can’t see it under the shelf and the local hardware store is usually a shorter trip than IKEA (at least for me!).
    best of luck and can’t wait to see the finished pics!

  11. ROTFL!!! I’m so sorry I have to laugh about the peg and IKEA part of this story. My DH has put so many IKEA bookcases together for me and lost so many of those little pegs I can’t count them all anymore. Although I love IKEA, he would rather eat his own arm off than make extra trips to IKEA.
    Now – I have to say that your color choice is lovely and I’m a little prejudice because this is the same color that I painted my first studio out in Seattle. There’s something soothing about that green color. Just love it!!!
    Hurray for all your efforts – everything is looking great. Thanks for the update.

  12. I was inspired by your first post about this room. But now I’m MOTIVATED. The problem is that in my case, the room in need of major assistance is my bedroom. And all the IKEA in the world can’t solve the problem that I have TOO MUCH CR@P.

  13. I am so glad that you posted this. I felt your pain (and I don’t like beer – so I wouldn’t have had that solution!)
    We have about a bazillion of those little pegs in our house from years of IKEA furniture. I would be happy to send you one (or a couple) in the event of a future disaster…just ask. No IKEA trip required.

  14. I am best buddies with Ikea and the Billy bookshelves. I also bought some of those wire crate systems for a song at Costco. I snapped them together in one long row, as many as would fit on a wall. My husband attached them to the ceiling and they are above my Billy bookcases. I need all the room I can get in my tiny room. Although I don’t have lots of wall space, the walls go all the way to the ceiling. I keep a folding step stool in there to use to reach all the yarn up there. If you’d like I’ll email you a picture. But I warn you, due to plumbing problems here and the need to tear out some sheet rock, it’s not very tidy at the moment.

  15. I hear ya on having to use a pair of pliers to move those frickin’ little pegs! I have tendonitis and can’t grab them worth a darn with just my bare hands. And, if you happen to need any extra pegs, I have a BUNCH of ’em to spare–I (ahem) customized a CD rack from Ikea, and didn’t use all the pegs (or shelves, for that matter). IF you find that you need one or two or ten, just let me know, I’d be more than happy to give them to you. Love the colour of the walls–maybe you can find some yarn in that shade for your next project?!

  16. I so totally get not wanting to go back to IKEA. We redid our kitchen a few years ago from IKEA which is great, but I was so done with it when I had to go there 3 times in one day. It took me a long time to get over it. At least it is only a 10 minute drive away.

  17. I love the color!
    Yeah, why don’t they include 3 or 4 extra pegs with those things? We have a bookshelf that’s missing one and it’s very irritating to have that one board over in the corner.

  18. It’s probably cruel of me to tell you this at this point, but for future reference, just about all hardware stores sell those little pegs. I know this because I have lost may of them over the years. I think Ikea probably sells the pegs too, but hardware stores are usually easier.

  19. If for some horrible reason you ever loose another metal peg in a can of paint or other opaque, goopey liquid I would like to recommend using a strong magnet taped to a paint stick/chopstick/ tree branch.
    This also works for metal things down in vents or, in my case, when keys get dropped deep between a pavement step and a house.
    Can’t wait to see the finished room, I love the colour!

  20. Ikea sells those pegs in vending machines out here in BC for $1 for 6 I think. Most of the time they’re sold out so you need to get them from the spare parts counter. They’re located near the exit, you don’t even have to go through the store.

  21. Lovely job, and what a beautiful shade of green!
    Those Ikea bookcases are a nightmare to assemble but they have a remarkably long life. I bought some of those Billy ones 20 years ago and my dad still has them, crammed full of books without a single sagging shelf. The backs come loose after a while but they’re a very worthwhile investment.

  22. The surface of drywall IS paper. So there’s nothing wrong with painting over paper as long as it is securely adhering to the undersurface. The companies even make special primers in case the pattern is too hard to cover. You made exactly the right choice. The color is lovely!

  23. How satisfying to get the room done and organized. Whether much of the paint shows or not – the color is lovely. Smart move not to peel the paper and plaster. My daughter’s house is like yours and they have had a bathroom with no walls for several years now. I’m sure you already know the struggle to drywall a room in an un-square, old house.
    Hope you are going to show us more pictures of the finished product. Good job!!!

  24. having lived in England for a long time, I am familiar with painting over wallpaper to avoid replastering. Good job.
    The genius of the overall plan well outweighs the #*($&# peg mishap. Good call on the cardboard over the heating vent.

  25. That’s why one of my bookcases has a screw where a peg ought to be. Necessity being the mother of invention, etc etc. (but not everybody is as lacksadaisical as me, I know that.)

  26. I was going to suggest putting a semi-strong magnet on a stick and stirring around in the can. Sure, the magnet might want to stick to the can, but you can pull that off. Given the options of magnet, or unmagnetized can, the peg will stick to the magnet.
    Which would now be a lovely green magnet.

  27. Okay, so I get that it’s hard to plan, decorate and use such an odd space, but what a cool ceiling and doorframe. I live in a normal, 1960s Calif. house, and it’s only cool if you like acoustic ceilings, lol. Yours has nifty architectural detail:)

  28. Never a dull moment!!
    The thing that kind of blows my mind is, I can tell this is a huge, mammoth task you’ve undertaken … but I bet you still found time to knit on a sock!! You’re quite awesome.

  29. Don’t feel bad about painting over the wallpaper. They actually sell special paper to put over plaster walls to hold them together so you don’t have to drywall — but if you have paper that is not falling off the walls, painting what you have is very acceptable solution. Hope we get to see photos of the finished room — I love what you are doing and plan on stealing ideas should I ever have the space. My “craft room” is the one storage closet our house had — not much room to organize

  30. I would have happily mailed you one of the bazillion extra IKEA pegs that are lying about in my junk drawer.
    PS. Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  31. FWIW, I’m not sure if its the same in Canada but in the US the IKEA’s have a place near where you go to pick up your big orders and returns that have an organizer of all of the common specialty hardware that you know you will need more of. When ever we get bookcases (we are up to 14) we get some more pegs.

  32. I’m steeling myself to go buy and assemble two of those bookcases (plus a couple others). I haven’t been to Ikea since that one time I was 8 months pregnant, couldn’t find the exit and threatened my husband that I would jump through the second-floor plate glass window if he didn’t find me a way out. (He never did, he was terrible with directions. I violated the floor arrows and found it.)
    He was good at drywall, though – I’d be reasonably sure you could just skim drywall mud over the texture to even it out to your liking. You know, for next time.
    /runs away

  33. Sometime yesterday, way over here in Vancouver, I thought I heard a little chuckle. Now I know – It was the Universe laughing, just a little bit, as it decided where to send that metal peg.

  34. Three cheers and a beer for perseverance!!
    For what it’s worth, I call small items that fly off and vanish “Deity pegs” (or springs or whatever they are), because the ensuing stream of cursing usually begins with a deity’s name.

  35. I LOVE stories of people plodding along, figuring it out as they go, creating a mess, and then being darn happy with the result. I hope you will post pictures. Organization brings energy to a forgotten room like that.

  36. I got seriously concerned when I saw that you retrieved the peg in such close proximity to the kitchen sink.

  37. That room looks amazing! I am especially impressed by the fact that you painted while there was still stuff in the room — I can just barely manage not to paint everything around me when I’m trying to paint a wall.
    It possible that you’ve decided never to adjust the shelves on a Billy bookcase ever again (and who could blame you?), but I recommend a pair of pliers for getting the pegs out. They give just enough grip that you can get some traction, and it lessens the chance of loosing the peg as soon as it gives way (ask me how I know!).

