Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An Antique China Closet

The dining room china closet is now finished with narrow enough black iron hinges I found to hang the old plank door. Bill painted the original thumb latch hardware to match and added a stabilizing bar to draw two boards back together, inside. Material costs to build the closet were about $100 for sheet rock, finished plywood shelves, hinges and a replacement thumb latch part.

Christian rewired the ceiling light from a pull chain to a wall switch.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Patching Plaster And Sheetrock


We are now patching up the remaining holes in walls and ceilings here resulting from burst pipes. It seems all of the plumbing in the house needed to be fixed and the ceiling as well as an exposed plumbing line in the plaster wall of the library have now been repaired with new sheet rock.

Christian has rewired the ceiling light at this time, in order to eliminate a wall switch usually hidden behind a door. The wall plumbing has also been insulated with Roxul which now includes PEX water lines that heat the main bathroom floor. Installing a track light here seems best, to highlight books and artwork while keeping the house somewhat contemporary.

Some ceiling and floor trim was removed to make the repairs and I found a missing piece of long trim stacked in the barn.

It has taken initial coats of plaster before spackling, to make these repairs.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Glaze Kiln


Bill spent last weekend stacking a glaze kiln to be fired with two of his latest ceramic garden tables. I love how artistic this view is whenever they finish putting it all together! Below is the last garden table with a bit of blue glaze for a change.

Stripping Wood And Walls


This kitchen had a lot of paint peeling from the walls and woodwork since the pipes had burst and the house was empty for eleven years. I am using "Ready Strip 15 Minute" stripper from Home Depot which is a few more dollars than the 30 Minute product, but is extremely effective with much less fumes to it. Bags of cheap 2" brushes, rubber coated gloves and 0000 steel wool (for a final finish); all come from Home Depot as well. An enormous stack of old newspapers help cover things and catch the mess.

These three wooden scraping tools by Schott, are terrific for scraping flat, curved and deep crevice surfaces. They can be found in a good paint store. The thick; peeling wall paint is also easy to remove this way.

Most of the wood in this old farmhouse has taken two or three applications of stripper to remove the previous coats of paint, which isn't bad and makes a tremendous difference when properly sanded and painted again.

All of the kitchen cabinets in this room are made of 1" thick, good quality beaded wood and will be stripped also to be saved. What a worthwhile effort.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Installing A Chimney Liner


I found a new "Z" Flex Chimney Liner Kit" on craigslist which is recommended for the wood stove used in this old farmhouse, and it was delivered by the seller for 1/4 the price. We wrapped it with 1/2" required insulation on sale from ebay and installed it ourselves after Christian inspected and measured the chimney length. The boys worked together on the roof while Bill directed the project including removing the wood stove and reinstalling it. Securing ladders on all slate roof surfaces was important, especially with unexpected early rain.



 I will order a custom chimney plate from "Fireside Chimney Supply" next so that the stone chimney cap can be used again instead of the commercial set-up we installed temporarily.  Bill created a custom hearth plate from a sheet of copper we had, which is now siliconed back into position above the wood stove.

The 1/2" pipe insulation which is mandatory as well as a code requirement, came from "Rockford Chimney Supply" in a kit. This insulation covered with a fireproof sleeve, allows the stove to now burn with much improved draw.

The insulation is spray glued, taped and clamped on at both ends of the liner pipe; before it is cut to size using a hacksaw and pulled down the chimney with a heavy chain and clothesline attached. A few extra feet of pipe are initially added to the length to allow for bends in the flu. This stove will burn overnight and heat most of the house. How nice to have the job (about 5 hrs. and $500 for materials) done before Thanksgiving and major cold weather sets in.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Creating A China Closet


This open space next to the dining room fireplace had been opened up to make burst pipe repairs. There was no door frame besides missing and broken plaster walls. Bill built a door frame to fit an old plank door I found in another part of the house. The space was gutted, sheet rocked, wood trimmed, and fit for five deep shelves  recessed 2".

This closet is 3' wide X 2' deep with a ceiling light towards the front of it; and seems perfect for the crystal, white ironstone, china and colorful linens etc., that will be stored here. Christian stripped remaining door paint with a blow torch and scraper. The shelves are built from a 4' X 8' piece of finished, one-side plywood; face trimmed with a thin piece of pine and painted white. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Staining The Deck Rail


We waited all summer for more than a week without rain, so we could stain the power washed deck and railing at this old farmhouse. The newer Benjamin Moore deck stains require the wood be completely dry and this weekend we managed to solid stain the railing white and will wait until next Spring to paint the deck floor with Arborcoat "Platinum" colored solid stain.


We were happy to find an earlier acrylic version of this stain since it completely covered the railings in one coat and cleaned up so easily! All of the solid constructed; pressure treated wood here seems like new after it's cleaning of molds or mildew, sanding and painting. Although Bill has always been a strong advocate of oil based paint and stains, we are finding the newer options work well if you follow the application techniques.