Fireplace Wall and Faux Shiplap

Last we left off, our drywall guy finished sanding by Friday afternoon and the Living Room was looking like a disheveled mess. But the entire weekend was held for Living Room work, and we made more progress then I even expected.

I love the look of Shiplap, just like everyone else, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on installing, knowing down the line we might want to change it out. I figured the $10 paneling at Home Depot turned sideways would give the same effect, and be an easy alternative to shiplap. I was able to do the whole wall in 7 sheets, just about $70!

Collin had work Saturday morning, and my goal was to frame the fireplace wall and panel over the last remaining bits of floral wallpaper. I had made some measurements on how big I wanted to fireplace to be. To start, I had to make a level line across the room, to make sure the paneling lines would match-up as I moved across the wall. Once this was in place, I cut 5 pieces of the paneling to 4.5 feet wide. I used my nail gun to attach to the studs in the wall.



Once the 2 sides were complete, I started on framing out the fireplace. We are planning on installing a Vent-Free Gas fireplace. I have it picked out and downloaded the specs before framing to ensure a perfect fit.

First, I needed to frame the side pieces:


Don’t worry, that air vent is not functioning, they actually moved it to the right in the floor instead 🙂

Then, I created the opening for the fireplace, adding a few inches on each side for a tile surround:


I forgot to take a picture, but after this, I added some center supports for the mantel.To end the day, I added the paneling to the lower portion of the fireplace surround:


Then I ran out of wood. So we called it a day when Collin got home from work and went out to dinner instead :).

Sunday morning we got up pretty early. Before we left for a Home Depot run and some errands, we wanted to get the primer coat on the ceilings, so that when we got home later, we could paint the ceilings the final coat. After the primer was done, we headed out for some breakfast, Home Depot and a little shopping.

After we got home, Collin and I finished framing the top of the fireplace and installing the paneling:


We added the center support (you can kind of see it below), to be able to hang a mirror, or wreath or whatever else floats my boat. Can’t wait to decorate this area!



We took a break to catch the end of the Jets game at a friends house. When we got home it was painting time! I primed the fireplace wall, while Collin painted the ceiling. The ceiling paint goes on Pink and dries White, so it looks crazy in this picture:



To end the day, we painted the walls in Tawney Grey (same color as the upstairs hallway). We ran out of sunlight, so I don’t have a final picture.

The goal for this week is to caulk and paint the fireplace and try to find some old old wood for a mantel. The fireplace will still need corner edges, but that cannot be installed until after the floors are re-done and baseboards are installed. We are totally booked next weekend, but floors are on the horizon!



Drywall for Days

This past weekend was less productive than I expected, but that’ll happen. We were dog sitting and football was on, so it was a slow weekend. I was able to get to Home Depot on Sunday, rent a pick-up truck, and bring home some additional drywall to finish off the Living Room Ceiling and 2nd Guest Room/Office, and get the paneling (yes, paneling) and 2×4’s for the fireplace build, but we didn’t get around to actually installing anything.

Backing-up, Saturday I had some contractors come by to give us quotes on finishing the drywall. In my opinion, Drywall is an art perfected over years of practice. Collin and I can patch drywall with little issue, but completing the full room’s walls and ceilings take us non-professionals so much time and create so much dust, it’s worth looking at hiring it out. I got the idea from a recent Young House Love Post where they explained saving money by hiring out just the finish work, and doing the drywall themselves.

Saturday morning a guy from Craigslist stopped by, scoped out the 2 rooms and saw that we actually know how to drywall. He quoted us $350 to finish both spaces and said it should take 2-3 days max. Done and Done!

Also this weekend, I had listed our fireplace for sale on Craigslist. This fireplace is actually not attached to our house so we sold it to a nice lady who came by to pick it up. The fireplace is 2″ Cement and weighed about 500 lbs. It was a process to get it out of our house, but its done and gone. We are ready to start rebuilding a real fireplace (well, gas).


Lastly, Collin was able to demo the cardboard-like ceiling tiles from the Living Room to prep for ceiling drywall on Monday. They came down no problem and all before the 1:00 Jets game!

As of Sunday night, here’s where we left off:



Yesterday (Monday) Collin spent the day hanging drywall. When I got home from work I helped, but we weren’t able to finish by before pure exhaustion and delusion set in.

Since the drywall guy was coming at 8 AM, that meant Collin and I had to wake up at 5:30 this morning to keep drywalling. It was not our finest morning, but its done and its looking sooooo good! Tom, the drywall guy, should be done on Thursday, so I hope to have some updated pictures by Friday. 🙂

Collin’s Progress

I am writing this post, but want to make sure we all understand that I have nothing to do with any progress that has gotten done in the past 2 weeks. This was all Collin. I was travelling and Collin was still making progress and taking pictures for the blog.

Its been a few weeks since I updated here, so lets go back to where we left of. Last post we had just sealed the brick and gotten electrical installed. We left the day after that for 5 days in Nashville. We needed a mini-getaway and Nashville was the perfect retreat. We went to a concert, bike riding and some amazing hikes:




The following weekend, I left for New York. While I was gone, Collin had a pretty long list to keep him busy. He started by demoing the necessary walls in the 2nd Guest Room/Office. One wall in the room is plaster, which will just get the wallpaper removed, patched and painted. The window wall will just get drywalled right over. The door walls needed to be demo’d and re-drywalled to make sure they lined up with the door casings.



In addition to the Guest Room, the Living Room is being worked on at the same time (because we love chaos). There is a coat closet separating the formal living room from the more informal space at the back of the house. It’s a big deal to have a coat closet in these old Baltimore houses, so we are lucky, but the wallpapered walls have got to go. We attempted to remove the wallpaper, but it was a pain, so Collin just demo’d the closet walls and re-drywalled it.



And that brings us up to date this week. On Thursday, Collin rented a Home Depot Truck to go pick up 16 drywall sheets and get them in to the house. When I got home from work, we brought the drywall upstairs to start putting the Guest Room/Office back together. We got the 2 walls completed so far and have the ceilings and 2 more walls to complete tonight.


I’ll be back with another post this week to review this past weekend’s progress. Lots of momentum this week, with tons of progress planned. Let’s see how much we can get done!



Living Room Updates

It’s been I while since I posted last. We have been entertaining guests the last 2 weekends, so not much house progress has gotten done!

Since the last post, we were left with unfinished brick,  a recently demo’d vestibule that had wires hanging in the middle of the floor and 2 truck loads of garbage that took over the living room.


First, and most importantly, we hired the garbage guy to come pick-up our trash since we were having people over that weekend. Then Collin turned his attention to the brick (as we last left off):


Collin worked on cleaning and sealing the brick. To do that, he started by clearing off all remaining dust and debris with 2 different brushes:



After that, he rolled on the sealer (we use this one) with a roller meant for uneven surfaces. Here is the progress shot:


Look at the difference! Left side is sealed, right is not.


All Done!

Another project that got some attention this week was the upstairs doors. They all needed to be primed and painted (3 coats). Right now they are curing, but after a few days, they will all get new hinges and door handles.


Finally, yesterday the electricians came to add lights to the Living Room! Once we finalized the furniture layout we could confirm the lighting location. In this room we decided on 1 chandelier centered on the fireplace. It looks silly in the picture below because it is obviously just a bulb hanging from the ceiling, but once the ceilings are dry-walled we can install the final fixture! They also moved the wires that were hanging and installed an outdoor light.


And here is where I would promise to blog more often, but not this week! We have a super fun week planned so there will be absolutely no house movement!