After deciding on the Dining Room as our next project we detoured a little bit in January to follow along with Apartment Therapy’s January Cure. I think this was a good call to allow us to refocus a little bit on the house as a whole and tackle a couple of smaller projects.
So, the dining room…. it will be a project, but we have a plan! We started by removing the bookcases.
The first one came out really easily. Despite all the screws it wasn’t actually attached anywhere so we just had to pull it out and haul it into our garage (without getting impaled by any of the screws).
The second bookcase was an entirely different story. This guy was actually fully built in. We unscrewed any screws we could find (2) but there were still nails holding it in place. The nails were sunk deep enough that we couldn’t pry them out so the bookcase wasn’t budging. Demo time.
After some quality time with a crowbar, a hammer, and some brute strength the bookcase was in shambles.
And eventually we were left with this (and a bunch of suspiciously pointy scraps of wood so we are totally prepared for a vampire invasion!)**
We already knew there was some wall damage behind this one. One of the side trim pieces popped off a while back so we could see some exposed lath board so this wasn’t a total shock. I had kept my fingers crossed that the wall behind the bookcase would still be ok… nope.
The weird thing going on here is that the main walls were drywalled at some point so what you’re seeing here is a combo of drywall and plaster.
I demoed out the remains of the plaster (which is remarkable satisfying by the way) and Matt tackled the baseboard. The baseboard did not want to budge, but we need to replace all of it (patching would have been nearly impossible). I had to go make a hardware store run in the middle of it to get a large crowbar so we could get some more leverage now.*
Now that the demo was done we had to start putting it back together. We had picked up some drywall*** and started cutting it down to size. Somehow whoever drywalled the first time managed to make wobbly cuts all around this opening. How is that even possible? You get a straight edge, a utility knife, score, snap, and voila! Straight line. How do you mess that up?
Our patching got a little wonky along the bottom because of the way we had to cut down the drywall to get it home in the first place, but that will all get covered up by new baseboards anyway so I’m not going to stress about super smooth finishes down there. Evening out the rest of the wall will probably take us a while though…
*The cashier asked me how my day was going and looked mildly frightened when I responded with “Well, hopefully better now!” while wielding a 3′ crowbar
**Don’t talk to me about sparkles. I really want the t-shirt I saw that said “Then Buffy staked Edward. The end.” Also, this is totally worth watching.
***FYI a 1/2 sheet of drywall barely fits inside a compact car and people will probably laugh at you while you try and wedge it inside (especially if you’re already mildly panicking because it started to rain) and you may slightly damage the rubber seal around the door frames. Thanks for volunteering my car Matt!