  38. Sometimes the wall paper in those old houses was applied while the plaster was still wet and you aren’t supposed to take it down…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
    At least in the states one can find those shelf pegs at the hardware store.

  39. My great-great grandfather built our house over 100 years ago, and we too have a LOT of plaster walls and ceilings. (A bit has been replaced over the years out of necessity.) We started to remove wallpaper in my daughter’s room and, like you, discovered the fatal error! From then on, we just painted over the wallpaper in ever room of the house. The thought of pulling down all of the plaster, and the lathes, and then sheetrocking is more than enough to make any grown woman cry!

  40. Hey, I *need* some of those metal Ikea pegs! My Ikea shelving was missing four so I used matchsticks to substitute and they all just broke…
    Love the color of the old/new room. Carry on!

  41. Your energy amazes me.
    Your daughter’s friend will at least know that you can get excited – unlike my husband’s description of me,”you wouldn’t get excited if your arse was on fire”. It pays to know what gamut of emotions the people you associate with have.
    All cheers with the redecorating, I am in awe.

  42. It’ll be worth it when it’s done. I still say that you don’t have to share the new space with Joe since you’re doing all this by yourself. That is a great paint color! What brand/color name is it?

  43. when I lived in a rented apartment, a friend and I decided to paint over wallpaper, we started and 6 layers of wallpaper started to bubble off the walls. Fortunately the walls underneath were okay, just made a huge mess.
    Love the green!

  44. Your “remodeling” of the stash room made into our dinnertime conversation last night. You see we–hubby and I–are discussing removing the wallpaper and painting the kitchen. So your experience has given me–to share with hubby–some important things to remember. Although I could not figure out which color you would select I was not surprised to read it was green. As with everyone else I eagerly await pictures of the finished room.

  45. Lost a favorite earring (from a pair my father had bought for me on a rare overseas trip) down a heating grate. Actually found it again several years later as I was changing the furnace filter.
    Happy ending? Not quite. Lost it (or its mate) again about 15 years later at a concert with my then-4-year-old daughter. Seems that concert halls are less forgiving that heating ducts.

  46. I myself have come really closed to sprawling obscenities across the wall during home improvement projects. And yes…it’s better to take the wallpaper off first but not at the cost of your sanity. The walls behind my buffet in the dining room are painted over-the-wallpaper, because we, like you, had zero interest in re-drywalling another room. And nobody is the wiser. (‘cept for you though, and I’m sure I’d have your blessing!)

  47. Holy crap, dude, I needed a beer just reading about this adventure!!!
    By the way – painting over wallpaper – please share your wisdom. Do you need special paint, or anything, cuz I’ve got some of that comin’ my way….

  48. I know you don’t want to hear this but I’m so glad you share your stories. They make mine look simple and easy compared to yours (at times). I also like the way you “handle” your problems………one beer at a time.

  49. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint (especially over wall paper) can do! Although I feel as though I need a beer after reading your saga.

  50. Since my stash is currently living under the stairs in a place I can’t get to without moving the dryer I’m truly jealous. What a lovely stash room even if it still has plaster walls that drink paint.
    Congrats on getting it done and finding the peg.

  51. You’re doing way better than I would. I would spill the paint all over my most precious, irreplaceable books.

  52. LOVE the color.
    When the squirrels finally return all the fiber they’ve stolen, you could probably just take some spackle and smooth out the textured area that way…

  53. What a lovely color!! My master bath is the same 🙂
    You may have just inspired me to paint my kitchen – the hubby will be gone again next week to New Orleans… Maybe a suprise for him?!? lol

  54. I live in an OLD house (well over 100 years old) and our ENTIRE house is plaster and lathe. Yes, it’s the wallpaper that holds the walls together and nope, I’m not redoing it. I feel your pain. It’s a huge PITA to paint over (done 2 rooms upstairs and a partial wall on the main floor). Upstairs had the textured stuff you could scrap off, and scrape we did. For a weekend in October my SIL is taking all 5 kids (she’s CRAZY!) and hubby and I are deep cleaning the house. It will involve a lot of rearranging and tossing out and sorting and maybe even some painting (finish the living and dining rooms hopefully, maybe even get the boys’ room done).

  55. There actually IS something you can do with the booger walls, as they are called in my house. Remove the decorative molding/chair rail carefully — you are going to put it back up in exactly the same place, only with a strip of 1/8th inch thick wood behind it. (A power nail gun is a big help.) Once the trim is up, hand 1/8th inch drywall above and below, mud, sand, prime and paint. Smooth walls. And a lot of walls.
    Or you could learn to love booger walls. I did.

  56. My house is a mere 90 years old, but lets just say just say it has the soul of a much older building. It’s all original plaster and lathe walls (and ceilings…ever tried to repair a plaster ceiling? I recommend against it). Until last summer, it also had the old PIPES. Then one of the pipes got tired. Now the plumber has lots and lots of our money, and we have new pipes.
    The house is lovely, and full of character…but sometimes I cast a longing glance at the shiny new models with up-to-code wiring and more than two closets.

  57. I feel your pain – last year I bought a lovely lovely Victorian terraced house in London – all original plaster ceilings and walls. I am ignoring the existance of the ceiling entirely and all of the walls in the entire house have textured paper (which is okay, you mostly can’t see it) or lining paper (tricky way to make ones walls appear smooth). I’m trying to do all the DIY myself but some days after my eleven hundredth trip up and down the stairs for some random tool….well I bail right out to the pub for a pint.

  58. I’ve been foiled by both the lathe and plaster and wallpaper condrum AND the missing peg.
    If you look at the kitchen walls closely, you can see the lines of the pheasant border covering the edge of the blue plaid. My sanity is in tact thanks to this time-saving method.

  59. I too have an old house, 102 to be exact, and every “simple” project I have ever done has turned into the project that never ends. My prayers will be ongoing for you!

  60. Oh, the dreaded wallpaper removal. I grew up in a house built in 1870 with the plaster and lath walls. My mom told me my dad decided to take down wallpaper when I was about 3 years old. Dad, having been in the US Navy, knew a lot of “colorful” words that came out along with the wallpaper and plaster. And little 3-year-old me trailed along, happily repeating them.
    Lovely color, by the way.

  61. I’m sorry–I know it was terribly rude of me, but I laughed right out loud when I read the part where you stuck your hand in the can and it started to overflow.
    You have a lot more gumption than I. My method is to get halfway through a project like that and mess things up so badly that my husband takes pity on me and finishes it. It’s not actually a bad method, because if I ASKED him to do it (before I started it) he wouldn’t. Now I just skip that time-consuming step and jump right into wrecking things.

  62. It may be a little late, but that’s why I bought a package of extra pegs when I got my shelving from Ikea… I’ve got a ton of books and already knew how easily I lose things, so it seemed the logical thing to do. And of course, because I have extras, I’ve never lost any! Perverse world isn’t it? Just holler, and I’ll mail you some of mine! Best, randomknitter

  63. Been there, done that. Don’t you know by now that every single home-improvement project takes twice as long and costs three times as much as estimated!

