Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Transformation - a Victorian Bedroom

My project this week is repairing wall cracks and skim coat plaster in the north bedroom. Here are some recent before and after photos. This is a large 17 x 13.5 north facing upstairs bedroom--which is not quite so private. The bedroom is street side.

The little round holes you see in the walls between the windows are ports where insulation was blown into the walls. The house is well insulated now, and new storms and screens added in October 2007. We heat with wood, and have a backup natural gas furnace. When the wood fire dies out each morning--the natural gas furnace kicks in. The upstairs is actually warm and comfortable in the winter.
Last night I photographed the three north facing windows. It gives you an idea of what the first the wall crack repair and first skim coat of plaster looks like. The new ceiling dry wall was installed first. Durabond and web tape to cover insulation port holes and every hairline wall crack, then allowed to dry thoroughly--then spits of durabond crumbs are scraped clean from the walls. A day later the skim coat plastering begins, then sanding, then a second coat of hand troweled plaster, and more sanding.
The bedroom entrance door is shown here. To the left of the door you can see the southwest corner of the room where there is a half chimney--noted by the hole in the wall where a wood burning heating stove once sat.

Here's yesterday's photo, showing crack repairs, half chimney hole patched a couple of times, and first skim coat of plaster.
Today I'm on the ladder with a mask scraping plaster spits and ridges of plaster from the walls, then and a light sanding, and ready for the second skim coat of plaster. Jon said he'd come help me today, and plaster the nail holes in the new drywall ceiling, and second sanding of taped joints.
I'd like to finished the wall and ceiling plaster this week and prime the ceiling and walls with Zinzer 1-2-3 before the weekend. Wish me luck. I'm almost 60 years old, and my oh my--going up and down the ladder really bothers my left hip.
Here are more before and after "work in progress" of the northeast corner (same view).
The plastering and sanding work is relaxing to me and gives me time to think about a wall color for the room.
Right now, I'm lost--I just can't settle on a color. I think what I need to do is take a "road trip" to find a bolt of drapery fabric to dress the 3 windows. Most of the time I find fabric first, then the wall color seems to fall into place.
I'm open to comments about color for the room. Any suggestions? Remember this--in the evening you'll be able to see the room color prominently from the street. My dining room is red, and from the street in the evening, it casts a beautiful warm glow. I'm leaning toward repeating the red dining room color in the bedroom. But, I'm afraid my Mom will make a comment about "red light district". Ha. Ha.


  1. We sometimes do wall and find fabrics that go and other times fabric and walls that go. Linderhof is colorful but often the walls come first.

  2. The walls are looking great! I know a lot of hard work goes into getting them in shape. As for your color, I am also a red fan and had two rooms on my last house in red. when it came time to do the kitchen I thought it would too much to do red in a third room, (Small house)so I had a friend help and we came up with a soft terracotta/ rose and I loved it. Just sharing an idea! love your house and seeing your work.Also your blog keeps Christie out of my hair, as shes always looking at it! : )

  3. How about a lighter shade of a color that you've painted in another room? I found your blog from the HGTV Rate My Space site, and I loved the color you painted your bathroom (Bewitch). I went to Lowe's and found the paint chip - I painted a bedroom in my own house the second to lightest on the chip (can't remember the name) and it's beautiful as well. Very calming and serene!

  4. Good Morning Linda and Happy New Year...

    I know what you mean about climbing up and down ladders--LOL!! The room is looking fabulous--just like the rest of your home.

    As far as the color--I would shy AWAY from the red in the bedroom. RED is known as a stimulating color and my not give the serene atmosphere needed for the sleeper. Your best bet would be to go with a softer version as a compliment to the red. That is just MY opinion. I know as an artist, you will make the correct decision.

    Best wishes for a great year and much sucess with your remodeling adentures!

  5. Wow, Linda, you are so ambitious! That all seems like so much back-breaking work! But it's looking SO good!

    As for color, don't worry so much about how others will view it from the street. If you like red, go for it!


  6. I'm glad to see that someone else goes to painstaking extremes to make smooth (notice I didn't say flat) walls. I saw your post on OHW about your specific plaster method. We do it a little different here, but I may try yours next time so I can do a comparison of method longevity.

    What Donnie was really saying is that as long as I'm reading your blog, I'm not bugging HIM to quit shopping eBay and git back ta wirk! That's what that's really about. :)