Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Arch nemesis

My house is filled with flat arches. A trend that spiked in the mid-90s, and I really wish it hadn't caught on. Unfortunately, it has, and my house was attacked by them.

Seriously.. They're everywhere...

(an old picture with my old entertainment center.... to show my "window" arch)

(another WAY old picture - apparently 2 Valentine's Days ago! But see?! They're EVERYWHERE!)

And a beautiful shot of my master bathroom's arch. Gag.

Now, some people don't mind these arches. But we all have different styles an preferences, and I don't like them . If the builders had stuck with a classic archway, I would have probably not thought twice about them in my house. Really, I prefer a more modern look, but I could've lived with them. Since they decided on flat arches with bullnose cornerbead (another thing I DO. NOT. like), I have to tell you that they just had to GO!

To prepare for this, I asked my step-dad about a million questions about how the archways were probably built. Then I decided to practice in my master bath, since, if I screwed up, no one would see it :-p The above picture was taken after I'd started removing trim along the bottom of the archway, but before I started anything else (figured I should stop what I was doing to get a "before").

My step-dad told me that they probably framed a square doorway, and added plywood arches. There were a few other options thrown in there, but this was the easiest way for them to be built, and for me to remove, so I just hoped he was right and went at it. Maybe not the best plan of action, but... what else could I do!?

I started by removing the trim from around the entryway and the bullnose corner bead (just found the bottom of it and started pulling it up. It caught on the nails a couple times, but i used the back of my hammer to pull the nails out). The corner bead on the wall was metal and nailed in, and the bead on the archway was plastic, and just adhered with drywall compound. 

After that, I took a utility knife and started peeling back drywall. I had NO idea what I was looking for, but I'd already started. There was NO turning back now!

What I saw was that the arch was made from OSB sandwiching 2x4s. Uh. Okkkaaayyyy... This'll be easy!

Actually, it wasn't. My scrawny self had a "B" of a time getting that darned plywood broken and down... It would've probably taken a LOT less time if I had the right tools (or some muscles), but I had an axe, a hammer, some screw drivers, a utility knife and a putty knife (gosh, I feel like MacGyver now!). Either way, I was able to get the whole thing demo'd and cleaned up during a nap... So 2 hours MAX.

And oh my gosh, I can't tell you how excited I got! Even like that, it looked so much better to me!

But, of course I wasn't going to LEAVE it like that! Actually.. it stayed like that for a few days (I try to tell you guys over and over how lazy I am!), but I eventually got some motivation to trim it out.

Three 1x6s and five trim boards later, the doorway is finished! I still have to replace the trim that I removed, but I'm having issues with that. The previous owners painted the trim an awful beige in FLAT paint, and I can't get myself to put it back! But the only other option is to either paint ALL of the trim or replace all of the trim... and... I'M LAZY! But I'll definitely keep you updated on my decision!