Do you have the Bastille song stuck in your head now? Because it was in mine ALL BLEEDIN’ DAY Saturday when we knocked the plaster and lathe off the wall in the soon-to-be guestbedroom/office. So you’re welcome.
I warned you in my last post that we have a lot of work to do in this room. As much as I would have welcomed a quick paint job and the subsequent filling-with-pretty-things, with this room, it just wasn’t going to be possible. No, the wall that was subjected to dueling hammers and crowbars (dueling because both Wayne & I had fun doing this work) was so weak and so old that you merely needed to press upon it with two fingers and the whole thing sort of creaked and buckled under the meager pressure. It’s not a load bearing wall (thank goodness), just studs and lathe and plaster and being like 100 years old, it needed rebuilding on both sides (the other side is the hallway).
So we decided to just get the messy stuff started. This is DIY, my darlings, and it’s messy and it’s dusty and you will need to wear very attractive gear like face masks and goggles and gloves and old clothing to do it. Because, by god, if that dust can go anywhere, it will certainly do so. And then you will spend the rest of the weekend cleaning. Joy.
Wayne removed the skirting boards first because the flooring (which I’ll talk about in a minute) actually goes from this room into the hallway and the wall had been built on top of the flooring so those needed to come off regardless.
Now, it’s actually pretty easy to take a wall like this down – take a hammer, start pounding into the plaster and it sort of loosens. And then take a crowbar or the back of the hammer and start pulling.
Repeat, repeat, repeat… until the room is so dusty you can’t even take a clear picture.
And look at the mess… good times.
Oh but you aren’t done yet! Oh no, now the lathe (those little skinny bits of wood stuck to the studs) needs to come down. The mess is only just beginning. (and please note, Wayne is not wearing protective goggles in this picture but as soon as I realised he’d started without them, he was scolded and made to put them on. Safety first, kids.).
All that crap pouring out of the wall is the old plaster that had decayed and fallen as rubble between the lathe. Now you can see why the old wall was so weak!
And you end up with this fine specimen of rubbish, all ready to be cleaned up…
So the wall has now been stripped back, ready to receive a healthy new dose of plasterboard (drywall). Before that, however, the ceiling needs to be boarded and plastered… which is on the agenda for next weekend. Good times.
Getting back to the flooring in here – we’ve decided to replace the old pine floors with new in this room (similar to what we did in the living room long ago). The reason for this is because the floorboards aren’t in the best shape and there are big gaps between them meaning we’ll have to pull them up and reset them regardless. And because the flooring goes straight through that wall to the other side in the hallway, it would be easier for us to just pull them up, salvage what we can for when we eventually refinish the floors in the master bedroom and the downstairs hallway and replace them with like-for-like new stuff that we can just easily sand and stain – it’s actually quicker and less expensive for us to do this so that’s the plan. Anything to get this room to finishing stages as fast as we can!
Very shortly, I’ll be sharing how the design of this room has evolved slightly from my initial thoughts 6 months ago. Apologies for the lack of pretty pictures in this post! With any DIY, it always has to get worse before it gets better! Stay tuned for more soon…
And now sing it with me!! “And the walls came tumbling down in this city that we loooooooved…”