Dining Room: Demo Week

Wednesday evening I worked on the prep for the dining room project. I put away other project boxes that had lingered too long (from make all the things Christmas). I removed switch plates, etc. I used to always just have a cup or plastic container for things like this, but I’m switching to gallon ziplock bags because you can label them easily and they fit all the plates and hardware better. I’ve found in the past my cups and buckets and containers get spilled during construction and it makes it significantly more complicated finding all the pieces when it is time to reinstall.

I removed one tiny section of the wall paneling and took down some trim. It only makes me slightly nervous that I’m removing insulating layers from the walls during a particularly cold week. Oh well. Once I pulled the paneling and trim down, I immediately removed all the nails so it is ready to be stacked and stored for future projects. Right now I’m stacking it in the kitchen, but I anticipate taking it to the barn one load at a time. Is it weird that I’m kind of excited about using this wood paneling for a future furniture build? It is high quality, real wood, tongue and groove planks- thick and sturdy. I just don’t like it on the wall.

Fun Discoveries:

a) The door trim throughout the room was installed before the tile. So there is mortar on the bottom inch or two of the trim at the bottoms. This also makes it tricky to uninstall. Gah I hate this floor.

b) The half-assery runs strong with the previous homeowner. Not kinda strong, strong strong. This shelf was mounted to the wall. Clearly instead of removing it (easily) since it was hanging on brackets, they just painted around it. Wow. I mean I really should not be surprised, but sometimes it blows me away.

After pulling just that small bit of paneling off one of the outside walls, I have found several layers of wallpaper on the old plaster walls which aren’t in good shape. I’m actually thinking if I can pull the rest of the paneling off that exterior wall first, I could put in boxes for the future exterior lights and switch, run the appropriate wiring, and then put the drywall up just on those walls sections for the sake of the warmth and keeping the wall insulation in the wall (and not falling out holes in the plaster). Fancy.

Thursday evening I pulled down most of the remaining door trim and a lot of wood paneling. The paneling in the dining room is nailed a lot of places but not glued so it comes off fairly well and mostly in good enough shape to re-purpose. The paneling in the kitchen was obviously installed at a different time since the stain is different, the paneling is slightly different … AND it is glued to the wall as well as nailed. These pieces are very difficult to remove and will probably not be salvageable. Oh well. All of the paneling was installed before the tile floor, meaning you have to kind of dig it out around the floor. It also means I will have to remove the floor before putting up new drywall. Not exactly what I had hoped for but it definitely means I cannot possibly save the floor – that isn’t disappointing at all. I’m fascinated to see what is underneath the floor though… fascinated and a bit nervous.

Fun discovery: There are ceiling tiles in several places throughout the house. In the upstairs bedroom, I removed one of the tiles to see what was going on behind it. It was glued to the original plaster ceiling with construction adhesive. So I planked right over the top of them and called it good. As I removed crown molding last night, insulation seeped down the seam at the ceiling and it feels like these cardboard ceiling tiles are instead of a drywall or plaster ceiling. Noooooooo. I’m really hoping there’s another ceiling under there otherwise this is going to get a lot more complicated.

Friday night I had one hour before I went out for the evening. I finished pulling nails from a bunch of trim boards and took several trips to the barn to move paneling and trim out there and out of my disaster zone.


Saturday I got up and started work promptly at 9. I turned off the electrical circuit in the dining room so I could remove the boxes and keep going on the paneling removal. Donal and Lindsey and their crew came late morning and we got CK set up with a tiny hammer, safety goggles, and he adopted a piece of trim as his “pry bar.” He was very excited for the projects, as usual.

The adults pounded away and made a royal mess for the next several hours. We got the rest of the trim down, all the paneling, all of the bead board, all of the drywall down except the living room doorway room since the Christmas tree is obstructing that. Getting that far and feeding the baby and getting the tot down for a nap and all the rest of it. I’m so happy with how much we got done! I couldn’t have gotten close to that on my own! And Lindsey even vacuumed up the chaos on her way out. I’m the luckiest.

Happily, the ceiling tiles do have a ceiling underneath (sweet relief). There were a few gaps that we had to fix but overall, I think we’ll be able to put drywall up on the same furring strips.

Next up: My structural guy (okay my dad) will come take a look and confirm that I can pull out the stud wall without a problem. I will also spend the next week pulling staples out of the ceiling shims and nails off the studs. I can also get started on the electrical I need to run.

One thought on “Dining Room: Demo Week

  1. Oh my goodness! If you were ever tempted to take a sabbatical, I can imagine it’s right now! So much to do – and so much difference already! I so badly wish I was there to help. Today I’m shutting down normal life in order to attempt to FINISH THE BEDROOM.

    I’m SO EXCITED about you needing to do a new kitchen floor. I mean, I’m *not* excited about the cost/work involved, but suddenly there’s so much potential and whatever you go with is going to look AMAZEBALLS. Any ideas percolating? I noticed some self-leveling concrete posts on pinterest and I was like “Ooo, that looks like something Maureen would pin” – only to realize that it was your pin I was staring at. 🙂

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