Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Great tip for plaster restoration - is this boring or what?

So we realize that this may qualify as the epitome of boringness, but we are really excited about this great method (from the Nash book, see below right) on how to make crappy new drywall and repairs look like vintage lime plaster. Basically, you add sand to joint compound, apply it over the repair, then add just JC to fill in the teeny divots, then sponge and buff. Turns out it doesn't just make the drywall look like plaster, it also does a fabulous job of smoothing over plaster washers, fiberglass tape, bits of painted-on wallpaper that wouldn't let loose their grasp on the wall they so dearly loved for those many years, and all the other repairs and messes on the old walls. Here's how it looks; we're not quite done but are so happy with the results so far we just had to share:
This is a typical (messy) area needing covering. Join compound & other repairs on the left, old plaster on the right (note that, because the walls in the bathroom were so toasted anyways, we're skimming the whole wall so we're not trying to feather in).

And here's a look at how gorgeous the original plaster in our house can be, for reference. Don't tell me you've never spent time looking at old plaster before! It's terribly aesthetically pleasing.

And here's a picture with all 3: new fortified joint compound (left), old plaster (center), old crummy repair about to get skimmed (right):

And, just when you thought it couldn't get more boring, here's a closeup of plaster (yes, this is the kind of stuff we get excited about nowadays). This is the final look of the new skim of fortified JC, ready for filling (the vertical lines will disappear) and buffing. Pretty excellent! You can see the teeny little grains of sand.

So the short story is that the bathroom is really coming together; finishing wall repairs; electrical and plumbing are all roughed in; and next we'll tackle the floor.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mr. Johnson, tear down that wall!

Over the weekend, in addition to lots of work for the real job, we managed to squeeze in a little work on the bathroom. Sarah needed some demolition time, so she tore out the remaining plastic tile from the old tub surround. You remember what THAT looked like...

Umm, yeah. So that's gone. So we capped off the plumbing too, and then took down the divider wall between the tub and sink - well, only partway down, because there will be a short wall there in the future. And of course there was a 2x4 there, that was doing absolutely nothing, and that was attached to the non-structural wall by about 200 NEVERENDING NAILS. Another installment of the nail-happy previous owner.

So that's gone too now. And we finally have a view of what the final bathroom will look like. It's even more spacious than we imagined - you can see the windows right when you walk in the door, and we're ready to get going on all the final installations.

So maybe that picture doesn't look so great to you, but to us it means we are almost done. Things should really start shaping up now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spring is coming (?)

Well, we're slowly starting to add some content to this blog. Today, as I worked with the house photo, above right, which is full of lush green (on the coldest March 7 ever in history, below zero with windchill!), we started to think about spring and the gardens. Wondering what's going to come back up this year, trying to remember where everything is, and trying to decide what to plant this year. We found a great yellow lilac that may be irresistible, but maybe we'll wait to do more until spring has sprung.

...until then, we're trying to finish up the bathroom project. Ken installed all the electrical in 'the nook' part of the bathroom today, and we finally walled in the shower fixtures from the back - so we've decided that they don't leak, and aren't going to. Knock on wood...

Saturday, March 3, 2007


This is the first post to this blog. Although we've resisted, it's time to make sharing our progress on our house project a lot easier for everyone. Stay tuned for more...