The first step in renovation of the project house has been cleaning out a century of accumulation and unwanted “updates”.  Among the updates to be forever banished were cellulose ceiling tiles and fibrous “wood grained” wall paneling.  For whatever reason, the installer(s) used aluminum corner trim to finish all inside and outside corners (rather than wood molding).

First, the thin cove molding at the ceiling was removed, and then the aluminum corners.  The paneling came down easily as very little adhesive was used – it was mostly attached with nails.  It soon became apparent, due to some industrious young graffiti artists, that the paneling and ceiling were installed in February of 1961.  The date was left in various ways in numerous places!

The ceiling was also easy to take down, though the furring strips it was stapled to put up more resistance.  Here is how the purging progressed:


Ah… the look of the 60’s and 70’s!   The first step was to remove the thin wood cove molding below the ceiling. The the aluminum corners were taken off.  Salvageable materials (of better quality that what is commonly available today) will be saved for re-use elsewhere.


Young graffiti artists had left their mark just prior to the installation of the wall board! The door casing at left was removed as it was a later modification with a casing that was different from others in the house. It will be replaced with one to match the original casings for a more consistent appearance.


“That year 1961”.


With the paneling gone, it’s time to take down the ceiling.


The first piece comes down without protest. This area had the most adhesive on the walls. It’s hard as a rock. The portions which will not come off easily will be skimmed with drywall mud; the irregularities will be feathered into the plaster.


The 1×4 furring strips were well-secured to the ceiling, but did not damage it to any significant extent.


The 1×4’s will be cleaned of staples and nails and re-used elsewhere, this nearly 60-year-old wood is too good to waste.


The carpet will remain for now in order to protect the wood floor from work which will be done to the plaster walls and ceiling. This room will not receive any more attention until plumbing and wiring are completed some time down the road.


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