It was with some trepidation that I began this project.
Those who know me, will understand, as I have a certain penchant for mishap.
First I installed Armstrong Laminate. This was pretty cool and easy, as it’s basically Leggo. I ripped up the linoleum, removed the yucky particle board beneath, laid plywood on the joists (I actually had to use my circular saw here, and I got the plywood down without falling into the basement.) Removeing the refrigerator was a bit of a bitch though. I put a packing strap under it and carried it into the living room. I had to limbo to get through the door.
Next, I rolled down some moisture seal, and then installed the faux Maple laminate flooring. I had to cut some of the laminate to fit, and learned how to use my jigsaw. It’s best to rest the laminate on a table and then cut. If you try to hold onto a piece in your hand and cut it, the saw just grabs the laminate and hurtles it through the window. This only happened once, as afterwards I found the saw had cut slightly into a fingernail. Onve again, I escaped from my stupidity.
Next I did the walls. Now, an intelligent person would have done the walls before the floor so as not to ruin their brand new floor, but…
I laid down a big tarp, and ripped off the wallpaper. Under the paper was another layer. I ripped that off. Half the dry wall came with it. I tore throught the rest of the drywall. At this time Mrs. Scylla came in and started looking dubiously at my demolition efforts. I silenced her with a look.
Underneath the drywall was crumbling plaster. Several layers, from many patchings. I pulled all this down.
Finally, I had arrived at the original plaster (with horsehair in it,) and lathing. Though that plaster was cracked and had some holes in it it was as solid as concrete.
The house is over 200 years old, and this was probably the original wall. I had removed about three inches of wall and revealed some beautiful cross timbers that originally showed in the wall. I had to move the trim back, pull up the laminate and reinstall to account for this. I carefully plastered the holes (using real horsehair, which I cut off one of our horses,) and used joint compound to fill in the cracks. It was difficult, because it was clear that the original job was done by hand, and it was nowhere near a flat surface.
When it was finished, I put in three layers of sealing primer. I painted the walls Martha Stewart “Sundial” latex, and the trim “Beeswax.” Unfortunately the trim had an oil base on it. I sealed the latex with polyurethane. Hopefully this will work.
I installed a ceiling fan, and moved the appliances and some temporary workspace back into the kitchen. In the coming weeks, I will install cabinets, plumbing and a kitchen Island.
I’ll be pretty proud if it all works out. So far it looks really good, and has restored the country farmhouse quality of the kitchen (I was pretty worried there as I was tearing into the walls.)
Hopefully, when I’m done, I’ll still have all my fingers.