Please allow me to indulge myself… It may not be perfect, but it is so much better!
My daughter’s birthday party is this weekend. As a result, I was motivated to cap off the stair wainscot paneling last night. It’s bed moulding, just as the lower portion; a workable alternative to a “real” cap. Over this past weekend, I was able to put on three coats of shellac. One more coat tonight and then the handrail can go back up. My project list continues to shrink; a step in the right direction to be sure.
I finished up the stair wainscot today, sans cap. I’ve been putting this off waiting for warmer weather so I could set up my chop saw on the front porch, but I decided that it was time regardless. So I did the whole basement-staging-area-thing (up and down the stairs a billion times). I hate doing that because my legs always cramp up during the night (which they did).
This time around, I built a jig to make the severe angled cuts (68 1/2 and 56 1/2 degrees) for the panel moulding. When I did the first section of wainscot I did that all freehand which was really quite stupid; this took all the guess-work out of it. I was actually done with all the trimming yesterday (with the exception of two panel mould pieces) — 10 hours worth of work. Today, I added the bedroom door trim so the last two moulding pieces could go up. The next thing is the cap and a couple coats of shellac. The handrail is already done, it just needs to be installed again as before.
With the exception of a couple of small details and a bit more painting, the upstairs bath can be considered finished. I was able to finish off the trim and add the marble shelving in the wainscot. My wife was looking for places to put “stuff” that was cumbersome to store in drawers. We discussed several things but adding a small marble shelf to the wainscot on the north wall seemed like a relatively straightforward solution. I hate putting holes in my new walls and I didn’t want the room to become too cluttered by adding storage over the toilet. So this was my solution. It’s not perfect, but it is workable and different.
In retrospect, the marble should probably have been black… (shrug)
I’m such a wimp… This is exhausting! Really pushing myself to keep going. My motivation is still high, but the old, fat body is beginning to protest.
Added trim to the temporary downstairs bathroom door, painted it, and also one side of the door itself. Jeez! I hate painting! Now I know why I only use clear finishes; they are so much more forgiving. Also finished the “wainscot” rail in the parlor along with the last of the vertical door and window trim. Just need to finish the baseboard, paint the crown moulding and the other side of the bathroom door, add the picture rail, and add the entablatures (whatever they are called) to the doors and windows. Phhttt!! That’s nothing. Uh, huh…
I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. last night building and shellacking two of the “entablatures” making use of the Silputty mouldings I created a couple of months ago and more of the antique 5/4 door jamb salvaged from Iowa. (BTW, the camera distorts the color; the trim doesn’t look quite that bad.) Two more built today, but no shellac on them yet.
Here’s to tomorrow’s progress.
Lot’s of activity–few postings. It’s pretty difficult to post something interesting when little that’s truly interesting (i.e., worth reading) has transpired in the last two weeks. I’ve spent many hours prepping for the next big push. Thanksgiving at our house, huh?
- Finished stripping the last of the trim that I need.
- Planed some rough-sawn oak and ash boards that have been laying around for several years to replace trim in the dining room.
- Assembled the door frames for the new/old french doors, but still need to be hung.
- Milled new sills for the parlor from old, reclaimed door casings from the Iowa house. (It was a shame to cut it up–you don’t run across 100+ year 1.5 inch thick old-growth pine just every day.)
- Found, ordered, stained, and partially finished some egg and dart trim that I found on the internet. Didn’t know I could actually buy it; stumbled across it quite by accident.
- Milled the decorative caps for the parlor windows.
- Installed the plywood back for the wainscot.
- Found a four-drawer, marble top cabinet at Pottery Barn for beside the sink in the upstairs bath. (Talk about ka-ching!)
- Cried myself to sleep every night from the stress, aches, and pains.. (Okay, maybe that’s a tad exaggerated.)
- Juggled family life along with the project.
For better or for worse, the new bathrooms are functional now. The plumber was here for two days–one full day for the curved-door shower. He vowed that he would never again install one like ours. I helped him with part of it; I don’t blame him for feeling that way.
Today was primarily devoted to framing up the salvaged pine door for the upstairs bath. I also used some of the 5/4 jamb from the old Iowa house. Yesterday, I went out and bought an el-cheapo hollow core for downstairs; the other salvaged pine door I bought needs stripping and repair before I can hang it. We initially tried using an old, pink, chenille, bedspread but decided that wasn’t going to work for any longer than one day–way too hippie for us…
My wife is starting to salivate over decorating. Ka-ching, ka-ching…
Oh, yes. My daughter announced that this new upstairs bath is now the “girls” bathroom. (sigh)
Friday is the day the plumber is coming to install all the fixtures in the bathrooms. I am SO not ready…
The beadboard wainscot is up in the upstairs bath. Just need to finish installing the trim and then it’s off to painting. The downstairs bath trim won’t be painted, but it still needs to be put up, too. Not enough hours in the day…
This weekend was devoted to the last bits in the parlor–preparing the south wall (new door) for sheetrock and widening the door from the parlor to the dining room. An entire afternoon was devoted to building up the south wall with lath and roofing felt so that it would be straight for the sheetrock, trim, and crown moulding. I use a long straight edge parallel to the wall studs to get each as much as possible in line with the next by adding lath and then applying 30′ roofing felt as the “fine-tuning”. It’s time-consuming but it makes all the difference in the finished wall since many of the studs in this house are from various remodels and eras. The oldest studs are rarely the same size; it didn’t matter back then because the plasterer ensured the wall was straight. I don’t have that luxury.
Two original french doors remain from the house; they will be used as doors in the new parlor. But they are 36″ and the existing doorway between the dining room and parlor was only 32″. That was easily widened, although now I will have to be creative with making new dining room trim to match the old.
Finally, I spent most of today preparing the stairwell for the remainder of the wainscot that will run to the top of the stairs. I learned quite a bit the first time around with the lower run so I’m much better prepared now. The strips of lath in the photo are where the sheetrock is supposed to stop; I apply the wainscot directly to the wall.
Next weekend will be the finishing touches and the dreaded floor cut out. Then its on to sheetrock. I CANNOT wait!! (Stupid camera took blurry photos today…)
I can now say that the foyer stage of the wainscot is as complete as it is going to get. When the room directly above the foyer is redone (hopefully in my lifetime), the remainder of the wainscot up the stairs will be also be completed. It now has two coats of amber shellac and an improvised cap. I had really intended to use a tinted shellac to match it and the new treads/risers more closely to the old stairs, but experience thus far has driven that thought from my mind completely. Besides, the purist in me rationalizes my choice in that I am being “honest” with everyone about what is original and what is not. At the end of the day, it’s a purely academic discussion. But I hate using stain on new pine and tinted shellac is very difficult to make look good, so it is what it is.
Note that the short, antique handrail that was originally installed was switched out with a reclaimed length of Douglas Fir 2×4 from the demolition of the room. I hated the other handrail the day I put it up; it was too clunky. Some might also argue aesthetics with the replacement, but it’s a darn sight better than the old.
The last of the reclaimed base trim was in and all the base shoe in the foyer was installed as of Sunday evening just two weeks shy of the one-year anniversary of the initial demolition!!