The final piece of the puzzle, though, is what to do with the few nicks and dings that the walls suffered throughout this whole process. Nothing serious, mind you, but enough that we just want to make sure we proceed carefully. (This is, after all, our "formal" dining room. And we'd rather make sure we do things right the first time than try and fix it a year down the road.) After checking with some friends who have much more experience in doing this sort of thing than we do, we decided to not sweat the details of covering these little nicks and dings up too much and just use some Kilz primer, along with some light spackling (we actually bought some spackle from Lowe's that is specifically designed for this kind of thing) and have a go at it. Well, that's the plan anyway.
We have everything we need to start work on this final step, but we probably won't get to it for a few days. In the picture above you can see the white formerly-papered walls, the new color we will be painting them, and a couple tiny dings in the middle of the corner. Hopefully when we're all done all that will be noticeable is the paint :)