  64. Beautiful color.
    I probably would have gone the sieve route. I get easily sidetracked, and may have forgotten about the project and just focused on that stupid peg for the rest of the day!
    We once thought that painting our newly built walls shouldn’t require primer, and happily painted ourselves into the poor house applying coat after coat! It finally stopped soaking in and started looking nice – but we will never again skip that step! And that was just drywall… I can’t imagine plaster.

  65. Not sure about in Canada, but if you called Ikea here (US) and explained you were missing a peg (for the record, I might leave out how it went missing) they would probably mail one right out to you. They’re pretty good that way. So if it happens, er, again, that’s an option.

  66. The room looks great so far – I love that green. You can buy whole bags of those pegs at hardware stores, I’ve had to do it. They are usually in the random hardware section, maybe even called Bookcase Pegs? So hit Home Depot before you inflict Ikea on yourself. A woman can only handle so much.

  67. You are a stronger woman than I! LOL I have yet to disasemble anything in this house.
    However, I have built a Billy. I think that must be the most popular bookshelf in the world.
    But — I will NEVER go back to IKEA! The place is just crazy!

  68. I’m having fun imagining the lovely reorganized stash and how much fun that will be. I know the textured walls are annoying, but when I saw the picture of them painted green it reminded me of those lovely hand quilted single color quilts that used to be made all the time (by people like my ancient Aunt Millie). Maybe you can think of it that way!

  69. You know you live at the end of the earth when you don’t have IKEA–that’s Fairbanks. I first heard of it in Iceland, probably 12 years ago; I’m not sure there were any in North America then. This summer I visited one for the first time–in Iceland. The only thing that would fit in my luggage was a pretty red rubber spatula.

  70. You are so amazing and so funny…thank you! You just made my day. Your room is going to look great!

  71. I quite like the textured plaster. It’s got a swirly frosting look to it. And anything that’s topped with frosting is good.

  72. Now, we all know lightning doesn’t strike twice, but IF YOU LOSE ANOTHER PEG, just bike over to the hardware store. I’ve got a whole box (at least 100) of those pegs that I think I paid $2.69 for.

  73. Brilliant! I hoard those little pegs in a small jar in my small-useful-things-that-get-lost-easily (not junk!) drawer.
    But I squee’d when I saw the color of the room. I just finished a shawl (which is currently blocked and drying as I type) in the green you chose for the room.

  74. Just wanted to say that there is an alternative to a. having highly textured paint drinking plaster walls and b. tearing them out to wall board, and it is called a skim coat. It’s is not quick, but it is easy and it has fantastic results. It does not cure bows in the walls however, it just solves the paint sucking texture problem.

  75. I also love the color, and really I can’t wait to see the finished project. Please be sure to include photos of the organized room that you will love to use after you are done.

  76. your story made me laugh out loud, because of how much i can see myself in that situation, every step of the way…
    and, um…if you were painting the walls celery green (which looks really pretty btw), why is part of the ceiling blue? what part of this story are you skipping?

  77. My heart died a little when you said you painted over the wallpaper. I understand the reasons but after spending 2 weeks in our new flat scraping off wallpaper layers (5 of them at some point) and some layers having been painted over, I can’t help but cringe at the idea of painting over wallpaper.
    As for the metal peg, I don’t think you would need to go to Ikea for a new one. At least in France they are readily available in DIY shops.
    Good luck with the rest of the make-over!

  78. I love the green. Please put the lids back on all your paint cans. At my cottage, in the upstairs bathroom, someone years ago went completely crazy with the plaster stuff, shaping it not in swirls, but in great pointy daggers that stick out from the ceiling (which is low and sloped) and they loved doing this so much that they even did part of the wall beside the toilet. I actually got impaled by one of the spikes. Also, the pointy daggers are covered with years of dust, being impossible to clean.

  79. (just wanted to add that i’ve never painted walls….so i wouldn’t know if the blue is primer. mighty pretty color, if it is. struck me that it might be as i was reading the comments before mine..)

  80. I’ve got some of those pegs – you’re welcome to a couple spare…Of course, part of the reason Ikea is so cheap is that they don’t give you anything they don’t have to. I do love Billy bookcases, there’s one I have that’s been abused for about nine years over three different houses, and it’s still looking good.
    That room is going to be great once it’s done. I’m sure it’s going to be so worth it!

  81. A victory, however small, is still a victory. That’ll show the rest of the pegs that you are not a woman to be trifled with!

  82. I’m glad you found it! One thought: paint reflects on itself and darkens the way dyed roving to yarn to knitting gets darker-looking with each step. Just in case you want to make one wall white or a really light shade to keep things from turning avocado-skin dark. (My grandfather owned a paint factory.)

  83. FWIW, I think your plan B wound up being smarter & more efficient overall than your plan A. Good thinking, there.
    Also, would it really kill those flat-pack furniture makers to include a few extras of the essential pieces? I’d happily pay a little extra for them & would much prefer for them to rattle around unused in a drawer for years… just knowing they were there & easily accessible would give me some peace of mind, you know?
    Anyway, looks like the room is shaping up quite nicely.

  84. Stephanie, you’re certainly not the first person to paint over wallpaper and you’re definitely not going to be the last. 🙂 My sister decided to repaint her kitchen and had to pull off 3 layers of wallpaper, all of which was painted over each layer an unknown amount of times before new paper was slapped on.
    Your home improvement sounds a lot like mine – you try to do the right thing, something gets screwed up, you say “eff it” and you move on!

  85. Your adventure just game me flashbacks to a room I redecorated once. I was only going to paint/paper 1 wall but it was a 3 foot straight section topped by a slanting section (a room on the 3rd floor near the attic). It took me 2 weeks to get the old paper off. Actually 4-5 layers of paper off where underneath I found penciled 1889. It was pretty when I finished (like yours!) but it almost wasn’t worth it. By the way, a bit of a dowel will work with those shelves, too. (ask me how I know!)
    Congratulations, your efforts really are worth it. Love the paint color.

  86. Oooh, love the new colour! Beautiful!
    I’ve successfully sanded down plaster to make a smoother surface before. It’s messy and one does need to do a sealer/base coat sort of thing before putting on regular paint, but it worked well.
    And I keep a plastic spoon handy whenever I paint, one that’s long enough to reach to the bottom of the can, because I *always* drop something in it.

  87. What I want to know is why don’t they just give you a couple extra friggin pegs???!!! They KNOW you’re going to loose at least one! This has happened to me more times than I care to admit.
    Lovely shade of green!

  88. I think at last count we had nine billy bookcases in this house.. I love them but those darn pegs… I use pliers and have been known to hammer the buggers back in with the pliers as well as yank them out. However I learnt after bookcase number four to pop up to customer services when I arrived and ask for some spare ones as I had lost one.
    I keep them in the bits and bobs box in the garage.
    They do last though, two of these cases we have had since I was 21. I’m 42.
    Can’t wait for finished pics…

  89. Oh thank goodness–no yarn avalanche then.
    Excellent color choice! Light green is very soothing, and it brightens up a space incredibly. Best of luck with the rest of the pegs!

  90. Personally, I think the textured plaster is just beautiful. I like it better than textured yarn! And good for you to not have just grabbed and ripped the paper. That’s what I probably would have done. I’ve got horrible “stripes” in a sheetrocked room, not because we painted over wallpaper and the seams show, but because the previous residents taped and painted stripes. The edges of the stripes show when the light is just right. Luckily it’s a guest room, but still.

