We’ve been so focused on getting the Smurf room and guest bedroom finished that we’ve completely neglected the hallway that connects them.
It’s all sheetrocked and ready to be mudded on the left side. But the right side needs some love. It’s plaster on brick (no lathe), so there’s no insulation there. While Bradley was busy sheetrocking the Smurf room, I decided to remove all of the window trim and the floor board to prep the hallway for insulation. I also had to remove the trim around the doorway leading that leads into this hall so we could sheetrock that wall.
It was a pretty simple task. Or so I thought.
Hoo boy. Where to begin?
I started with the floor board because it was easy (famous last words), and used a crow bar to pry the board from the wall. Unfortunately for me, I quickly learned that the wood was permanently glued to the plaster. I’m not sure if the wood was attached to the plaster while the plaster was still wet. Or maybe the lead paint that covered both the wall and the board had formed some kind of super bond. Or maybe it was pixie magic that held the two together. Either way, when I pried the floor board loose, 8 inches of the wall pried loose with it.
I think the technical term for this is “a hot mess.”
At least the window trim and sill came off OK:
Too bad I can’t say the same for the door frame I had to remove at the end of the hallway:
Half of the plaster surrounding the doorway fell off in big chucks as I removed the trim. It looks like a bomb went off in the hallway, even after the cleanup.
Our plan was simply to put up some furring strips, insulate with 2 sheets of 1″ foam, and then sheetrock right over everything. The wall was perfectly level, so it would have worked out really well. Now we have to shim the wall to make sure we’re putting our sheetrock up straight. And we have to build it out a little to compensate for the missing plaster. We also have to make sure to build out enough to cover the giant gap between the floor and the wall:
There’s as much as a 3 inch gap at some parts. Ugh. By our calculations, with the stud we’re going to attach to the floor, plus the furring strips, insulation and sheetrock, we’ll be able to completely cover it. No promises, though — we’ve learned our lesson!
What we learned with our little hallway incident:
- Lathe walls are a pain in the @*%.
- Our house, like many other super-old houses, has settled a little. We prefer to think of it as our house having a Gangsta Lean.
- If all the plaster in our house came off this easily, we’d probably expose a lot more brick.
- Don’t ever start a project by saying, “This is easy. We’ll finish it off in one day.” It only leads to broken hearts and shattered plaster.