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I can’t believe I am finally saying this….I DEMO'D MY DINING ROOM! I have waited so long for this transformation, but also I could wait forever for the mess it involves. I wish I had done this part while the other first floor rooms were being done. Unfortunately, the Dining Room was acting as a storage room so we could move out of our previous house and it was not a top priority – simply cosmetic.

Found during demo:

1. Original paint color: a light dusty pink

2. Ghost line of a picture rail and surprise, a plate rail too!

3. Plaster areas able to be saved or not

4. Original window/door locations – measured and recorded for possible future reinstall.

I always thought it weird that there was this really long empty wall until one day I had my coworkers over and it was pointed out that since this wall was shared with what was originally a back porch – turned laundry room, that there was most likely openings here. We did a little investigation on the other side (what is now the laundry room) and found it to be true! Two original openings were found and now I know exactly where they are, heights and that one was a window that centered with the fireplace and the other was a door leading out to the back porch. I would love to find a window to match the originals and install it exactly in the window opening I found, but for now, I have left the original framing intact and measured its location. No project creep happening this time. Whenever I get to redoing the laundry room (undecided on the line of restoration versus renovation here) it would be nice to incorporate this project as well. I don’t want the Dining Room looking into a messy construction storage room in the meantime!

Verdict is still out on the existing plaster. It had already been completely removed on the West wall, but remained on most of the others in fairly okay condition except at the fireplace and bay window step outs. The corners here aren't looking too good. I have drywall contractors scheduled for next week (for the ceiling and west wall), but during their initial visit we discussed plaster work and they shared that was not something they were familiar with. So I will be picking my coworkers' preservation brains come Monday morning! I would really like to save the plaster in here if possible! I can not even begin to explain all of the feelings once I started uncovering it and could touch it. It was like reviving the heart of the Dining Room! Drywall just isn't the same as 100+ year old plaster walls, folks!

Also, I did an experiment on the existing trim work. The Dining Room and Parlor both have darker trim / doors than the rest of the house. You can clearly see a cut line in the door frames where a darker stain has been painted over the lighter original stain. The Side Porch door and trim, fireplace mantle, and window trim are all untouched while the pocket door and trim along with the Butler’s Pantry door and trim have been darkened – which has “alligatored” over time. I was able to remove the darker stain in a test spot with denatured alcohol. With more experimenting, I think I can restore it all doing that, cleaning, and then finishing it with a fresh clear coat. I need to test the baseboards that have been painted over with a heat gun to see how the paint removes and what I will be left with, will I be able to simply clean and clear coat or will I need to match the stain color. I think restoring trim work will be easy but time consuming. Removing the stain and paint will be messy, so it really needs to be done before painting. And while I am doing that, I need to stain and install picture rail + plate rail as it was originally, evident from the ghost lines in the plaster. I'm still reeling from finding out the Dining Room has a plate rail!

Note: the quarter round trim at the baseboard is not original. I will be removing it but not installing the correct shoe moulding trim in its place until after the hardwood floors are refinished, someday! You can also see where a piece of baseboard was added in, another clue that there was originally a door here.

Next up:

1. Restore trim work

2. New drywall as needed

3. Picture Rail + Plate Rail

4. Paint

Oh, I almost forgot! I snagged these 3 beauties at our local thrift shop for a total of $25! I had been hoping I would come across a silver serving tray in time for the big reveal and just so happen I did on my regular Saturday morning thrift stop! Along with spotting this unique coffee piece and so then I made a circle around to another silver piece I had my eye on for awhile. I started collecting silver after moving in, solely for this Dining Room and all of the get togethers I saw in its future!

This coming up week should be a busy one so be sure to keep checking in @kristian.berryhill on Insta! (If you need to catch up, there is a highlight dedicated to the Dining Room).

And don't forget to check in with the other One Room Challenge Participants to see how their rooms are coming along!

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