The one thing you never know when you start any repair or renovation on a fixer-upper is what will happen as the work progresses. Sure, you’ve done the “weekend warrior” routine before and emerged victorious. Still, there’s always a battle. Will it be a piece of cake or will you make a major disaster and have to eat humble pie?
I stumbled into such territory when I attempted to remove an old, weathered piece of original baseboard moulding from the vestibule. One side had the moulding—thick, weathered wood with many layers of paint accumulation—while the other side was plain sheetrock. Both sides had previously been covered with despicable 6×8 1970s ceramic tiles. They were an eyesore so I corrected the faux pas by removing them. The baseboard moulding was more of a challenge, though. It required a hammer, chisel, screwdriver, hacksaw, pliers, blood, sweat, and tears. There may have been a few thinly-veiled expletives on hand, just in case the need arrived…I don’t remember.
What remained, after The Battle of Vestibule, was a recessed area that revealed the coveted exposed brick, one of the most prized resources in New York real estate. Bingo, I hit pay dirt. The moulding was hiding the exposed brick from sight. The rest of the wall is layers of ancient plaster and sheetrock, all of which could be removed to expose my hidden treasure.
Three feet wide and ten feet high, the wall would present a significant amount of exposed brick to display the urban chic to anyone coming or going, and to the coincidental onlooker who passes by when the front door is opened…conspicuously.