Plaster, Nails and Wallpaper

Renovating- a big job.

After procrastinating for about a year, my husband and I finally decided to tackle the worst room in our house- the laundry room.

This room has not been touched for 40+ years, and beginning with a leak in the ceiling from the bathroom upstairs, it needs help.

So far we have removed the ceiling and one and a half walls of lath and plaster.

We have discovered large, hand-hewn beams (our house having been built in the late 1830s),

square nails of a few different lengths,

vintage wallpaper,

and evidence of a previous stove.

We also discovered how much insulation is in the outside, north-facing wall–


We are doing this reno in our spare time, which means an hour here and an hour there. This may take us until Christmas, but I’m okay with that. Of course, we’d like to have that wall insulated before then, but as long as we are  making progress and doing a quality job, I am happy. It will be the nicest room in the house!

Renovation is a dusty, sweaty job but a worthy pursuit.

Tell me your reno stories!


6 thoughts on “Plaster, Nails and Wallpaper

  1. Back in 2004 we tore out the wall dividing the kitchen/dining from the living room, and we bumped out the front wall a bit. For four or five months we had a plastic wall dividing the construction from our remaining living space. My kids were little and it was a little rough. The dust was out of control. We were out of a kitchen for two full months. Fridge in the garage. Microwave on the back patio. And we used the bathroom to wash dishes. Once I dumped old fruit in the bathroom garbage and forgot about it. Two hours later it was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie in the bathroom, massive swarms of fruit flies!

    During construction we found ancient tinker toys, an ancient coin (which my contractor took as a bonus) and a nest full off baby birds inside a wall. We gathered the baby birds and took them to a well known ‘bird lady’ and prayed the birds would survive.

    We are still enjoying our nice open floor plan, and beautiful gorgeous kitchen.


    • See? It was worth the trouble! Our kitchen will be the next project, maybe next year or the year after. I might need a reminder then! The laundry room is not so bad because it has a door and the appliances are still attached and useable.


  2. Hi Brenda:
    And here I thought we just had writing and the Lord in common.

    We (hubby and me) also have an 1841 Century Farmhouse. We moved in three years ago (Sept. 10th). But we were fortunate enough that the previous owners did the major renovations–ripping out the lathe and plaster, new plumbing, kitchen, etc.

    As an interior decorator, this was the perfect house. All we needed to do was paint, decorate, and sand wide plank red cedar floors. Oh yes, we do have to change the floors in the family room addition. The previous owners had two large dogs and decided porcelain tiles would serve their purpose. We are not looking forward to the mess that will create.

    I’d love to attach a photo of my living room, but I’m not quite sure how that works. This is one of my favourite rooms. No T.V. allowed. I love to read and listen to the crackle of wood, sitting by the fireplace.


  3. If you have any of those lath boards left, would you like to sell them. I am restoring my house and need some mid 1830’s lathing.



    • Wow, you are investing a lot of work into your project. Unfortunately, all of our lath has been used for kindling in the woodstove. I kept a lot of the square nails, but they were so fragile, they mostly broke easily in hand. I am thinking the lath was green when it was put in, causing the nails to rust easily from the time they were pounded in. If we do have more lath in future renos, I’ll let you know. Where are you located?


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