It’s The Little Things That Get You Down

It looks like Spring may finally have arrived in Illinois; the ladybugs are crawling everywhere, squirrels are randy, and the lilac in the yard is beginning to bud.

Time for a spot of spring cleaning, perhaps, but – oh, dear – a glance around the old homestead reveals a bit more than a scrubber and hot water is required. Paint and wallpaper are definitely needed in abundance to replace the faded, jaded, character of the front bedroom and kitchen.

I used to be a dab hand with a paintbrush, and wallpapering came naturally, so all that’s required is a few tools to accomplish the task. There’s already a scraper and paintbrushes tucked away in the garage somewhere, but the one thing we don’t have is a pasting table.

A good table is vital, otherwise your paper keeps slipping all over the place when you try to paste it.

A trip to Lowes produced nothing but a blank stare from the assistant, who obviously had no idea the wallpaper in their decorating compartment required anything to stick it to the wall.

Menards was similarly dumbfounded.

“Paste tables? Sorry, we don’t have a computer department. Have you tried Radio Shack?”

What do they know?

Why am I driving all over town? The internet always solves my purchasing problems.

A quick Google, and there it is: “Paste Table with Plywood Top – £14.99”[1]

What could be easier?

Hang on, why is that a ‘pound’ sign? Oh, Blast! It’s a UK website.

Paste Table with Plywood Top - £14.99

Thirty minutes later, after trawling through eBay, Google, and half a dozen other search engines, I found the only website in the US selling a similar paste table. Almost breathlessly, I clicked on the link.[2]

Wallpaper Pasting Table - $419.00


Okay, now admittedly it’s got an aluminium frame and steel legs, but can that justify over twenty times the price? As a special concession they offer free shipping. But then, to add insult to injury, I noticed it was ‘DISCONTINUED”.

“Excuse me, Mister man-at-Lowes, but I’ve come to return these six rolls of anaglypta wallpaper.”

Now, where’s that scrubber, and a bucket for the hot water?

[1] A UK website

[2] Paint Store Online A US website

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4 Replies to “It’s The Little Things That Get You Down”

  1. Two choices, RJA, *she says helpfully*

    (1) Wallpaper is so last century, my good man, revitalize with paint.

    (2) If you insist on wallpaper, 2 saw horses and an old door. Perfect.


  2. Yes – your post reminded me of the curiously blank stares I got from Himself just after moving in to this house, when wanting to update and change decor. We used wallpaper in the bathroom and entrance hall (‘cos walls not too smooth and beautiful).
    The husband had no idea what a “papering table” is, he who has always prided himself on being a dab-hand at decorating. I think he had to use the sink tops for pasting if I recall. Good thing both areas required only short “drops” ! No idea what he’d have done with floor to ceiling pieces.

    Very odd!

  3. I was going to suggest either the old door or a similar sized sheet of thickish-plywood…

    But then when my parents’ home was flooded 10 years ago, the decorators that the insurance company provided cut the wallpaper into foot-long strips, held them to the wall with one hand (or occasionally a foot) whilst slathering it with paste. *They* didn’t need a pasting table! (They did need a new job after my parents saw them doing it, though…)

  4. WWW – if I painted my walls they would end up looking like a fresco of the Rocky Mountains, which is why I decided on a heavy anaglypta, pre-painting.

    Your second suggestion would be fine, and I’d already considered the possibility, but I possess neither sawhorses or spare doors. I suppose I could purchase the sawhorses and remove an internal door from its hinges temporarily, but I’ve truly reached an age where such antics are too much trouble. I can afford a pasting table, therefore, in this capitalist environment, I should be able to purchase one. Isn’t that what America’s all about?

    Twilight – to English people in America, blank stares are common. I remember the glazed expression of the local Walmart manager when I demanded to know where in the store he kept his teapots.

    Jo – and Americans think ‘cowboys’ are specific to them!

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