Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Studs R' Us

While that's usually my nickname for HGTV, I thought it'd also make a great title for this wonky blog post.

You see, my husband's design plan for our library/study includes semi-floating wall shelves rather than the book shelves we've been using for the past couple of years. By adjusting the size and spacing of the wall shelves he's hoping to maximize the wall space we have to accommodate as many of our books as possible. Yes, there are that many and yes, finding a house with an extra room to host our extensive library was our mission this time last year.

Since I consider the library also the Man Cave, husband gets a bit more free reign in the decorating department. I'll probably have to give up the cool Victorian mural (*sigh*) but if the husband is happy, I'm happy too. Give and take, baby, give and take. Husband decided he wanted l-brackets with wooden boards for shelves stained a darkbrown to match our floors and for a rustic manly vibe.

One of the first things on his to do list was to locate the studs in the walls and plan out the hardware. Armed with level, ruler, pencil and a studfinder he went to work.

Yeah ... this is how it should have worked. "Should" being the magic word, unfortunately. In a twist of fate some previous owner(s) decided to forgo the expense and effort to restore the original plaster walls and to simply cover them up with modern drywall, all neat and tidy and comparatively inexpensive. This, however, makes the work of your studfinder gadget nigh impossible. The poor thing is now confronted with a layer of drywall, plaster, lathe and behind all of that, the studs.

Our little brave studfinder just couldn't figure it out. We either had no studs, studs 2 feet wide or studs every 2 inches. So we winged it in a crude and brutal manner - with nails.

Yes, we did. We banged nails into the wall in 1 1/2 inch increments turning my beautifully painted wall into a Hellraiser-ish nightmare (remember Pinhead?)

Each possibility - hitting plaster, hitting just lathe (because the plaster had fallen off) or hitting a stud - came with a very distinct hammering sensation and there was no mistaking it for anything else when you managed to find one rock-hard stud.

After some patching, priming and painting the building of shelves can commence!

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