  91. I also live in a 100+ year old house, and I’ve totally painted over wallpaper for all the reasons you did, and I didn’t feel bad about it at all. I felt very satisfied. And these were not walls that would be covered with shelving units. This was our bathroom, and because of all the steam that happens in a bathroom, the wallpaper has even curled back from the edges in a few places, and I don’t care that it’s obviously painted over wallpaper. ANYTHING is better than the pattern that was on the wallpaper before it was coated with paint. ANYTHING.

  92. Oooooooh – you have bulseye molding around your door! Do you have wide pine plank floors? I bet your house dates from the 1870’s. The 2 flat I owned with my ex years ago had those features &, in Chicago, you can go to City Hall to trace back ownership of your property as it changed hands. If it was standing before most of the city was actually incorporated into Chicago (1895), you can go to the Chicago History Museum to look in the old city directories (like phone books but no one had phones). I’m not sure how far back they go but I was able to trace our building back to 1873. It might be older than that but it’s at least that old. Love the shade of green you’re using.

  93. I have tons of spare pegs! That’s what happens when you make the Benno CD stands into DVD cases. Although somehow I’m sure I have more pegs than just that would account for. I’ll mail you some if you like. Canada Post is probably quicker than gearing up to go to Ikea again. 🙂
    I too am embarking on a paint-a-wall-move-stuff-around-paint-another-wall project. It definitely seems a lot saner than trying to find room for everything elsewhere. Glad to know it works! The kicker on my project, though, is at the end we’re ripping up the carpet and painting the cement floor, so I can’t permanently place anything until the first section of that is done and cured. But I know I’ll be happier with the painted cement that I can spin and fibre-prep on and then just sweep up than I am with the nasty carpet scraps just laid over the cement floor, or the 1970s shag that keeps vomiting dust bunnies. I guess we just have to keep our eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel?

  94. Love love love the colour of the walls. They say green is the colour you tire of least, so if you only redecorate once in a few decades, choose green. And yes, paint over that wallpaper. Do whatever it takes to keep your sanity and bank account intact. There are no decorating police, either.

  95. I hate to say this – but when you unpack the next bookcase, you’ll probably find an extra peg or two in there! We have a whole bagful of them at my house (my house is held together by IKEA furniture)!
    Can’t wait to see it finished, hoping you’ll inspire me to finish our bedroom, which is waiting, quietly, for paint!

  96. I have torn off paper and repapered every room in my house several times but last year painted over the dining room wallpaper. Then I remembered why I use wallpaper; old lumpy walls. Not so noticeable with paper. Recently I started taking paper off a closet wall and some plaster came with it. I shut the door. Will have to tackle it soon and I’ll probably paint over it. Your room will look lovely when it’s finished, though, and you’ll forget all the pain.

  97. In desperation painted over some wallpaper 23 years ago and it’s still intact. Love the shade of green.

  98. Um… you can use a bit of wood dowel in the same diameter in place of the silly pegs. Or a stick from a tree in your yard.

  99. Love the green (and the blue)! Another vote for the texture. I think it adds a bit of interest. Just wanted you to know you’ve inspired me. I’m off to IKEA this weekend for a whole new bedroom. I haven’t seen the top of my dresser for months…

  100. IMPORTANT FYI: you can buy those pegs at the home depot. as well as other shelf holders that fit the holes in the ikea bookcase. but yes, a crayon, pencil or twig will do just fine too. how about a piece of chopstick? or a crochet hook? or dare i say it…. a knitting needle? no no, that’s going too far.

  101. If your face is sad enough when you get to the IKEA counter, they won’t charge you the three cents for the replacement part — they’ll just let you have it for free. At least in Vancouver that’s true. Don’t ask me how I know. (stupid heating vents!)

  102. Even though it’s extremely aggravating when stuff happens (like the peg in the paint), it sure is good to hear they happen to someone else, not just me.
    Great progress on the “yarnery”! I have dibs on our daughter’s room when she moves out (and that will be soon as she has bought herself a house).

  103. I am probably the only person in the world who is sorry to see that wallpaper go. But then, it isn’t my house.
    It sounds like the worst is over. You have triumphed over old wall-paper, bad walls and IKEA pegs. So, the rest should be smooth sailing.

  104. Dude. You put together IKEA successfully in less than 24 hours, errant peg notwithstanding. Good on ya!
    The paint is pretty, too!

  105. Congratulations on finding the peg. It reminded me of a time a few years ago when I was chopping broccoli and a piece flew up in the air and evaporated. I thought for sure I’d find a shriveled up dusty piece of broccoli 6 months later, but I never did. If I had had an open can of paint in the kitchen, I’m sure that’s where it would have ended up. I didn’t though, so I can only surmise it went through a wormhole and somewhere on some distant world someone was baffled by the small green thing that appeared out of nowhere.

  106. I can just picture you sitting in the middle of a puddle of paint, frantically rooting around in the can. Thanks for the laugh! And for the record, it’s pretty likely that I would have done Exactly. The same. Thing.
    The little snippets above look lovely, by the way. Looks like a light at the end of the tunnel!

  107. When I was 8, we moved into a house that was 125 years old. It was in Northern New Hampshire which gets rather cold. My parents tried to take down the wallpaper in my sister’s room only to find there were 7 layers of paper! Turns out those 7 layers were keeping up the plaster, and when they came down, so did the plaster! We could see outside when standing inside my sister’s room and not looking out the window.
    Yes, it all had to be sheetrocked. No insullation as we didn’t have the money. I think the room was painted a brightish yellow. I like the celery much better, no matter what the texture.
    By the way, the house is 174 years old now.

  108. I thought you said you got more than one bookcase.
    So next time… open one of the other bookcases, take a peg, and if you don’t find the one that evaporated, then you can go to IKEA (or really, any hardware)at the end of all the scuffle and confusion.

  109. Our previous house was 100 years old. I was doing a little patching before we painted the ceiling. There was a crumbly spot around the light, and I took off the crumbly spot to get to “good plaster”. Fifteen minutes later the whole ceiling was down. There wasn’t any good plaster, it was practically sand and once you touched it, it was down.
    Leaving the paper alone was the right thing to do.

  110. I would have just taken a peg from the next set of shelves to set that one right and continued on with the painting, knowing full well (as you did) that the peg would be found as the paint level went down. However, that would have left me (you) with no excuse to drink a couple of beers. Win-win for you. And I totally didn’t read what Sarah said before starting to type, or I would have limited my comment to “what Sarah said”.

  111. lathe and plaster + Ikea shelves = 4 days, one entire can of putty, 2 pkgs of sand paper, a gallon each of primer and paint, goo-be-gone, wood floor refinishing kit, one haircut to remove paint from area formerly known as bangs….and one murdered stud “finder.” Ask me how I know.

  112. i had nearly finished putting together a spinning wheel yesterday when i realized i put the wheel on backwards and had to start over.
    i feel your pain.
    and your victory.

  113. Right now, I’m attempting to cram four years’ worth of neglected cleaning into four days because my sister, who hasn’t been here in four years (since Mom died) is arriving tomorrow for a visit. (I’m not a hoarder, I just didn’t realize it’s been THAT long since I ran the vacuum. Grief will do that to you.)
    It’s funny how a three-bedroom house only really holds three bedrooms’ worth of furniture. I didn’t understand that when I inherited the place and brought in my own three bedrooms’ full before unloading my parents’ stuff.
    What I’m learning is that sometimes the more you clean, the messier it gets. SIGH.

