Monday, March 18, 2013

The New Digs : Living Room Progress

We have been working our little tails off to get the house ready for our big move (12 days now!), and one area that we have spent a lot of time in has been the living room/dining room.  Here is how it looked the first time we saw it...
Ain't she a beaut?

We set about ripping up the old carpet, and then removing all of the tack strip and staples.
 This was incredibly tedious.  Matt, my brother, and I spent an entire evening crawling around on our hands and knees just pulling up staples with a screwdriver and a pair of needlenose pliers.  SO glamorous.  With that...the room went to this...
After that, we decided to take the plunge and find out exactly what was underneath all of that paneling.  It came off pretty easily, it was really just a matter of finding the edge and pulling from there.  What did we find?  Plaster walls in nearly perfect condition EXCEPT they were now covered in old paneling glue.  Undeterred - we ripped all of the paneling down anyway until it looked like this...

...which really doesn't look any better :)  I just kept repeating 'it has to get worse before it can get better'.  (I will explain those funky built-ins in another post).  At this point, we still thought that the glue removal wouldn't be that big of a deal, so we bought some glue solvent, sprayed it on, didn't work.  AT ALL.  We stalled out at that point and started thinking that we would just have these horrible patterns on our walls for all time.

Just this weekend I threw up an emergency DIY flare on Instagram, and both my brother in law and the nice folks over at Old Town Home came to our rescue.  The consensus seems to be that aside from hanging new drywall (which we do not want to do) it is really just a matter of scraping all that crap off of the walls, and then repairing any damage.

We found that a wood chisel is actually the best tool for the job...which is kind of random but hey! If it works, I am not going to question it! The paint is so old that it literally just chips right off of the plaster, with almost no damage to the plaster walls, which is an awesome plus in my book.  
Because this house is built before 1978, this is a project that absolutely cannot wait until the boys are in the house.  We did not test the paint for lead, but it is a distinct possibility, and I absolutely refuse to have my kids in a house where potentially toxic paint chips are flying around.  Matt and I suited up in masks and goggles, and we made quite a bit of headway on the glue - I would say that we are about 1/3 of the way there - which took us about four hours.  
And yes - it is PINK!
I would love to show you a beautiful 'after' shot right now...but we don't have one! Haha it has to get worse before it can get better.   It can be really frustrating to see very little forward progress, but we want to make sure that we restore the house to as much of it's original state as we can - which means that we really want to get our walls back into shape instead of just covering them up with new drywall.  We plan on spending a good bit of next weekend removing the rest of the glue. 

Phew.  My shoulders ache.

So tell me - Do you think we are bonkers for not just hanging drywall and being done with it?


  1. My stepdad always says "If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing properly". I think it was worth doing!
    What's the plan for the floors?

    1. After much debate - we are going to go with a floating floor. We don't have the time or know-how to fix those floors (or that cash for that matter). I will cover that decision in a later's a doozy, haha

  2. Holy moly! I am away from the bloggy world a bit and come back, and you guys are in a new house! Awesome progress so will get there!

    1. Thanks April! It feels a little like two steps forward, one step back at this point!

  3. It will be worth it when it's done! Good luck at the rest of your glue chipping!

  4. My shoulders ache just reading this post! But it will all be worth it!! I think you did the smart thing by fixing the problem instead of covering it with drywall. :)


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