Dining Area Wall

Dining Area Wall

Another 15 feet of paneling has been successfully replaced.

Coat Hooks

My drywall skills are getting better, I think.  Can’t even see the seams this time.

Window Sill

That side door looks really awful now.  I don’t think it’s going to last much longer before I cut it up into firewood.  The veneer is peeling off, the glass is revolting, and it doesn’t even close correctly.  I’d be better off with a sheet of plywood affixed to the door frame with duct tape.

Impatience is a Virtue


Before, depicted above.

I can’t renovate the entire house at once.  I wish I could, but I can’t.  I have a full time job, a non-infinite supply of cash, and a one-person army to tackle all these projects.  When I take down that paneling, it’s just me and a crowbar.  When I cut sheetrock and screw it into studs, it’s only one guy measuring and marking and fastening.

Death to Paneling

Nonetheless, I am compelled to rip every sheet of paneling off the wall as fast as I can, to tear out every piece of old trim, and to exorcise this house of every remnant of its dated past, and revitalize it with something new and improved.


That’s not blood up there, it’s wood stain.  (The blood I’ve shed on this project is much more than a few little spatters, but I digress…)

I drew up those plans in October.  I took the paneling down in November.  This was a small section of wall, about 15 feet in length, with one window and one door.  It should have taken two weekends to take down the paneling, put up new sheetrock, paint it and install trim pieces.  No.  It’s been about six weeks, and I’ve been sick of looking at it.

Dry Fit

Unfortunately, I’ve been working too many hours at my real job.  They don’t pay me to renovate my own house, you see.  So for weeks upon weeks, I’ve had to live with a garage full of trim pieces set on plastic sawhorses, waiting for their next coat of stain, or polyurethane.  Waiting to have a purpose in life, one greater than getting in my way when I had to get a wrench or a screwdriver or something.

Groove and Tongue

Like all my trim pieces, they are custom made.  I had to join a couple of 1×4’s, which was a great excuse to use my heretofore unused Grizzly tenoning jig, to make a nice tight tongue ‘n’ groove fitting.  Not many people put that much effort in finish trim, but I’m glad I did.  The final product fits together very well.


Part of the trim is a band of wood that runs just above the drywall, and I decided to crenelate it with little wooden arches, holding up a small shelf.  Gives it a bit of interest.  Makes it look nice.  And it multiplies the amount of time all this takes by seven.


With this house, I walk a fine line between getting it done as quickly as I can, and still doing the job the way I want it done.  I could slap up some cheap drywall and nail in some pre-finished trim, but that wouldn’t be what I want.  No, I have to do it the way I want, even if it takes longer to get it all done.

red dot

Quantity versus quality.  It’s like my internal struggle of yin and yang, a battle of which cat will get to pounce on that red laser dot.  Do I take the time to do things the way I want, or do I find a way to get it done quickly?

I Love Painting


I finally caught a weekend in which I could work on the house a bit, so I decided to spend every waking moment finishing this stupid wall.  I didn’t take many shortcuts, but I took a few, and I can settle for less-than-perfect so long as the job gets done.  All the trim pieces have been stained and have two coats of polyurethane (yeah, I’d prefer five, but guess what?  this project needs to just get done) so they’re ready to go.

PaintYeah, that’s another hockey game on in the window’s reflection.  Finished pics tomorrow.  This project, weeks in the waiting, is finally just about done.  All there is left to do is recess a few nailheads, fill the holes with putty and put a little polyurethane on them.  I installed the trim tonight while the paint was still wet.  That’s always a little dicey, I could have waited until tomorrow when everything would be dry and I would be nice and rested.  But instead, it’s all done tonight.  Impatience is a virtue.