  114. That is a fantastic story. Maybe you could sell it to a TV serial! One of those good ones, like “As Time Goes By”. Truly inspiring! Like when I find my stitch marker between the airplane seats before I land.
    Whew! I’m so glad for your success! Pretty color green! -though the pink flowers had their nostaligic charm!! 😉

  115. Yeah, but ((( I am afraid to ask))) how are the September socks? Mine are so almost done and just about killed me. Love the green BTW.

  116. Your stash room is lovely. However, I did have to sigh sadly at your ability to head to an IKEA at any time. Although I am envious of an entire room for wool (even a small one), I am more envious of an IKEA that close. From Saskatoon it’s a 9 hour (Winnipeg), 8 hour (Calgary), or 6 hour (Edmonton) drive. Again, sigh.

  117. Huh. I’ve lost many of those IKEA pegs over the years. I just shove screws in as replacements. Lovely to have that room straightened out though!

  118. I am a big ikea fan, having shopped for furniture for 3 houses in 3 different countries, all at ikeas in 3 different currencies. And did you know,you can buy something at ikea in holland and return it to an ikea in London, and they don’t bat an eyelid. cool.
    Am soooo jealous of an entire stash room. and love the color. hooray for you.

  119. The green is such a huge improvement over the old fashioned cutsey wallpaper! I grew up in a house built in the 1870’s, and my parents made the strategic decision to paint over paper unless it was actively falling down, so far it’s worked fine and they’ve been in the house 30 years now.
    My paint story: I have painted nearly all of our 830 sq ft condo myself. My Husband and I tag-teamed on the bedrooms, but I painted the bathroom, kitchen, open plan living space, and our tiny “hallway”. The hall is just enough space for three doors and a closet, and we chose milk chocolate brown. Within a minute of telling my husband “Watch out for that can of paint” as he walked behind me…I stepped off the step stool INTO the can of paint and tipped the mostly full can over onto our light grey carpet. Of course I had drop cloths down, but they did not extend into the bedroom so of course I tipped the can perfectly to flow off the drop cloths.

  120. It’s a beautiful shade of green – and at least you didn’t spill it all down your front, soaking yourself to the skin (I turned a nice pink bra into a pink-and-blue tie-dyed looking thing that way).
    And I like the textured plaster…

  121. My favorite IKEA story: Once upon a time, my very handy boyfriend was assembling a cheap lamp from IKEA. The name of the lamp was NOT. It came in no more than 3 or 4 pieces and a single page of instructions, one side of which had a picture of the completed lamp with the name above it. He had it put together but was sitting there, staring (and swearing) at it. “I did everything it showed, and it seems right, but look at this — it says “Not” and I can’t figure out what’s not right in that picture. Hilarity ensued (for me) and he just got more irritated when I clued him in to the name of the lamp.
    Glad that IKEA didn’t beat you (this time). LOVE that color!

  122. Love the colour — and the story. I painted my tiny room (which is still waiting for me to get it organized) a similar colour, maybe a bit darker, and my bedroom the lighter tone. Feels so fresh and cheery. Don’t we all have a missing IKEA parts story? So frustrating. Glad it turned out just fine for you in the end.

  123. They really should give us an extra peg or two, just in case. OH, and I like that you figured out how to paint the room without having to unload it, I wouldn’t have thought of that in a thousand years.

  124. Just a small hint for ‘next’ time, (i use mine for the heating grate) you can buy telescoping magnetpens at the hardwareshop…very handy tool for digging out small metal objects….

  125. If that was wallpaper with a paper face, you really should have used a stain-killing primer before the finish paint. The wallpaper dyes often bleed through over time. . .
    And if that was vinyl wallpaper, you should have made sure the paint was guaranteed to stick and stay stuck to it. Otherwise, the paint will peel over time. . .
    And why did we all know that room would end up some yellowy or bronzy shade of medium to light green? Given time, Megan’s friend will learn you ARE crazy, but predictably so! 🙂

  126. I hate those stupid little pegs too. Impossible to get out when you want them out, but the little f^*%ers wiggle out as soon as you get the shelf full of books, then try to take one off to read it.

  127. You’re doing just fine and this will be a great closet! I, too, painted over wallpaper in a 150-year-old house. It was the only sensible thing to do, and in a living room, yet. It looked perfectly fine and I never regretted it. Bah on the naysayers.

  128. omg, when one thing leads to another you never know where you’ll end up. i’d have brought you a 5 galloon bucket to empty the paint into, or an extra rolling tray, or a magnet taped to a stick. glad you finally found that peg. but here’s my real question: i thought your stash room was that new addition in the back of your main floor? do you have 2 stash rooms? one a lovely green, btw.

  129. I like the green with the white trim. Very cheerful! Don’t worry about painting over wallpaper. Hubby and I recently redid our half-bathroom which has 30-year-old wallpaper which was not even peeling, lifting, nothing. Hubby spackled with seams, I primed with an oil primer and we were good to go for painting. Looks great!

  130. Love the green. It’s you. May I recommend the Expedit bookcase ( from Ikea? It’s great for holding stash of all kinds; yarn, books, fabric. You used to be able to get single drawers. All I can see on the Ikea Canadian website is a $40 two drawer unit.
    The white would look great against the celery green and pick up on the trim at the top of the room.

  131. That green is my favorite color! And for the peg-we had to traipse all over Bozeman to find one of those pegs that was missing from a bookcase we bought at the University’s garage sale. This was for the office I mentioned in yesterday’s comment. We couldn’t find one that matched so we shifted some things and put the “new” one on an inside shelf. Boy am I glad that’s done-what a pain going through all that stuff. Hang in there, girl-you’ll be really happy to have your decks cleared.

  132. World’s greatest knitter tackles home repair! Stay tuned for season opener on your local TV station. Can she knit a sock and assemble a bookcase at the same time? Is there anything you can’t do?
    Eve from Carlisle

  133. I can so relate to this. We are remodeling our laundry room and it’s taking so long due to lack of spare time. We purchased paint and tile last year but didn’t have time to paint until this July and the tile is still in the box. We got the entire room painted before we realized that the paint we bought just doesn’t go with the tile at all. It’s too pink. We bought it last November and how could we have been so wrong? We found some new paint that really goes well…now for the time to do it all again. It’s a bad dream and I wish I could wake up with it all finished.

  134. I have six Billy bookcases in my home. Four in my bedroom, one in the hallway by my kitchen, and one in my daughter’s room. And an IKEA entertainment center, and five CD shelf units all in a row in my living room.
    Egads, I have a lot of IKEA stuff!

  135. Bravo! I can’t wait to see what a lovely little spot that turns into, and enjoy vicariously the kind of project that I would love to do, but wonder if my children will need to be nearly grown & flown before I do. (Well, except for build, decorate & furnish the house we’re starting. The two year old can wave a paint brush around just fine, right? ;o)

  136. Lee Valley Tools sells those little metal pegs, and they’re just the right size. They call them ‘economy shelf supports’ and you can get a bag of fifty for $4.20 and never fear Ikea furniture again.
    Best five dollars I ever spent.

  137. I feel your pain! When I tried to take the wallpaper off the wall with a steamer; the plaster melted!!! Had to have the walls skim coated. Builders used wrong material for walls. No one in my house is handy enought to put Ikea furniture together; you are very brave. My piles of yarn, patterns, needles, etc just sit there on the floor.

