I've been plastering the walls downstairs and it's turned out really well. The walls were paneling, the kind that comes in 4 x 8 sheets and has grooves that supposedly simulate planks, not real paneling. I taped all the joints because cracks will form if you don't then used sheetrock mud, the kind that comes in a huge bucket, to fill the grooves. I troweled over this with more mud stippling it with a rag as I went to get the effect I wanted. Very time consuming but a cheap way to change an ugly wall.
I've hated this ceiling since the day I saw it and I finally took the plunge and took it down. I knew it wasn't a drop ceiling attached to a flimsy metal frame so it was a huge undertaking to get it down. The tiles were nailed to 1 x 3 pine boards that were nailed across the rafters. I spent days and days on top of a ladder with a crowbar.
Here's the huge beam I uncovered that runs the length of the house.
Everyone should have flourescent lights in the ceiling. Energy efficient.
The rafters turned out to be dirty so I spent more days on a ladder with a scrub brush. This picture is before they were cleaned. I wanted them exposed but now I can't decide if I want to clear coat them or paint them white.
No after picture yet because it's not in order yet, but soon. This is only about a third of the space I have to do anyway. At least I got started!