Let A Renovation Begin (Or I Must Be Out of My Mind)


If you own an old house and are used to doing your own renovations this will ring true with you.  A few months ago I was moving things around in the upstairs rooms and cleaning out some closets with a shop vac when I accidentally got too close to the wall and ripped an entire, full sheet of wallpaper off of the wall.  Yeah, too close with the vacuum.  What started out as an accident turned into a minor obsession.  I stripped two walls in as many hours.  Wallpaper never comes off that easy unless it’s 50 plus years old (probably much, much older) and is adhered to a horsehair plaster wall.

Fireplace Before

With winter upon us and no heat upstairs for the most part I walked away from it.  Today I stripped the rest of the paper off and took a good hard look at the condition of the room.  It’s not pretty.


Water damage to the walls and ceiling on the west wall.


The plaster around all of the window trim is in pretty bad shape.  And what is up with that nail in the first photo?


There is some serious cobbing done on the wall over the doors on the east side.  The paper in between won’t come off because it’s some foreign substance not even related to plaster.  The woodwork around the door on the left was added after the papering was last hung (wonder what was there?). The plaster over the door on the right is ready to just fall off, but as you know dear friends horsehair plaster doesn’t just fall off.  It’s never that simple.

Now I have to call in my plaster expert to see what he thinks about this mess.  I’m at a bit of a standstill, at the same time it feels like I’m moving forward.  Never underestimate the power of a sunny day to motivate me into a project.  It might have been better if the yard was without snow – I might have just dug in the dirt.


8 thoughts on “Let A Renovation Begin (Or I Must Be Out of My Mind)

  1. What a great renovator. Like ours I bet you look at it some days and can’t believe what you got your self into. But it will all be worth it in the end…if there is an end…

  2. Oh my! But, she has lovely bones!! I always (still) wanted to live in an old farmhouse! My husband (the engineer), being so practical, always says we’ll build a new farmhouse to look old. Where’s the fun in that… ??

    I do recognize it is a labor of love and a sink hole for lots of time and finances!! 😦

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