  138. I have self-adjusting locking pliers, they work to get out those annoying pegs without needing your hands to apply constant pressure as you wiggle the peg out.

  139. BTW, if you put the last of your paint in a glass jar instead of the original can, screw the lid down tight, and store it upside down it will stay fresh practically forever, to be used if you need to do touch-ups.

  140. Just for the record, you can write Ikea an email describing what 3 cent piece of evil hardware you are missing and they will mail it to your house. Takes about a week and please, please, don’t ask me how I know that.

  141. I want to know how those little things always find the open can of paint. It’s like when someone leaves the toilet seat up in our house. Guaranteed my comb will fall into it…and someone will have forgotten to flush.

  142. The last time I painted a room, the ladder hadn’t locked properly. The first few steps up and the ladder decided to fold up. The paint tray (roller type) went flying! There was paint on me , in my hair and all over the hardwood floor. Definitely a “Diety event” and when the clean up was finished, it was the end of painting for that day, and time for that beer!

  143. You know, I don’t think you could be taken down by anything… the blows you’ve had to deal with won’t let you be taken down by a peg 🙂

  144. That looks pretty. The different structures of the plaster done in the same colour look nice and I love the white band (I’m sure there is a proper english word for it, but I can’t remember it) around the room.
    Otherwise the sory of the peg has an oddly familiar ring to it…..almost as familiar as the scenario where the furniture is assembled and you have a peg or a scew left over… I can’t help it but that always worries me.

  145. Know how you feel about moving all that stuff out and back again, plus re-plastering. Our box room is of similar proportions to yours – DH stripped it out 6 months ago with the plan of patching the plaster and painting (we had builders and a skip in situ, plus storage hired, so it made sense back in March). He promptly got a job where the commute is 4 hours a day, so its sat unfinished ever since.
    Last week, he bit the bullet and agreed to put shelving back in so that we could clear out the storage unit and spend the money on something more important. The walls are bare plaster but it’s better than a £175 haemorrhage every month.
    – Pam
    PS: Our shelving of choice is Ivor – buy the uprights and as many shelves as you need/want. I love Ikea’s storage solutions.

  146. Hooray to painting over despicable wallpaper – I did to the master bath when we moved into our current home 19 years ago – I learned as you did that the paper was holding up the walls. And I’m happy to say that a dozen shades of paint later (it is the one room I cannot stand to leave the same color for more than a year or two) – the walls still look great, no more ugly brown FOIL wallpaper – and I think they’re better insulated with the wallpaper still intact. I wonder if there is a paint load limit for wallpaper?

  147. Wow, sounds like you are doing a GREAT job and it was totally the right thing to paint over that wall paper — they do it on the decorating shows all the time. Great color and you’ll find those pesky Ikea bookcases will serve you well in the end!

  148. Congrats on keeping it together, Stephanie. But I’ve got to say: “Screw This” in bright blue letters would have made an awesome photo for the blog, heh.

  149. I just finished a six-week battle with a wonderful new three-tier, aluminum-fronted IKEA cabient/shelf thing for my kitchen. I love it… now that it’s together. Getting it there? Not so much.
    (Evidently, things like “spacers” and “wall brackets” are necessary for shelves with electrical outlets and phone jacks if one wants the electricity and phone service to continue, but doesn’t want a 100kg cabinet crashing down on one’s head. Who knew?)

  150. Oooh. I hate painting a room with something in it as then I’m always bumping into it or splashing paint on it. I thought maybe you were going to write that you turned around in the tiny room and misjudged and painted the bookcase! I’m surprised you didn’t prime first and that the plaster still soaked up paint since it was already painted.
    There is a HILARIOUS video on YouTube about a man trying to put together an IKEA dresser.
    Love the paint colour!

  151. It looks like it is going to very pretty, as far as storage rooms go.
    I have done the exact same thing with IKEA pegs (ok, not in the paint can, but almost lost for all eternity down vents or drains). Instead of trying to pry out the dang IKEA peg with a screw-driver, try using vice grips or flat-head plyers. Yes, you may scuff up the smooth finish (added “friction”), but at least when you finally yank the sucker out, you have it in your tight little grip. No more mooshing through paint cans or hovering over heating vents praying nothing fell down there.

  152. BAHAHAHHA! I have this mental image of you as a (very small) tribeswoman, eating her way through a wooly mammoth one determined bite at a time.
    Perty color you chose too…
    Much as you try you can’t distract us though. How’s the SOCK GOING? >:-)

  153. In the immortal words of my friend Dave: “Dude. One should never assmble IKEA furniture in a fragile emotional state.”

  154. I feel your pain. I am missing a similar peg for a corner bookshelf from Ikea and I really should just swing by after work one day and get the replacement pegs, but…
    BTW, I love the color!

  155. If you ever lose one of those pegs again, you can substitute a short screw for the peg. I know this from experience. It will keep insanity at bay. Love the color, BTW.

  156. I feel your pain. If there is an open paint can, vent, window or shiny-object-fixated-cat around I will totally be the one to drop/lose something to one of those fates. Sigh. I’d love to hear a review of the Billy bookcases once you have them all assembled and loaded. I am planning to put them in a spare bedroom to house most of the 30+ boxes of books my husband and I hauled to our new house.

  157. The room looks great so far! I lost a few pegs for an adjustable shelf in a move once, and in desperation I grabbed a rounded (not rectangular) bamboo chopstick from leftover take-out. Turned out it was a perfect fit! I was able to snip off a few pegs using a pair of pliers. So if you loose anymore, I recommend getting some take-out Chinese food to go along with that beer!

  158. Glad the phone a friend network is working well. I can’t believe Ikea doesn’t give you an extra couple of pegs to start with. Jeesh! We have a yogurt cup full of the things from our many, many, many assemble yourself projects around our house. May I recommend that the next time you brave Ikea you buy a package of pegs for just in case.
    Love the color. But that wallpaper reminds me of what was on my bedroom walls when I was a child. Can you see Alice in a room with flowered wallpaper? Didn’t think so.
    Happy Knitting now the project is done.

  159. It looks great! It’s alway’s the small stuff that trips us up, isn’t it?!! I am in the process of renovating an old sleeping porch into my workroom/storage facility. For the past 20 years my husband has used this area to store all the “little goodies” that have followed him home from flea markets, yard sales, etc. He’s been out of town for the past week, and he’ll be very surprised when he gets home! I boxed it all and moved it to the basement. He owned this old house before we got married, and NOTHING was ever done to this room. The good news is, there is no wallpaper or plaster. But, I just finished taking 7 layers of linoleum off the floor and I haven’t found a wood floor yet! I usually don’t give up easily, and you certain have inspired me to forge onward.

  160. GREAT color! And, as the veteran of many an Ikea assemblage, I’ve found that the big box hardware stores (Lowes and Home Despot) also carry those little shelving pegs. I finally learned to use pliers with grippy bits on the nose to pull those dang things out because I think gravity affects them in a manner all out of proportion to their size. We’ve got about 6 of those Billy bookcases – love ’em!

  161. My husband and I are painting rooms in our house too. We bought it in May and it had horrible wallpaper. Removing it was pure torture!!! We still have paper to remove. I feel your pain and I envy your resolves to paint right over it.
    I love that green. I’m looking for a green like that for my kitchen. Is that Behr paint in Celery Sprig?

