September 21, 2011

Horton hears....

We're here, We're here, We're here!

I guess after the last couple of entries I needed to take a break from the blog. That is a horrible thing to have done. But we are here and I am back on board. In truth we have been busting ass and working as fast as we can. The summer has been incredible to us, until this week... damn drassa frassin heat! and we are on the countdown to refi. Our private term is for three years and that runs out at the end of June. We absolutely must finish the first two floors and the center hall up through the third by the beginning of next year.


Yes I did indeed say the beginning of next year.... EEEEEEEK! it's almost October and the days are getting shorter and shorter and shorter... gulp

What have we been doing? well, its easier to ask what we haven't been doing. Lets start with one of my favorite spots that took six weeks to get to a finished enough state.... the main staircase.

A quick recap from my last post...

remember this?

And then this?

May I present to you the torture of our life...

Every single bit of old paint and finish completely removed. Then resurface with coats and coats of off white, high gloss, oil base paint, brand new treads and under tread trim in walnut to match the floors, followed by layers of tongue oil for protection and color. I still have nail holes to fill, some sanding, and more coats of finish to go, but for now she looks great. The only drawback to finishing the staircase to this point is that there is a complete second staircase, from the second floor to the third, that has not even been touched.... sigh.

You also might notice in the photo above a wonderful thing or two... plaster on the ceiling and medallions at both ends of the hall. Plaster has been an ongoing and terrifying task that we have been doing for the past couple of months. After our learning experience in the kitchen we moved boldly onto the Living room. Carefully choosing color to integrate into the plaster, "BM Smokey Taupe" (hee hee, I said BM), becoming converts of the two coat plaster system, and adding a willing third set of hands to the mix, Phillip whipped up the brews and our friend Wendy and I troweled away the days. We finished three walls of the living room, (the third awaits the installation of the fireplace) on one day, and then spent nine hours the next day, going as fast as we could, to accomplish the ceiling...

B. R. U. T. A. L!

Integrated color seems to be more of a role of the dice than it is a science. The photo's above show the color, as it appears in real life, pretty well. In the day light our "Smokey Taupe" is more of a.... hmmm, what should I call it... ah!  "Suntan Panty hose". But done is beautiful! I loves me some "Suntan Pantyhose" color, mmm mmm mmm, yes siree! Add medallions and the light fixtures and we are almost ready to paint all the trim and windows and finish the floors.

From the Living room we moved onto the Dining room. We are getting this down, getting better and better at it, and color, although not exactly what we imagined, was really pretty in the long run. The Dining room walls are going to be a lovely silver gray... or so we thought... We had purchased the color for the living room from the plaster supplier. It came in nice little containers, one container for half of a bag of the top coat finish veneer. When it came to the dining room we could not get the color in time for our scheduled plaster session, but we were told that we could buy the pigments at the local paint store. Phillip went to Benjamin Moore (even though I swore I would never use them again) and retrieved pigments for half bags of plaster.... (supply your own containers please, because we don't have any... really?) "Lost in translation" is definitely a phrase I would use here.... our beautiful silver gray was, well....


All I wanted to do was grab a scraper and get that plaster off of the walls. Phillip and Wendy held me back, assuring me that it would be much lighter when it dries. Which indeed it did lighten, to a color I now refer to as "Wet Concrete"  But done is beautiful! I loves me some "Wet Concrete" color, mmm mmm mmm, yes siree!

Turns out the pigments that BM (hee hee, I said BM again) supplied was twice the amount of colorant needed, one container to a full bag, as opposed to the half bag mix we requested. I have to believe that when all is said and done that it will be beautiful.... somehow.

We moved onto the powder room and the walls of the Kitchen that had not been finished. This meant a color match. The Kitchen plaster was tinted using natural pigments and we wanted to simplify the coloring process and conquer the mysterious question of the amount of pigment needed. The paint swatches were spread upon the walls of the kitchen and a color know as "Nature's Essentials" was a perfect match. We had the paint store supply the pigments in half of the amount as they supplied for the Dining room and started with Powder room. We figured if it did not match it would be alright due to the fact that the powder room is a separate space. Suffice it to say that it did not match.... it is a very pretty shade of green, kind of a pea green, like the color of the spinning barf in the movie "The Exorcist".

Plan B

Again we had failed with color. Now mind you it is really a pretty color and it is lovely in the powder room, but we have to match the kitchen color in the hall. So we bellied up to the crap table, rolled the dice again and came up with a matched pair! We cut the pigment to one quarter, mixed her up and crossed our fingers... Bingo!
The left wall of the hall to the Kitchen is the new plaster, and the one on the Right is the older application, there is a very subtle difference, but if I didn't point it out, you would not notice.

Have we conquered integrated color? Hardly, but we have a bit more of an understanding about it.  (Some might classify that understanding as "Don't Do It!)  The Center hall walls are to be a very pale, think "Dove Gray". I am afraid we are going to have to sacrifice a half bag of super expensive plaster to the gods, and mix up a sample batch to apply to a swatch board, because I don't think I could take it if the Center hall came out dark.

I will post so much more in a couple of days.... There is a brand new guest bathroom on the verge of completion and a Fireplace to chat about.

And I do loves me some good fireplace chat, mmm mmm mmm, yes I do, yes siree!


  1. It's looking awesome!! :)

  2. Wow! Love the staircase guys! mark, don't worry about being snarky in your's one of the things we all love about you:)
    Patti from Oregon

  3. Looking amazing
    Gene Forrer

  4. Finally!
    Cousin Kelley

  5. I'm tired just looking at all that work.

  6. Not Phillip is indeed my husband, complaining as usual!
    Hee hee hee
    Was that Snarky?

  7. It is really coming along. You guys are doing such an amazing job of breathing life back into this house. I can't wait to see the fireplace!



Hi reader
Thank you for visiting and making a comment
Due to spamming I have requested that all feedback be run by me before posting. Rest assured, good or bad, your comments will be posted within 24hrs.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.