First, I removed the old sheetrock, which had a lot of flaws and irregularities. Then I found that many of the studs were not in the right places. No wonder the previous drywall installers didn't hit the studs half the time! I have now removed all the unwanted studs, added more (correctly, on 16" center, and plumb, I might add), then fitted the pocket door in place.
This is what the pocket door looks like before the drywall covers the framework. And as you can see, I have jumped the gun a little and mounted the door before staining it. I just wanted to make sure it was going to install right.
So there's lots of hard work left to do. My reward, after this wall is finished, is to texure another wall of this same bedroom. But I have to complete this wall first, so I'll be updating as it happens. I like starting a project that is messed up and ugly to begin with, because the before and after difference is extreme, making me look like a genious! When I get to move on to the interesting textured wall, I'll be using a tissue paper technique, rich brown paint, and glaze highlights. I've never done a process like this before, but I'm thinking it will be a whole lot more fun. That's the kind of project that doesn't feel like work!