  162. My first thought was magnetized screwdriver and it was stuck to there…. my second thought was ‘don’t they give you a few extra pegs?’ – but that would be too easy I guess.

  163. it is that 0-to-rage factor that keeps me leery of any home improvement scheme, no matter how much i want it done. all my schemes need to be on a relaxed time schedule, so i can walk away before i totally lose it. 🙂 best of luck to you and i’m so glad you found the peg!!!

  164. Rule one with IKEA: always stop by the customer service desk for a handful of the free extra hardware (they’ve bins of all the different pegs and screws behind the desk) on your way out. 😉
    Room is looking brighter and cheerier and more organized already.

  165. JLS’s suggestion is a good one. The other (if it hasn’t already been suggested) is that Ikea will mail you bits if you really don’t want to go back there (I know what of you speak).
    My other comment I wished to make, based on having owned/lived in 2 houses approaching 100 years and 1 approaching 175 years, your method of revamping your small closet/storage room is quite valid. The paper is likely all that’s holding the plaster up. Now, you can easily patch bits that fall out with a stiff mixture of either polyfill or drywall compound. I’ve also learned some great ways of patching plaster recently from a professional plasterer (yes he does things the old fashioned way) which are invisible once painted. Painting over the paper is an ok choice, if gutting is not an option, but do make sure your paper is still quite firmly stuck to the wall. Paint layers have popped wallpaper off plaster in the past. Also, leaving the paper on has one more benefit for you in that it will help hold the continuity of the original plaster should you add nails/screws or other shelf supports (which would just explode raw plaster at the insertion site). Lastly – the stucco for the ceiling – I hate it too – with a passion. Yours looks like a mild, not so pointy type. Should you wish in future, you could actually plaster right over it and smooth it out. Therefore you don’t have to take it down, you aren’t entombing it and thus removing that much more space from your room, and the materials are relatively cheap. The downside? Making it flat…
    Anyway, good luck with the rest of the renovations!

  166. When we painted our tiny nursery with plaster and lathe walls, after we painted over the wallpaper, it peeled right off. We had to go back and prime first, and then paint. I hope this doesn’t happen to you. *runsandhidesforintroducingworries*

  167. I painted over wallpaper in my kitchen 3 years ago. The wallpaper was installed by the builder, over unfinished walls. Stripping the paper would have caused so many problems. I know, I did it in a bathroom and regret it 10 years later. The paint is holding up well and you don’t really notice the seams unless your looking for them. Your room looks great!

  168. Make sure you strap the tall Billys to the wall. Trust me on this. They hurt when they fall over on you. 😉 Also, I’m a big fan of pliers to get those pesky little pegs out. That way you have a grip on them and they usually stay with you when they pop out. Great color!

  169. Brilliant! Beautiful color.
    Did something similar in the past. This may be way more than you’d want but I painted the back panels of the BILLY bookcses the color of the walls. Made the room seem less IKEA-bookcasey, if that makes any sense at all.
    Best wishes on completing your project. 🙂

  170. I *love* the color!
    And just so you know…you can get extras of those Ikea pegs…I have lost some myself, and I believe if you go straight to the Marketplace and ask a little Ikea Elf, they will direct you to a place where you pick up a pack of them for like $1 (CND). 😀

  171. How do you get your paint so crisp around that trim when it doesn’t look like you are using tape? Even with tape I end up with a shabby mess when trim is involved.
    Love the shade of green you picked.

  172. Enjoyed your story. I need help. You mentioned reposionable highlighter tape in you email calendar a few days ago. Could you please tell me where to find it.
    Thank you, Sharon

  173. Way to stick it out! I always have to relearn that lesson at the worst times – the most unlikely thing to happen will always happen, in the most unlikely way, at the most inopportune moment… = )

  174. I love the colour and I’m glad it eventually worked out for you (I’m a big supporter of taking a break for beer when the situation is getting out of control)
    I’ll probably get (virtually) hit by making this suggestion after the fact but, if you were putting up other bookcases, would they not have had pegs for them too? I might have grabbed a peg from one of the bookcases not yet set up, therefore putting the situation off until the end of the process (and the end of the paint can)

  175. Looking really nice – love the green!
    And to vb and CindyT the blue in the pictures is the “original” color scheme (see previous post “Over My Head”)

  176. Always enjoy following your adventures!! And you seem to have lots—at least you’ll never be able to look back and say that you’ve had a boring life. It always seems pretty interesting at your house — or at least through your eyes (and blog) it is!
    Totally off subject, but…..that precious little lace bonnet and booties you knit back in May…are they your pattern or another? If it is yours, which I’m guessing it is…..would you please share it with us?? They are as cute as it gets! (I was one of the ones who patiently waited for That Pretty Thing, and bought it right away….haven’t made it yet…but, I bought some Qiviut this summer and it will be perfect for it!!! Thank you, again!)

  177. Looks great!
    I’ve been intending to do something to my bedroom for about the last 5 years and have been avoiding it because stripping the wallpaper would be so much of a pain, and I don’t know how to hang the stuff… I think I’m just going to paint over one wall, and see how it looks…

  178. “…beginning the rest of the Ikea assembly”?
    You have more un-built bookcases?
    Next time, take a peg out of one of the un-built sets and replace it when you are done with the last one.

  179. I am so freakin’ impressed! You found it! I am never that lucky…
    I actually love your wall color (and I’m not that into green, lemme tell ya, but these days, it’s growing on me.)

  180. I can sympathize – I grew up in an old house, and my parents had a lot of wallpaper-related drama with their DIY projects. (One room had eight – EIGHT – different layers of exciting wallpaper to strip.)

  181. That’s a hoot. I would have taken a peg out of one of the to-be-assembled bookcase kits until more paint was used up… but I would never have thought of painting/staging the room in sections like you, so I’d still be stuck at square one!
    Smart to cover the register, too. I have a screw somewhere in my bathroom sink trap, waiting until the drain clogs and I have to open the trap, because I didn’t think to close the drain while installing a hook on the bathroom door. It may be there quite a while.

  182. My mother used to hate wallpaper. She said it was what poor people used to use to hold the plaster up and she always refused to have it on the walls. Painting over wallpaper on a lathe and plaster wall is the ONLY sensible solution unless you have plans to gut the room. Hubby is fovever taking apart electonic parts and having lost lots of little bits down grates and drains it has now become the first priority on any major job to cover them up. We learn by experience, only with this kind of job, once you have gained the experience, you aren’t likely to do that job ever again.

  183. Be glad you didn’t opt for taking down the plaster and lathe. We finally did that in our ugliest room, a bathroom, in January. The plaster dust ends up literally all over everything in the house. And this bathroom is not yet completed. It will be worth it, but if I didn’t have to work for a living, it would help me get these projects finished! Your room looks great so far!

  184. Do be careful with those Billy shelves as they bend downwards in the middle when you put heavy books on them. You can’t turn them upside down when they’re bent, either, because of the notches for the pegs. So try to put the heaviest books on the outer edges of the shelves and, just for the security of it all, buy some extra shelves NOW so that you won’t have to looked at bowed shelves for years and years because it’s too much of nuisance to make the trek out to Ikea just for cheap Billy shelves.
    Sheila B

  185. I’ve struggled with those metal shelf support pegs too. Use pliers instead of a screwdriver to get them out and they won’t fly anywhere – you’ll be gripping them with the pliers. Good luck!

