Sunday, February 28, 2010

East Bedroom - Repair Walls

Now we begin the last bedroom upstairs in our 1893 Queen Anne Victorian.   This is the East bedroom. 

We've been working on the house since April 2007.  I pulled the wallpaper off this East Bedroom in June 2007. 

Like a wild animal, I let the room get away from me, filling it with moving boxes, furniture and odds and ends.  Mostly "odds".  The room became a jungle known as Junk Room #2.

Today, the junk is gone and we got down to the nitty gritty of repairing the walls. 

I began by brushing and vacuuming the sandy surface of the plaster walls.  Below the windows you can see the quarter sized holes where Jon blew in insulation.  The room was so warm today we had to open up the window--even though it was snowing outside. 

Considering how much it was snowing outside it was a bright day.  I appreciated the outside light pouring-in as these Wisconsin winters can be so gloomy.  Tomorrow is March 1, and the forecast is for milder weather.
This is the north wall of the East bedroom.  There is a half chimney at the left top.  The chimney is no longer in use, but at one time a stove provided heat to the upstairs in this spot. 

At this point our old house is very well insulated.  We heat with a wood burning furnace and our upstairs is always very comfortable in the winter months. 

When the wood fire goes out towards the wee hours of the morning, the gas furnace turns on automatically for an hour or so, until Jon gets up and gets the wood burning furnace going again.  Our gas bill last month for our 3000 sq. ft. house was $36. 

Blowing insulation into the old house not only keeps the house cooler in the summer, and very comfortable in the winter, but dampens the outside noises.  The snowmobilers just half a block from our house are busy riding during the winter months, but we can't hear them unless we go outside. 

The upstairs walls/ceilings are 8 ft., whereas downstairs they are 10.5ft.

In the summer of 2007 Jon brought water to our old house, then repaired and painted the standing seam steel roof (circa 1950).  The roof system saved this old house as it sat vacant for almost 40 years.  Third order of business was blowing insulation--saved lots and lots of heating dollars. 
The combination pink/green has a certain appeal.  Nonetheless, we move forward.
These two photos: (top) is a short closet door, and below is the door to the hall.  The original doors, hardware, and woodwork are in beautiful shape.  The floors have been painted for a long time--although it appears there is only one coat of paint. 

The doors upstairs have locks and keys.

Here's my dear friend Pam, applying a coat of Durabond over the blue web tape to repair cracks. 

Jon applying Durabond coat, embedding it into the web tape to repair wall cracks. 

Moderate to tiny cracks are covered with blue web tape, followed by a thin coat of Durabond, just enough to embed the tape.   We'll let the coat dry thoroughly.  Because we are mostly weekend warriors, I'll wait until next weekend to start (first coat) of skim coat.


  1. Hi Linda!

    The house is coming right along. I was wondering if you found any odd
    things, like any time capsules?

    You are taking care of that gem!! I know the builder would be so pleased!

    Thanks for the progress report! Have a great week.

  2. Wow, you guys are really ambitious! I've been in this house 15 years and haven't gotten anything done! I wouldn't know how to blow insulation into our walls, but we probably should, because we don't have any insulation and the gas bills are pretty high in winter! :)


  3. Hi Linda, I love history, and historic buildings and I often think how happy the original owners would be with what you are doing to the home. You are not just restoring a home for yourselves but preserving history and such an important & valuable thing it is. Donna G