Monday, June 28, 2010

Knox Hill Project: Weekly Update

"You just have to do it, you just have to do it". A phrase I kept repeating to my self for hours as a carefully picked and removed layers of paint from a salvaged piece of wood trim. Only "old house people" know what I am talking about. Over the weekend I began the trimout process for the Front Parlor bay square window. The trim came from the house behind us that was demoed. I had managed to get a hold of the owner and secured permission to salvage trim and other detail before the city came in with a bulldozer and threw it all in a landfill. This trim was part of that and had layers upon layers of paint. However it has a nice trim detail and it will look great trimming out the Square bay window. I am using that and some bead board wainscot to make some base architectural paneling that will be in the space. First however was the edge trim and as you can see from the above. many hours to take it from where it was to where it is now. It would have been far easier to go to the depot and buy some pine and rout it but then it wouldn't be old growth trim and the wood would not be this dense and straight.

After all that work you may notice that yes, its painted! What you saw in the first 'split picture' is the 'base' coat of a mahogany faux glaze finish that will take place on all the first floor woodwork. Our house is a "hodge podge" of different types of trim over the years and the only way to get consistency is to use a faux grain finish. Here is a sample of a finished Faux grain mahogany piece of trim I did at one of our other Restoration projects. The base wood is actually pine in this case. The Victorians regularly used faux graining and finishing to make expensive and hard to find wood appearances in their homes. The woodwork will get several glazing and some special graining techniques and when its done you will have to look twice to see its painted. Graining and finishing is somewhat of a "lost art" these days.

Other big project work, I have finally finished tuckpointing repairs on the second floor chimney where there were old some water issue damage cased by a roof leak at some point that had damaged one corner of the brick. It took a while to carefully remove the damaged brick and replace them and tuckpoint. I have already installed a new top cover flash tray on top of the chimney and its properly flashed at the roofline so I do not expect a repeat of this problem.
Now all that work of course its covered up with drywall and you will never see it but it's done right. This fireplace is a non working one . We have a fireplace with over mirror going here and we will tile the face area and put a summer cover in as well. When done it will look just like the original did, which of course had been long gone for years. Likely when they added the 'useless' shallow closets in the 1920's. Currently I am looking for a 14x24 inch beveled mirror, for that fireplace. If I don't find a good old one , I will just have to make do with a new one.

Progress progress everywhere , but there are some VERY long days going on right now.


Karen Anne said...

Did non-working fireplaces exist in Victorian homes originally?

Paul Wilham said...

Yes. In our house for example, the home being originally a weekend cottage, had potbelly stoves as a source of heat. When the house was expanded and became a year round residence cast iron fireplaces were added and these had gas powered heater units in them. Some houses were converted to coal burners with small coal box burners.

Our fireplaces were modified again about 1890 with wood manles/tile surrounds with shelves and over mirrors keeping "up to date' which allowed for even greater display of 'stuff'.