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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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What Mules & I Have In Common



I can be stubborn. Like a mule. I can start a project and come hell or high water, I will try my best to accomplish it. 


Like in my oil cloth project. A dud. I worked on this for 3-4 days. Trying to cover my counter tops in the kitchen and the back splash.

You see, right after my surgery, when I was getting around on the scooter, the handle bars came just over the edge of the kitchen counter. In order to turn the water on or off, I had to lean in. It tore up the black contact paper I applied there. 

So I ripped that off. And somehow the black and white contact paper on the back splash, well, it seemed to get caught on it and off it came too. 

I was faced with a dilemma. Put more contact paper on, which just about drove me round the bend. Or come up with a new idea. My idea was oil cloth. Seemed like a good idea. 

So I set about trying to make it work. Unfortunately, my idea to adhere it to the wall and counter was to use my hot glue gun. I was just going to put it around the edges. 

But that didn't work. Bubbles, waves. I couldn't think of anything to do but razor areas where there were bubbles and waves and squeeze more hot glue inside. Burning my fingers in the process. 

Things just got out of hand somehow. So much hot glue was used. And lots of little snips of aloe vera were used to squeeze onto my burned fingers.  

So I ended up with a patchwork sort of thing. And about 15 sticks of hot glue on the surface behind it. 

Today I finally decided to call it quits on that idea. So I ripped it all off. And was left with lots of squiggles of dried hot glue. Everywhere. 

I googled how to get it off. The answer seemed to be to take a cotton ball and put rubbing alcohol on it and rub it over the hot glue. Naturally I gave up on that fairly quickly. It would take me weeks to cover all that. So I graduated to a sponge. 

I scrubbed and pulled till my fingers and knuckles were bloody from the effort. I tried sanding. Didn't help much. 

Now what? Nothing seems to work because the counter tops and back splash are textured. As in raised. And nothing wants to stick to it. Not contact paper, certainly. 

Visualize a textured surface with lots of hot glue. Not a pretty picture. 

And in my efforts to get the hot glue off, I also pulled some of the surface off, whatever it is. 

Back to square one. Again. Note to self: Know when to admit defeat.


Cozy Little House
58 Comments
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58 comments:

  1. Paint? Very very thick paint? Oh Brenda...this is one stuck mess...no pun intended.

    Wondering about those counter top refinished paints, they are textured, and they have a protective coating? And for the backsplash how about some creative cork? or stick on tiles? With a clear waterproof coating.

    Hope that this one gets unstuck in a simple way.

    Hey, I'm stubborn too...so I completely understand.

    Jen

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    1. Problem is, I'm renting this patio apartment. Not that it's stopped me all that much! I'd rather they take my deposit, should I move, than live with ugly. And these countertops/backsplash are indeed ugly. They blew some kind of paint on that has little squiggles in it of various colors. Looks like worms to me. I hate worms.

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  2. Oh bummer! But you are in good company. I think all of us creative types have been there. You'll think of something... not sure how big an area it is, but have you seen the tin tiles at Home Depot??

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    1. I have thought of those tin tiles many times. But I've read that it's hard to keep them on the surface unless you use some type of glue. And being that the back splash is vertical, would have to once again adhere with glue.

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  3. Ouch. Go to bed early and read a good book and snuggle with the pupsters and put something on your hands and drink a glass of water and .... oh goodness Brenda. Hugs.
    Joy

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    1. I laid in bed and thought and thought, trying to turn my thoughts off. You know I'm sure how well that works. I'll figure out something. This has just proven to be the bane of my existence since I moved here. It's in the bathroom as well. I just try not to show that.

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  4. OMGosh,Brenda. Your project sounds like some of my hare-brained ideas (not that you are hare-brained...lol).. If you can get the flipping glue off you could just paint it. I have painted formica many, many times over the years. You will figure something out. How about some of those very thin strips of wood flooring or even vinyl tiles? YOu could easily cut those to size and they are self stick and would probably cover up most of the glue mess if it isn't too bad. They are cheap, too. Good luck. my friend. xo Diana

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    1. That is on my list to look into next. I'll nail something in at this point if I have to. And yes, I do get hare-brained ideas. Or is it hair-brained???

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  5. If you're trying to get the hot glue off can you try using the same method as getting melted wax out of carpets? That is put a rag cloth or towel (or even paper towel) over the hot glue and then run a hot iron over it so the glue melts onto the cloth/paper towel? It may take a lot of passes and a lot of cloths but maybe less painful?

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    1. I'll try that. Will be hardest on the back splash, where most of the hot glue is.

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  7. I removed hot glue from a window seat last week with a hot iron and a piece of paper. It took a while, but I finally did get it off.

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    1. Will try that. I've tried the blow dryer. Didn't work. I'll try the iron and hope it doesn't sink it further into this ugly textured and raised surface, which I really am trying to sand down. But now having a lot of luck. And I don't have an electric sander.

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    2. ...Meant "not" having a lot of luck. Wish it was now!

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  8. Your poor hands! Sounds like a debonder might be needed to soften up the glue if a hot iron over cloth doesn't work. I don't know how it would affect the countertop, so you would want to try just a small area first.

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    Replies
    1. I will have to google what a debonder is.

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  9. Just a thought - could you use a hair dryer to heat it enough to soften and then scrape with a putty knife? It wouldn't get too hot, I would not think, but could be hot enough just to loosen it enough?

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    1. Already tried that. If the surface wasn't raised and textured, that might have worked.

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  10. oh no. i like some of these ideas that others have mentioned. i know at times a putty knife will scrape it off. good luck.

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    1. Heck, I've been using knives at this point. The squiggles are so thin that it's hard to find a place to put the putty knife to get a start on it. And I thought I was so smart making a thin line with hot glue.

