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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

This months under achiever award goes to.....

I have spent a total of 4 days this month working on (to be politically correct) "This aged home of illicit pharmaceuticals."
Now, for me that is really bad (the work, not the joke.) I hope to make it up next month though. Next months plans include getting the bathroom tile finished, putting the wood floor down in the upstairs hallway AND getting the woodwork finished up in the entranceway.
The woodwork is slowly getting done. In fact I got to work on it for two whole hours yesterday. The process is quite involved but should look great when it is done. The big problem is that the wood was originally painted back in 1845 and then finished to look like either rosewood or walnut. Well, not all the paint will come off without some aggressive sanding which could take forever to do. Another problem is that the doors were replaced between 1870 and 1890 with the big walnut ones that we have and the molding around one door is of a different wood and would not match the rest of the hall. If I were to stain and varnish the surface now then it would look patchy, which is what happened when I did Elizabeth's bedroom.
My solution has been to color wash the wood with a pale flesh colored acrylic paint and wipe the surface down so that the wood is a uniform color and the grain shows through. The molding at the top of the baseboard has been washed with a burnt sienna color, the return nosing and the scotia molding under the stair treads with a "buckskin" brown. The risers and stringer ornamentation will be either "paynes gray" or more than likely dark, dark walnut (almost black because I have more than enough aniline dye from the dining room floor project.) I only have the risers and a bit of the molding on the stairs left to paint. Then all the woodwork will get about 5 coats of shellac and the end result will be natural looking woodwork of three different types of wood. The bulk of the wood will be a caramel amber color. The top molding will be a dark amber orange and the risers will look black. Hopefully very "Beidermeier" in decorator terminology and period to the house though more European than American.
If it looks like crap then I can always paint it! I will post pictures when I can but my memory stick floppy adaptor has died on me and after performing an autopsy I screwed it up royally. So a replacement is well in order....

Anyway, when it is done we can consider painting the walls. I'm thinking beige with a darker beige repeating vertical wide stripe. Any other suggestions? Remember though, Deborah's single vote out votes everybody else, including me!


At 3/28/2005 4:44 PM, Blogger K said...

Hmmm, that's a good idea.

Four days of work on the house this month? That sounds about like us. And here I am going out of town for a week, so my record doens't look like it's improving for April!

At 3/29/2005 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the pictures. The color washing sounds like a good solution to having the two types of wood. I say four days of work and being a new parent is pretty good!

At 3/29/2006 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

stumled upon your site today, love the name and the story; it seems homes like ours inspire similar creative naming.

hope all goes well with your home projects - we're about 5 years away from "finished" on our (if that can ever be achieved with something built in 1890).


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