Before we got started on that, however, Chris removed the back portion of the mantel. We did this so that when we hang the wall mounted TV, we won't have to crane our necks so high to watch it. Besides, it was ugly.
Skimcoating is basically taking joint compound and smoothing it over the walls. The joint compound fills in any cracks and small holes. Big holes need to be taped first. Bigger holes need to be patched with sheetrock first. It isn't exactly what I'd consider a fun weekend project, but it was easy and satisfying work compared to our experience taking down the wallpaper.
The outside corners were in bad shape, so Chris applied some tape to repair them and made a nice smooth edge.
So what comes next? Chris is going to extend a soffit that is hiding some pipes. We want it to extend the entire length of the wall instead of stopping halfway across like it does now (you can see it in the picture above where I'm standing on the scaffold). We are hoping that it will look less obvious that way.