Thursday, March 19, 2015

Colonial Floorboards

In 1691 any Eastern White Pine in America measuring 24" wide at least, was preserved for the King of England's making of Naval ships which was written into "The Massachusetts Bay Charter". This pine was twice the height of any previously growing in England, stood straight up to 230' tall; free of branches up to 80', while being more flexible, lighter and less resinous than any other pines. They made the best single stick mast ships of their day which conquered the Dutch and could have the French fleets. In 1772 an English law was passed protecting 12" wide pines and then even 8" wide trees were included.

Old Farm was built in 1717 and is an example of the statement that "never under any circumstances, would the floorboards of any colonial home exceed 23" in width". All of the floor boards here taper and are fitted together.

Colonists paid for a Royal License to cut trees on their own property which were not marked for the King. This "tax" was reason for the "Pine Riot of 1772" and another reason for the Revolution. The first colonial flag had a pine tree emblazoned on it and a flag of the white pine was flown at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Upstairs we have boards wider than 23" (still less than 24") because the law applied only to the first floor of colonial homes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Painting Old Beams II

The master bedroom ceiling beams are nearly 300 years old and have relatively smooth sides, but bottoms with rougher carvings (which in places allowed for a drop ceiling of lathe and plaster finishing). After sanding all the nuances and cracks with 80 and 120 grit sand paper, we filled many (hand-made) nail holes before caulking everywhere. The beams are painted with a thick coat of primer and a finish coat of Benjamin Moore's "White" Satin paint.

Bill carved out all of the beam cracks with a sharp putty knife and suctioned each one with the cupped end of a vacuum cleaner after sanding.

When finished, we left for home as the sun was setting on the front of the house with sunlight still streaming in the front windows and lighting up these amazing hand hewn old beams... we can now wake to see here.

It was too cold to open all of the doors, but soon there will be Cape Cod sunlight streaming in from all directions to reflect off the interesting wood surfaces in this house.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Curtain Closet

The upstairs loft space has a hallway behind the chimney we made a closet by hanging curtains and clothes poles between the beams and two constructed end walls. The curtains were made of a thick Belgian Linen with tall ruffles and deep hems (to let out as they shrink from washings). I've used a sailors knot tie-back to keep the center curtain open and allow for easy access.

Inside is a small antique Danish "Handkerchief Dresser" with a marble top and whitewashed wood. It fits and blends in easily with room to hang and store in front of it. Below is my favorite bedroom closet with a dresser and exposed clothes pole from the blog "This is Glamorous".

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Front and Back Doors

The back door is now painted Zieder Zee Blue and the front doors are Moorland Green from the Fine Paints of Europe. Below are two darker shades of this marine quality paint used close together and so striking. 
(Image from Fine Paints of Europe website)