Reinforcing the Dining Room Wall

Despite our late house night, I got up pretty early this AM to run a few errands. With many of our evenings spent working on the house, a side effect has been that we’ve had precious little time to actually do much cooking. So we’ve been ordering out a great deal.

Which, hey, is kind of a good thing. But we’ve been eating out a lot.

So this morning I went out for a quick grocery run, and got some ingredients together for a beef stew recipe that we have for the slow cooker. It’s minimal work to prepare, requires about 8 hours, and lasts us for several days.

So I hit up Mariano’s, stopped to get coffee and breakfast, and got back home around 9:30 AM. I got cooking soon after, and set the slow cooker to “low” for 8 hours (I’ve never had my act together enough to make this meal during the work week, so it’s always something I’ve made on a Saturday or Sunday).

Around 11:00 AM, Liz and I got back to work. Bob was heading over with a lot of supplies (extra screws, some additional sheets of plywood, and several 1/” sheets of drywall). Since we were waiting on the screws, we decided to move ahead and cut up more plywood for the walls.

Spacers all done, with a few sheets of plywood ready for the wall. We had one stapled in place as a test, and actually did pretty well on our cuts/measurements.

Normally, we’d be just putting down the plywood as a backer for the trim at the base of the wall. But Bob suggested putting plywood across the whole wall, to give it added strength. So we cut large lengths of 3/8″ plywood to span the whole length. And adhered it using a mixture of Liquid Nails and staples.

Left piece in place! The one on the right was still just held up as a test, and something we’d tear down and put up again properly.

We found that the staples worked fairly well. But our plywood boards had warped a lot, and had several spots where it was bowing out from the studs. The staples got us close, but we put in several screws to pull the plywood in… and those made all the difference.

Liz was guiding me as to where to put in screws, and in several spots the staples we had originally put in were protruding. All in all, we got the plywood to behave, despite the bows.

Spent a lot of time using the staple gun. And incredibly thankful/lucky that Bob has tools like this (and his big compressor) for us to use.

Liz, taking a look at things near the end of the plywood work.

I was very much reminded of the custom photo wall (that Julie and Bob helped make for us), from our wedding.


For a long time, we had a sheet of plastic hanging off the stairs… serving as a kind of curtain, to prevent sawdust and debris from making its way up to the second floor. Liz had moved this out of the way, as we were working on installing the spacers… and I mentioned being worried that we needed that plastic back in place.

Silly me – I didn’t realize until later that that plastic would no longer be necessary. Since we’d now have an actual, honest to goodness wall again here. Instead of just studs.

With today’s delivery of additional 1/2″ drywall, we should be in good shape to start adding that to this wall soon. Hopefully shaping up the dining room to look like a room again.

Liz and I had talked about a cut off time, but decided we wanted to finish all the plywood before calling it quits. We got done close to 6:00 PM. Another really long day, after a long day yesterday. I think it’s no exaggeration to say that the two of us are pretty wiped out.

A Late Friday Night House Night

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