Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wonderful Window Seats

Christian's old farmhouse has two wonderful window seats built into just the right places. They are part of solid vintage construction built on original old floor boards. Here you can sit, read, put on shoes, or just look out the window awhile.

The dressing room window seat has a new cushion I covered with a yard of thick velvet tapestry-like fabric. I added cording to the top edges without making a seam, which gives it better form. Both window seats lift up for extra storage. Nice. The closet space here is also deluxe, and...

I finally have found a lovely spot for the velvet pillow cases I made with Bakelite buttons.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Saving Damaged Old Pine Floors

The most damaged pine floor boards in this old farmhouse seemed beyond saving with so many patches & repairs needed besides major water (abandoned with burst pipes) and pet stains. We nearly painted them in this room. However, our amazing floor refinisher along with Bill, guided us in cleaning and sanding plaster filled cracks, replacing heat vents to match early board lengths, filling missing knot holes with custom tinted body filler and installing all sorts of other replacement patches. The results are a refinished old pine floor that is beautiful with some of the most dramatic old floor boards in the house saved; which reach into two long closets here.

Our refinisher truly loves old wood floors and his perspective is to embrace any old mars in them as a part of their history and not try to darken floors to "hide" them. Staining an old pine floor can make pet or water stains look even more obvious. We have used a clear oil based polyurethane with an amber tint and love the results, which will be very easy to maintain in the future.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Christmas Farmhouse

Although there is much work to be done on this old farmhouse, soon Christian and Leif will be living here and it has been decorated a bit for Christmas.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Prepping For Paint

The wood trim in the upstairs of this farmhouse has been stripped three times, scraped in some places and then sanded with 80, 120 and 220 grit sand paper. The walls have been spackled and sanded several times while the closets have been refined and simplified structurally. Vacuuming is constant. First the trim is primed and sanded, then the walls are painted before the final color paint is added to the trim. Most doors are stripped, primed, sanded and painted before hanging. The windows were taken apart to restore and paint partially.

After all of this work picking the right paint color seems critical, and now that the floors are mostly refinished the choice was much easier. Benjamin Moore White in a Matte finish next to the amber colored old and interesting floor boards (we have decided that this floor can also be saved with sanding and sealing instead of being painted white) will be beautiful. The trim will be Restoration Hardware's "Ash", but the adjoining dressing room will be entirely white.

All of the equipment in this room was necessary to do more than a month of work after hours and on weekends, prepping for painting! Next week the floor is refinished here, so we are repairing the floor now.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Saving A Sculpture

Bill spent many years working in clay with Toshiko Takaezu's tutelage and mentoring. Her ceramic sculptures and work are known world-wide, and Bill is lucky to still work in her "legacy" studio. This large black "Moon Pot" by Toshiko, was a Mother's Day gift to me many years ago and in need of structural repairs which Bill could do. 
 Before & After...

This sculpture was always outside, and Bill is repairing it now that it has become extremely delicate. With many structural cracks and several holes, he has used two densities of expanding foam; poured inside of it to solidify the entire form. Satin (bottom) and gloss (top) black paints were hand applied afterward, and the piece is amazing again. Thank you Toshiko Takaezu and Bill! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Old Floors Like New

The old floors in this 1780 farmhouse were barely sanded before and suffered water damage when the pipes burst in an abandoned state. We felt it was appropriate to have them sanded and sealed by an experienced professional. Duvan's Hardwood Flooring has made these old pine floorboards like new again! Duvan and his colleague did this work in one week for $2.50 sq. ft., and with four coats of semi-gloss polyurethane they will last our lifetime. Here are the rooms...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sanding The Floors

Although we have tried to do most of the work on Christian's farmhouse ourselves, sanding the old pine floors and sealing them is being done by Duvan's Hardwood Flooring. They are a family business which specializes in restoring and refinishing floors, with much experience and willingness to please. Here are some rooms after one day of sanding.

I have 10 gallons of Bona Woodline Semi Gloss Polyurethane which has an amber tint and is highly endorsed, to seal the floor boards. It's a Swedish product I ordered through Amazon.

We feel lucky that all of the water stains are removed and many interesting large knots and boards
are obvious now.

Christian and Leif worked hard this weekend finishing the floor preparations.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Floor Fixes

All of the holes in the floors of this farmhouse have been refurbished with patches of the same antique pine boards. Bill and Christian have used some of the old dining room floor boards which had to be removed, for patches, since the floor was not salvageable. They "free hand" cut circles for the AC holes not needed, fit new tongue and groove boards for the largest holes, and chiseled to fit other splintered boards.

Here, the opening required moving the AC hook up from the outside condenser to the basement wall below it for the new HVAC unit there.  A PVC pipe was installed in the basement wall for future hook up.

Below, a missing transom was made using the same salvaged old pine. It has all been tedious work, but soon the floor refinishers come to sand and seal these old floors for us. Hooray!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cleaning Cracks

In two weeks the old pine floors in this farmhouse will be sealed with four coats of oil-based Bona Semi-Gloss Polyurethane, so now we are cleaning the cracks between the floor boards with puddy knives and strong vacuum cleaners.

Leif is using the Shop Vac and Christian is using a vintage Electrolux with often replaced vacuum bags. It takes most of a day for one person to clean a large room, but the results are worth it!

Bill and Christian reinforced some of the floors first with 3/4" plywood from below and filled floor holes cut for a new AC system we won't be using.