Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Home designs by George F. Barber

Check out my new website featuring the wonderful designs of George F. Barber houses in the links to the right. I will be adding more as time permits.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hall Bath Facelift

Christie here.

Well, since the porch seems like it's going to take the rest of our lives, I decided to get in a side project while waiting for Donnie to finish his outside repairs.
Here's where that project started:
Take one dark bathroom that was originally a closet and add wallpaper that isn't pattern matched and flooring that is badly laid over an existing floor and you have one nice nerve-jarring experience for a brown recluse-fearing perfectionist.
I couldn't stand it anymore, especially when I could see there was wallpaper just calling me to give it a pull and I obliged.
Of course what was under the paper was a problem which I already knew, but ya gotta start somewhere.
I started by getting the adhesive and the broken chnks of mirror off the wall behind the toilet with a heat gun. It did pretty good and I was done with that in no time.
Please note that adhesive is flammable. Be careful if you use the heat gun on it. Also, there's no telling what kind of toxins were released when the heat was applied.
The next step was to primer the beadboard. I used Zinsser shellac-based primer. More brain-toasting toxic fumes were inhaled in this enclosed space no doubt.
Next on the list was to line the beadboard wall with liner paper. There was only one wall in the room that was beadboard and not in nice enough condition to paint. Behind that wall is a mountain of blown-in insulation. The wall could have been replaced, but the problems outweighed the benefits, so it seemed ridiculous to consider replacing it.
Liner paper hangs horizontally across the grooves in the beadboard. I used the heavy fiberous type that comes prepasted
Once the liner paper is dry, I primed the paper and the other two walls.
Shellac-based primer dries quickly. Once it was dry, I started working on floating the plaster walls and ceiling.
When the floating was completed, sanded, refloated, etc. I put another coat of primer on it before painting the whole room in a color of the background shade of the wallpaper I would be using. This is not necessary, but helps mask any paper shrinkage at the seams.
After painting the trim, then came the installation of the wallpaper.
Thought I'd try something different with fabrics. Actually, I had something else in mind, but the sheer will do for now and helps make the weird angle of the stairs above the toilet go away.
Well, that was better, but the floor under the floor wasn't is finishing shape, so to keep out the spiders, drafts, and dirt catchers, I culked the cracks between the boards, primed, and painted it in 2 coats of oil base.
It'll do for now. I doubt that this is the finished product, but I can finally stand to go in there.
. . . .Now if the toilet only flushed on the first try!
I suspect that's on one of our lists for tomorrow.
More to come later when I get a break from the porch again.

Attic Window

Here's one of the attic windows that started out like this:

And believe it or not, this is the same window!

A pain, but worth it.

Post Restoration

The turned porch posts on the north side of our home had seen a lot of bad weather in the last century and had the scars to prove it. A lot of fairly shallow rot had taken away their beauty but thankfully not the integrity. The center post was the worst with missing sections of the turned part, plus the lower notches were all eat away and I had to make a 4in section for the bottom which had completly rotted away. I first dug out all the rot using a screwdriver and other small tools including a fine tooth blade from a reciprocating saw that worked very well for scraping the soft wood away and leaving a rough surface for the fillers to adhere to. Then we coated it with a thinned varnish to penetrate and seal the dry wood. I then drilled small shallow holes in the rotted section where the filler is to be applied so as to pack the filler into the holes and really give it a grip on the post. On a larger section of rot on the square part, I used an epoxy filler first as it cures slowly to give greater adhesion. Later I started using a two part filler similar to auto body filler. It dries fast and you can get to work on it quicker. I found that by using a square and making reference lines around the post it is easier to get the details mor exact. I filled and sanded the turned section first. It tood all day sanding and adding more filler then sanding again until I got the profiles just right. Sometimes I had to spray on some primer to see how it looked, the primer shows up any waviness, then sand some more until finished the lower notches on the outside of the post were completly gone so I filled the void completly and used my refrence marks and a hand saw to create the straight upper and lower lines. Then I used an abrasive wheel on a drill do grind out the center. Oh how I would love a Dremel! @With that done I went over everything looking for missed nail holes and pits and primed it all. Then christis puts a coat of paint on and I can`t believe it turned out so good. She will put on three coats of oil base paint and it should last a good long time.

Elegant Stairway

After living a year and a half I still cant get over the wonderful architecture of the house. The staircase is the first thing you see as you enter the foyer. It captures your attention and draws you into the hallway so it can show off its beautfuly turned baulisters and golden oak woodwork as it acends hevenly and out of sight. I never tire of looking at it and only when I have to go upstairs which is seldom do enjoy the openness of the stairwell and the view into the second parlor. It is functional yet it is designed to impress all who enter. It also said much of the original family who chose such a centerpiece for the home. I can only imagine what the rest of their furnishings would have been like in order to compete. Ok now the daydreaming`s over and time to get to work before Christie catches me slacking! :)