Monday, March 15, 2010

Knox Hill Restoration Project: Weekly Update

This week began the ceiling phase of the Formal Parlor. The expression 'they don't make them like they used to" is certainly a phrase we hear often and you don't realize what they means until you actually try to apply terms such as 'square and mathematical layout' to an old house. especially one that is 139 years old.
The room is 'mostly' square. The issues had to do with the fireplace chimney (off center by 1 1/4 inch) and the east window (off center by 1/1/2 inches). Now I can't do anything about the fireplace but fortunately when we do the tower addition off the front parlor the window will be replaced with an arched doorway to the Turkish parlor. We will have to 'recenter' the ceiling light by 1 3/4 inches to get everything to align properly.
The layout of a 'paneled stencil ceiling" take allot of time and patience. Layout is critical and making sure all line are parallel is key. Not an easy task when you are working with the waviness of an old plaster ceiling. While some would have demoed the ceiling and installed a nice perfectly smooth drywall ceiling I think the originality of the plaster adds to the character of the finished ceiling which when done will coordinate with the original Neo grec stencil designs we discovered in the room and elevate the room in terms of style so it will be more period appropriate for our collection of antiques.
We know our ceiling medallion will be 32 inches in diameter so our painted center field allows for a 6 inch border of color around the medallion. We also are doing an 'angle crop" on the four corners of the field. This is done for two reasons one we have a 'bumpout' of the fireplace and the room is slightly longer than wide. the angularity of the corners of the center 'fools' the eye by drawing attention to the center of the room and the eye will focus on the medallion and new Victorian 4 light gasolier style chandelier we will be installing when the ceiling is finished.
The color being used her is called "False Cypress' and is a close match for a period Victorian color used during the period. it is a green but with blue overtone that is a good contrast with the wall color. This color is a flat finish mix as a flat finish more closely approximates the milk paint colors used during the victorian era. More, MUCH MORE, to come in future updates as we wind our way through this project. Stenciled ceiling are very time and labor intensive, much of it being the prep for the actual painting.

On other news we began the removal of the "battleship grey' paint off the floors. Why they EVER painted floors I will never understand.

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