Please, Don’t Let Us Mess Up These Walls

When I think of a Library with a fireplace, in my mind, there are always sconces flanking the fireplace. So, there was no question that I wanted to install sconces! The challenge was, that the walls were already finished (since we didn’t remove the wallpaper / anaglypta), and so we would need to make holes in finished walls. and try not to damage the anaglypta that we aimed to save.That was a little nerve-wracking!

But first, I needed to find some sconces. Nothing in my lighting hoard was just right, so I looked online. I found this paint on Etsy, and I like that the brass matched the chandelier, and that the floral pattern echoed the wallpaper a little bit!

Weirdly, they didn’t come wired (just new sockets) but at least we’re capable of making that little project happen!

But the idea of tearing into the mostly perfect walls still scared me. We were planning on adding some outlets in the room, so we decided to start out experiment there. If we messed up the walls, it seems like low to the ground made a lot more sense?

First, we used a razor blade to score the wallpaper off the wall.

This almost felt like leather! Which, I guess makes sense, because it looks that way, too. Amazing what 5 coats of eggshell paint can do to anaglypta!

We used the Dremel Multi Max, with a couple of attachments, hoping that this would make removing the plaster and lathe relatively easy. And it worked really well! (Dremel has gifted us some product to use on our house projects as we see fit – and this was a good use of trying some things to see what worked!)

This first blade did most of the straight cuts.

Then we switched to the straight blade to get the corners. So far, it felt like the wall wasn’t going to come crumbling down, so that was a win in my book!

Pretty clean and straight edges, so I was impressed. And starting to feel like maybe we weren’t going to destroy everything!

A chisel to the wall took the plaster out.

And then another blade took out the lathe!

We kept the shop vac active to get all the plaster dust as debris up as we went.

It really does look great!

We repeated the process on the sconce holes, and they worked just as well!

It’s a start!

The hardest part was wiring the sconce through the pocket door opening. The second hardest part was trying to get decent pictures INSIDE A POCKET DOOR POCKET.

To get the wire to be out of the way for the door, Doug used a combination of magnet rods, a super comically long drill bit, and sorcery to make this happen.

The magnet held the strap and the drill bit did the work. This required a lot of patience and moving slow.

I mean, yes, Doug did all of this work. But that camera shot is actually decent, so I am awarding myself at least one gold star.

He earned that Superman T-Shirt today!

Pro-Tip – put a clamp or something on the end of the electrical wire while doing all of this. This keeps – just in case – the wire from slipping back down the wall as you’re working inside the pocket.

Success!!!! Also, the walls look SO RED AND SHINY with these on!

Library Goal Complete!





  1. Fantastic post! I really like how you kept all these post up. I found your website to be extremely informative and entertaining!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: