May 18, 2011

Plastered again, or we should be

We were sittin out on the front porch last weekend a rockin away, when this here gentleman comes meanderin up the street. He was pushin a wagon that had big scrolling letters painted on the side of it.

Well I suppose we could use some of that, so we flagged him down. Like a whirl wind Mister Kennedy set up his little ole scaffolding, brewed up his buckets of mysterious powders, and with trowels in hand he marched us into position for our lessons.

Let the fun begin! Mister Kennedy ready start the Kitchen ceiling.

 Plaster is by no means an easy thing to do. It is physically exhausting. Trowel on a thin layer and then double back troweling and smoothing, compressing and and working the surface until it begins to set, then wet and smooth again, all the time hoping to have enough material to make it to a good stopping point. We chose to leave the plaster natural on the ceilings and tint it with pigment for the walls, this way we have the option of leaving it as is when finished, or prime and paint the entire surface.

Along the way we had great help from friends, Thomy and Janine who are new to Healdsburg, were willing to lend much needed hands to the process.

Janine threw her hands into priming woodwork to protect it from the plaster, while Thomy mixed the brew and kept everyone's tools clean. It was an eventful two days, and we learned so much. We still have much to learn but some progress was made with the Kitchen, the breakfast room, and half of the gallery plastered and ready for finish considerations.

May 17, 2011

A Coronation is occuring

The Days of Spring are flying by and we move forward as fast as we can. Longer days and Sunshine allow us to work longer days... yeah!...    I think.

With the exception of the addition of drywall over the shear wall in the dining room, the ground floor has all of its walls complete. We have indeed moved onto the second floor, and the first of the four guest rooms is getting walls at last.

Plywood shear wall over rigid foam insulation, awaiting the addition of drywall.
I know its not the most beautiful picture you have ever seen, but it's exciting to see secondary rooms get attention. The rigid foam insulation is indeed doing its job! Keeping the warm in, the cold out, and with the two inch air pocket behind it, the siding is able to get wet and then dry out! Each piece of rigid foam is carefully fit into each bay and then calked around....

Hang on a sec, there's someone at the front door...

OOOH... it was a special delivery. Our friendly boarder runner is back again with beautiful products for our floor. It is so exciting to open the front door and find her standing there. Today we received lovely tongue oil floor finish. Now I will warn you, do not open the can and pour out a big bowlful for your kids to eat, apparently it will kill them.

A simple tongue oil finish will give our floors that old world look, and yet they will not look as if they have been dipped in plastic. We can't wait to begin the application, but we have to get through the trim work, and plastering first.

And speaking of trim work.... Crown!

At the same time that the second floor is being sealed up we have stepped back to more completed rooms for another round, or layer of finish work. Crown molding, baseboard cap, and casement moldings are the name of the game. We have never installed crown before and boy does it screw with your head. Making sure that each cut is done at the correct angle, and the correct length is enough to make you run screaming from the house. All in all though, I think we did a masterful job for our very first attempt.

The baseboard cap and the casement moldings are replications of the original moldings that were in the house when it was built. Removing the paint from the original moldings has proven to be incredibly time consuming, unhealthy, and horrifically expensive, only to be left with a beaten and tired molding that is now free of paint. We have to draw the line somewhere. However... we will be selling shabby chic 227 picture frames very soon, so be sure to get in your size requests!

 We chose to keep the crown in the kitchen and the breakfast room on the simpler side. Although it is large, it is just a one piece application that does not overwhelm the space. It also allowed us the chance to learn how to install it while only dealing with one piece of lumber, as opposed to the sample picture below of the five piece crown that will go in the larger more public rooms.
Five piece crown for the living room, dining room, study, and library.

Lastly today I want to show those that I call our little soldiers. All lined up and free of their former drab and beaten dress, they stand proudly naked awaiting their next direction in life. Each of them has spent roughly forty hours apiece under the scraper, the sander, the planer, the chemical stripper, to reach this stage. They still have filling, more sanding, hanging and finishing to go, but right now they are beautiful as they are and will serve well for a few more generations.

These four doors bring our total to date to ten interior doors that have been stripped and sanded of their former paint, that's ten out of twenty three.... SIGH.... so now I will leave it to you to figure out if we are cup half full, or cup half empty kind of boys.


The boys learn to plaster... or get plastered, I can't remember which.