  186. At my mum’s home, the dining room, front staircase, and entire upstairs hallway are wallpaper covered by paint. (It’s a pretty big house, too.)
    It has an unusual texture, but is very pretty. She’s been complimented on her good taste in wallpaper. She smiles and says, “Thank you.”

  187. Ah, Stephanie… it’s a lovely thing that you’re in the world, writing these things. I laughed and laughed. The green is lovely, and that pin is a thing of beauty. So very glad you retrieved it!

  188. Love the colour! Good on you for doing all that work yourself – including replanning when plan #1 wasn’t working out.
    Just a question – don’t they usually give you a few extra pegs when you buy that stuff from IKEA? Or did they just give you the exact right number?

  189. I painted over wall paper in my bedroom (we have a house from the eighteen hundreds.) and it looks pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself. The few flaws give it ‘character’.

  190. Well done for walking away when you needed to. I’m not always good at recognizing that moment in myself. Good luck with the rest of the project!

  191. Wow. It’s so hard to have the patience that these seemingly small projects require. I feel your pain. Good job and good luck for the rest of it.

  192. I only recently learned that you’re even supposed to remove wallpaper before painting. Seems a bit nitpicky to me, but then again I live in a house where not a single room is without a hole in the wall. (100 year-old lathe & plaster RENTAL.) Who invented lathe & plaster? Can I go back in time and kill them?

  193. Stephanie the pugancious! Great job moving things about… Our IKEA has a room with buckets of fittings and bits. We stop in that room and get extras of whatever is part of our furniture before we leave – BECAUSE we know something will spring away when we least expect it. Also, the room has an OK depth to it, at least it seems so from the last pix. Can’t wait to see the finished room, roomette?, alcove? I like it.

  194. I’m currently in the middle of old house painting/renovating too, and that old horsehair plaster really is awful. I think it was a good idea for you to leave the wallpaper and paint over it – definitely a time and sanity saver! I’m happy that you found your peg too – after two kitchen plans and a lot more trips to Ikea, going back for anything, especially something that small, is a chore. Yay for you!

  195. Happy Anniversary! I love our anniversary more than my birthday or Mother’s Day. Hope the day has been just great.

  196. I also live in an old house with lath and plaster. The kitchen was entirely wallpapered, including the ceiling. The pro painters conferred, attempted too strip paper, then primed and painted it. It forms a new, permanent substance that actually seems to stabilize the walls. They used Zissner Killz primer, which sounds to me like the name of a punk rock band, but whatever. It works for me! There is actually a wallpaper that is meant to be painted, as an aid to covering really damaged walls. So, you just sort of reverse engineered it. Nice green, BTW.

  197. I’m pretty sure Ikea has a help-yourself basket of these sorts of pegs available in their customer service area to help people fix just this sort of situation.
    Of course, that would mean having to make the trip back to Ikea, which is probably not what you want to do.
    So glad you found the peg!

  198. Oh Steph, you are a disaster! I could not help but laugh having been in similar situations. “the peg flew across the room, bounced once, and then evaporated without a sound” Isn’t that always how it goes? I’m building a spinning wheel with my Dad and the last time I was over there, we both kept dropping almost everything we touched on the floor. Eventually we started chucking stuff on the floor on purpose because, hey, it’s going to end up there eventually!
    Kudos on the slick plan, it’s not something I would’ve come up with.

  199. Oh, look at that wee little but vital piece of paint-covered hardware in your wee little hand. Thank goodness you found it. Ikea is not great with providing individual replacement parts. When my son lost the “headboard screw” in a size known only to Ikea, we gave up on trying to replace it (a projected 4-5 month process) and resorted to some L-shaped pieces of hardware. They cost less than $5 and were obtained in 15 minutes (driving and hardware store searching time included).
    I can’t wait to see how your room looks when it is finished. I desperately need some inspiration.

  200. Hahahahaha!
    When we moved to our house five years ago, I remember driving down with a big load of stuff in my little car, thinking “Hey, that lump of stuff looks like a shelf from a Billy bookcase.”
    Ahem. It was. From MY Billy bookcase. Worse, it was one of the important bits. And I didn’t stop to pick it up either. So now one of the bookcases has a lump of pine for its top.
    Love the colour of the room – I’m very into green rooms at present.

  201. Yep, of course, it had to be in the paint can. Things are always where they cannot be! The room, the part that I can see, looks great. And yes, I painted over the wallpaper in my dining room and kitchen. It has a nice texture to it!

  202. Good work, lovely color, etc.
    And I don’t want to be the one who tells you this now that the problem is all solved, but… a good hardware store can sell you those little pegs, or something close enough that it doesn’t matter much unless you look very very closely.
    Keep it in mind. You will lose some of those pegs again, sometime when you decide to move the shelves or carry the shelving unit to another room, and then you’ll remember “Hey, Janet said to go to the hardware store,” and it will save you an evening of angst.

  203. I can SO sympathize. We just sold a house we’ve had on the market for the past three years: full list price, no inspections, no contingencies, a very sweet deal. SOOOOO, I take the range apart and am giving it an amazing cleaning. It has down-draft venting on each side and, bounce, bounce, bounce, the knob for the cook top skips across the countertop and down the vent. I just stood there and watched not believeing what was happening. No way to get it out… Thank goodness the part was still available: $25 for a plastic part for a 20-year-old range. :o)Oh well!

  204. The best thing to paint over wallpaper is a coat of Kilz followed by a coat of outdoor grade paint. It’s too thick and doesn;t soak up as easily.
    Second, if you ever need to patch 100-year-old plaster wals, cal me. I have trade secrets.

  205. paint over wallpaper? ssshh, I do it all the time. I sympathise with your diy agonies, but it gives me courage to tackle the horror that is putting up the shelves in the airing cupboard. They fit in the cupboard, i measure that but derr, why before i put them together on the landing didn’t I realise the cupboard door is narrower….. Never mind. go and knit for a bit, and maybe it will all be better when I go back.

  206. Love the green paint, like the texture quite a lot, loathe IKEA. I’m so glad you found the peg, no one should be forced to go to IKEA twice for one project as it takes so much steeling up to go the first time for what you want.

  207. Three cheers for painting over wallpaper! Our house is full of similar-vintage stuff, with the same problem of “oops it’s holding up the wall.” (AND the ceiling. Who wallpapers a ceiling?!) Anyway, I learned that BIN works wonders in covering up wallpaper. Your room looks great!

  208. I had been thinking of painting over the wallpapered wall in my son’s room–telling my husband no one much is going to ever see it but the cats and us–instead of stipping off the unsized wallpaper on plaster. Now I’m feeling really good about that idea–thank you!

  209. I love that shade of green! It looks exactly like what we used in our master bedroom about 4 years ago in our house in South Carolina. We don’t live there anymore. But I’ll always remember that I painted the entire room ALL BY MYSELF for the first time ever! That and the fact that I chose the color and just loved, loved loved the way it looked.

  210. As a last resort, I would have hammered an itty bitty nail into the peg spot if it had happened to me and I couldn’t find the peg.
    Trips to IKEA are suicide.

  211. Dude, I have not read all the comments, but 1) I love my one Billy bookcase and 2) I have a stash—of extra metal pegs for bookcases. If this happens again, feel free to e-mail me and I’ll mail you one. But it won’t happen again because now you have a backup plan.

Comments are closed.