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  11. so sorry sweetums.. gosh , some ideas to end up a mess as I well know.:) I think the iron over a paper towel might work but get it off quickly or he dang towel will sick to it. wish I could be there to help you..we could laugh n cry and work at it till we got it off and then I could tile it for you. holee crappers- I looked up the distance to drive it and its 11 hours,, poooooooooo....

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, we'd at least be laughing. Instead of me cursing the thing.

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  12. Been there, done that! Man I despise when I put so much of myself in a project and it's a massive fail! Bless your heart!

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    1. Yeah, but I guess if we never tried, we'd also never learn. I think it's important to document our "fails" as well as our "successes." We stay more humble that way!

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  13. Brenda, have you thought of peel & stick tiles from Lowes or Home Depot, etc? They are quite inexpensive and cut easily. They are certainly water proof, and as long as you use a cutting board whenever you are using a knife at the counter, they would certainly last. Someone suggested those cork tiles as a back splash. Those would be easy to work with as well. You will figure something out and it will look great!

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    1. I would never cut on the countertops, but at this point, like it would even matter? That is next on my list to check out actually. Been googling my heart out, checking ideas on Pinterest. Everything I can think of to find somebody smarter than me at this!

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  14. Hi Brenda, Try using Isopropyl Alcohol. I googled and that is what I found. Try a search and you can find some tutorials for using alcohol to remove hot glue. I hope it works.

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    1. That's what I've been trying. Which is why my hands are bloody from scrubbing. It just won't take it all off. There's too much of it.

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  15. I used self sticking linoleum floor tiles in my pantry and also did it for a friend and they worked great. Cheap, attractive no glue or grout, and clean easily. And they were durable.

    PS - I hate contact paper! Trying to get it on almost sent me to the mental ward no matter how small a space I tried it on. 😦

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    1. You really need two people to attempt the contact paper idea. Still, it showed the textured surface underneath, and thus holes were scraped in it also. I am going to the store and check out linoleum tiles. I wonder if they'll adhere to this textured surface though???

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  17. Oh no. I am sorry that you tore up your hands in the process. So many suggestions here to cover it up, I like the tin tiles, myself. I can't wait to see what you come up with. Good luck!

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    1. I'm just a little worried that with the arthritis in my hands, I might not be able to cut the tin tiles. I've already beat them up enough right now!

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  20. Just this week on some blog someone just laminated wallpaper and taped it to a backsplash they hated. Just made a circle of tape and put it up. Maybe it was centsational girl? Looked great. I remember it was a white pattern. Also could you use a hair dryer to just soften the glue a tiny bit and then scrape ithe bigger parts off, then use alcohol to get remainder?

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    1. The problem is, nothing wants to stick to this textured surface...

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  21. I see that there are some good suggestions here...sorry about your hands..ouch!!! :(

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  23. I know. I was just SO determined. Wasted $20 worth of oilcloth too. So now I don't want to spend much more. I'm perusing DIY YouTube videos and everything else I can find.

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  24. OUCH on the hands! I know you will figure something out! You are so creative and yes stubborn like a mule so I know you will figure it out. I read lots of great ideas from other readers.

    Linda

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    1. I knew lots of creative blogging friends would chime in with ideas!

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  25. Whatever you've done and whatever you do, give yourself a pat on the back for trying. I know you will figure out how to get the glue off...the comment about using an iron as you do with candle drippings makes a lot of sense to me. Good luck!

    Jane x

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    Replies
    1. I do give myself a pat on the back. But also a kick in the butt!

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  26. Whatever you do be careful. Using an iron on a back splash could tend to not only hurt your hands but your shoulders. I hope you can come up with something.

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    1. I know. I don't think the iron on the back splash will work for me.

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  27. This is no help at all but when I am trying my best to achieve something and can't come up with an answer, I walk away. Then in time it will just hit me in the head!

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    1. But I don't have a lot of time. Some photographers are rushing me!

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  28. Sometimes projects just don't work. Too bad we don't find out until we've invested time into them! For the backsplash area I've seen where they use plastic placemats and that looked really nice but it would depend on how much backsplash area you have to cover. I have no suggestions for the counter top except to get one of those counter top painting kits from Home Depot. I think Rhoda used one on her bathroom countertop and it looked nice.

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    1. I have plastic place mats on my list to look for, Manuela! I know you'd come up with something if it was your place.

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  29. Don't they make some kind of solution that they paint wallpaper with to loosen the glue before they remove wallpapr? Maybe something in line with that idea.

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    1. Depends on how strong the chemicals in it are due to the dogs cough.

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  30. Lovely quote from Leonard Nimoy. RIP

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    1. Yeah, I love it too. A reader sent it to me.

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  31. I am planning on using vinyl tiles on my counter top Brenda..I will be checking back to see if you used them and how they worked out for you..Good Luck Girl!!!

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  32. Brenda sorry!
    Stick down tiles recommend using a skim coat to level the surface. I've done that on a floor - might be worth the effort to do that first if you go that route....
    Backsplash - perhaps you could use beautiful fabric behind Plexiglas? I think a Lowe's type store will cut that to size for you and the Plexiglass could be held in place with clips or thin wood strips. One blog (can't remember who) used fake brick panel painted dark then painted white and lightly sanded for a backsplash - that is my next project :)

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  33. Darn it! I feel your pain. I have been there done that, worked so hard on a project then epic fail. Not a good feeling I know. But look on the bright side...all your epic sucesses! You have alot of them. Putty knife and scrap it off? Hugs.

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  34. Do you have any 409? You'd be amazed at what that gets loose. I was just telling Rue to try it on her painted tiles. It's mean stuff!

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