For nine months now, we’ve been doing demolition and trips to the dump and burn piles. My poor husband has been rebuilding walls and replacing floor joists, with no end in sight as we discover ever more termite damage.
On the bright side, we have started on some of the restoration part of this and made some decisions. We got the dining room ceiling done and that has helped us to clarify how we want to handle other rooms moving forward. You can see a photo of the dining room ceiling here, but that was after we: pulled off the stapled on ceiling tiles, pulled out the hundreds of staples, scraped off the glued on paper, pulled out dozens of nails, sanded, swept and vacuumed. That pink ceiling in the photo has already had many hours of our time before the paint ever hit the wood!
This one has been our trial run. We have these same tongue-and-groove ceilings in three more of the downstairs rooms, and all need a lot more work than this one to restore. So it was important to get one done and see how it turned out. It turned out gorgeous!!! Lucky for us, both the electrician and our friend Steve H. suggested we caulk between the boards. I–being the one doing the painting–hadn’t planned on caulking, never even crossed my mind. But after two people made the suggestion, I bought the painter’s caulk and caulked. It took a couple of hours to get between every single board, but boy, the results are worth it!
I don’t know if you can see it in this third photo, but here is our dining room ceiling, fully restored. Uncovered and unstapled and unpapered. Primed and caulked and painted. I am so very happy with how it looks!
Finding out how gorgeous our ceilings will be, once we are done with all four of the downstairs ones, well, it made me willing to give up on restoring the walls too. We only have one room with most of the tongue-and-groove walls intact, and that’s the downstairs bedroom. Three of those walls can probably be restored with a reasonable amount of effort. But seeing the dining room with the sheetrocked walls and the beautiful ceiling, it made me okay with doing sheetrock in the living room too.
We had to sheetrock the south wall, since it was the falling down one! But I had originally thought it would be neat to save the tongue-and-groove walls that we could, despite all kinds of work required to restore them. And I don’t just mean some sanding. I mean a lot more work than that with patching holes and more. You can see in the photo the south wall with sheetrock vs. the east wall in desperate need of restoration!
I really think with the effort it will take to restore the ceilings, we will opt for gorgeous ceilings…and we’ll put beautiful moulding on the walls to dress them up. I feel really good about this decision, but Bob is I suspect waiting to make sure I am not going to change my mind–again!
I have to say, I like the clean look of the sheetrock! Everything will be easier this way. Putting in new windows will be easier. Redoing any framing will be easier (sorry, honey, but there might be more rebuilding to do as you turn the corners from south to east and west!). And we have to rebuild some framing between the dining room and living room and THAT will be easier if we are just putting up sheetrock too, rather than trying to patch up the new wall with old paneling and make it all look good.
So now I am working on the kitchen ceiling, going from the easiest (the dining room) to the hardest. The kitchen ceiling had paper and strips of wood that have been pulled down. Now I am scraping off the glued on paper and pulling out hundreds of nails…and taking loads of ibuprofen because my neck is killing me from working over my head like that! It’s not just a matter of pulling out at nail. You have to use a putty knife or screw driver to dig away at the paper so you can get the channel locks to where you can even get a grip on the head of the nail. THEN you pull out the dang nail! Repeat that a few dozen times, constantly looking and working up over your head, and you’ll be downing the ibuprofen too!
After that part, we’ll sand and see what we can do about the smoke damage that covers a big part of the ceiling, and we’re still brainstorming creative ways to cover up the gaping hole where the old chimney went through. Then we can move on to primer, caulk and paint at last!
Then we get to work on the living room and bedroom ceilings!
Lucky for us, the bathroom was a more recent addition to the house, so all we had to do there was replace the sheetrock. Now I only wait for the hubby to be done with the mudding and taping so I can primer, baby, primer!!
Progress is still slow as can be, but getting the one ceiling done helps a lot, showing us what the other ceilings will look like and inspiring us to keep on keeping on, striving to make this a wonderful, charming home…rather than a falling down eyesore. 🙂