There’s nothing like a project to take your mind off a pandemic! Actually, I’ve been planning… Er… putting off… this project for months, and a whole week off work (Spring Break) with a forecast in the 40s and rainy seemed like the perfect time to tackle it. That, and Tony didn’t know what to get me for my birthday, so I conned him into helping me with the wall! Who knew what a regular old Spring Break would turn into…
Anyway, you see these cracks along all these sheetrock seams? They have gotten worse and worse each year, and they drove me crazy. We’ve fixed them once before, but they’ve gotten so bad again that the paint/wallboard was literally falling off onto my couch!
Well, I’ve had such luck just covering over those unsightly seams (like in the small bedroom and the front hall), that I thought I’d do it again!
As with all projects in this old house, nothing is straight, level, or plumb, as evidenced from this photo on Day 1. Check out that gap at the ceiling!
And at one point, likely where the 2nd chimney is tucked behind, the wall bows out at least an inch. So, it definitely took two of us to get those boards up… if only because neither of us could use both levels to match up the boards, hold the wood, and pick up the nail gun by ourselves (especially at the top, standing on the ladder)!
The first day we got the top pieces up (after A LOT of sanding to conform to that wonky ceiling) and all the verticals before the kids woke up from naps, but we finished all the horizontals on Day 2. I nailed while Tony cut, then we measured, leveled, but ultimately just eyeballed it, and did another set. This is why projects are so frustrating for Tony – his core screams out that everything must be level, but that just makes it LOOK crooked! Days 3 and 4 were spent wood filling, sanding, filling, sanding, and caulking!
But, then, the painting! Cue angels singing, because we finally got to the best part! The part that just pulls everything together!
But then I realized the color isn’t quite the same, so I repainted the whole room. No biggie.
That also meant wall repair, new caulking at the trim, a fresh coat of trim paint, etc. I’m still working on all that, but the paneled wall part is complete!
No more cracks!! Now I just have to figure out how to decorate it!
A few things I should probably note:
- Our top boards are 8 inches wide by 8 feet. That’s because there’s another seam 8 inches from the ceiling that needed hiding.
- All other boards are 3 inch strips of cabinet grade 1/4 inch plywood that Tony ripped (cut to size) on his buddy’s table saw – thanks Nate!
- I used wood filler to fill the gap between our top board and the ceiling because it was up to an inch in some places. Then I applied a thin bead to caulk at the ceiling.
- Tony taped the ceiling (I couldn’t reach it!) before I caulked, then we immediately pulled it off – best caulking line ever – great trick! We don’t have the ceiling paint for that room, and it’s tinted, so it was super important to have a clean caulk line.
- I didn’t use this tip, but I wish I had – shim behind the boards with folded paper to ensure the boards come off the wall at a uniform height.