Horse Hair, Mud and a Can of Worms

Ok, so our first "little" project was to prep and paint a couple of the walls in the dining area so I could mount  
 this
 an antique fireplace mantle I found sitting outside in the rain at an antique store. Really? Out in the rain? Yep, I was shocked, appalled, and down right annoyed at the site of this beautiful piece of art just leaning on the outside wall of this po-dunk shop. I felt so sorry for it that I decided to give it a new home. Trust me when I say it wasn't a hard decision. It really was love at first sight. :)  I quickly determined a new place to mount this little pretty and told the hubs to get to work. He is such a good sport and shares my enthusiasm for DIY repair and remodeling. Except when things are not what they seem....

The wall I pegged to place the mantle on was kind of uneven and rough in texture. We decided the mantle would look best if the wall was smooth and even. Not a hard thing to fix...HA! The first coat of mud produced bubbles (1) which indicated the walls were not of the drywall type. Uh-Oh! With a couple of taps with the hammer (2), we also discovered that the walls were super soft UH-OH! What the???? So, the question for you all is, what do you get when you mix mud and horse hair together? Yeah, I didn't know either, but you get mortar 1847 style (3 & 4) oh! and one. big. fat. mess!!!  This type of stuff doesn't leave a nice little white dusting, the kind you get when you sand drywall. This stuff leaves a coating of dust, of the dirt kind, that when one tries to wipe it up it immediately turns to brown icky mud! UGH!

Did I mention my hubby shares in my enthusiasm for DIY home repairs and remodel....EXCEPT when things are not what they seem? Yeah, this is what I'm talking about.

And what about the can of worms? Well, it's like this. In an effort to minimize the spreading of dust during the demolition process, the hubs thought it would be wise to mask off the area with plastic and open a couple of windows, with a couple of fans blowing through one window and out another. Windows are a great tool for many things like gazing out to see the beautiful trees, flowers or birds and on occasion weird people walking down the side walk. Another super cool thing windows can do is provide, when open, a way to let a nice breeze pass through the house. This can really cut down on the electric bill. I like that. :) However, when someone paints and caulks shut every stinkin' window in a house in an effort to weatherize the home, our idea of minimizing the dust during demolition is not going to materialize. GRRRRRR!!!! 

Hunny, will you please open the can of worms? With a hammer, putty knife, and a few swipes of a blade, we were able to pop open one window (1) and break another, which was the least of our worries since upon opening one particular window we discovered dry rot on the window frame. (2&3) Hmmmm....anyone want to guess on how many more windows we might find like this once they are pried open and released from their painted and caulking prison? *Big sigh* perhaps another day. :)




Progress.....to be continued.
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