Dedicated to Historic preservation and restoration of the Victorian Era and my own spin on why things are the way they are. Paul Willham, Editor & Publisher
Monday, October 24, 2011
Knox Hill Project: Weekly Update: The Stenciling Begins
If you have been following the dining room progress you know that we have spent weeks getting the walls prepped for paint and stencil. After all that , FINALLY, we are ready to begin stenciling.
Although the stencilling technique is the same we now have some fun tools like laser levels to "shoot" the room to see if the ceiling is level ( it never is) , work like this always boils down to Mathmatics ( I bet you never thought you needed math to paint a stencil), hand levels and a keen eye.. Stencil work is often 'looked down' on by muralists as being too mechanical, however, having done both , I can tell you that either are artforms in themselves.
I always like to do a 'mockup' to see if I will like the finished product.so I get a sample sized piece of moldings ( usually about 4 feet) and install them where I believe the best locations will be. These are painted up in the colors I believe I will be used, and the order of color I think I want. The reason? Well if you don't like it you haven't bought 300 or so feet of moldings and you haven't pre painted them in a color you "may" decide to choose. I have found this is critical when I work with clients as when they actually see it up on a wall they may want something changed and you want any changes made , before, you do an entire room.
The 'bluish green' color may look familiar to regular readers as it is the same color used as an accent in the front formal parlor. A basic design principal used in the Victorian era, is use of the same color in adjoining parlors so they visually flow together even if your "base' color are different. We have stayed true to those principals with the color used to tie the rooms together.
Our stencil of course is based on the original design found in the dining room and painted in 1871 when the house was built. The stencil is a two "ornament repeat" rather than a larger run. On larger scale stencils using a smaller repeat allows one to make the fine adjustments necessary on the layout to get good corner match. The colors approximate the originals and the "pouncing brush' used was selected to closely approximate the original (probably badger hair) brush used originally .
Now that we have a run of stencil and mouldings we will study the look to see if and adjustments need be made. Of course we still must install the hanging rail which Greg has been stripping and prepping to get it ready for me to gild. More to come.
I have been involved in Historic Preservation and Restoration for the last 25 plus years. I am president of Victorian Antiquities & Design. I am proud to be a part of restoring the architectural history of our country.