Monday, June 17, 2013

Upstairs Long Hallway

28 ft. Upstairs Hallway - North View towards Juliet Balcony at front of the house.
My brother and I have been working on the long hallway upstairs for a long time.  I have lots of things to tell you about.   The color of walls in this photo is NOT the final color.  Nope.  Within two weeks time I ended up repainting--changing the color 3 times.  Jon told me to STOP IT.  
The first color (pictured above) is a very elegant caramel which I now appreciate more.  I couldn't get my head around it at first and decided it looked the color of baby poop. 
So then, I painted it spring green, and Jon said it looked like his most dreaded color in the world "celery green."  And right now the wall color I chose is the color of a paper sack--called "Barely Brown."  I decided to leave it alone for a while to see if I can live with it. 
Photo during wall crack repair phase
Last fall my brother Will started work on repairing the wall cracks.  This is the South View of the hallway--toward the bathroom at the end of the hall. 
To the left is the repaired wall: cracks fixed with webtape and durabond, then a skim coat of joint compound and slightly sanded until silky smooth.  In this photos the camera is directed at the floor so you can see the picture rail Jon found in the attic.  He took all the picture rail to his workshop, sanded, primed, and painted it so we could re-install after I finish last coat of wall color.
Here's the stairwell, and above is the cleat/deck system Jon built so we could get to the upper half of the stairwell to make wall repairs.  Directly above the wooden deck is a stained glass window.
Temporary Scaffold in Stairwell
Jon will shroud the wrap around cleat with a mantle shelf in the stairwell once the repairs are finished.  Our reasoning is not decorative, but essential to future repairs to the stairwell stained glass window or ceiling.  We could always unscrew the mantle shelf, to get to the cleats and re-install the deck if necessary.
Ascending the stairs, you can see the condition of the 120 year old walls.  
Ah, there's a wonderful example of big and small cracks. 
Forcing some durabond into the fissures starts the repair.  Later, we mended the area like we handling all the other smaller cracks with webtape and durabond again, and once that is sanded the entire wall gets a skim coat of drywall joint compound, and a light but smooth sanding before priming.
We haven't rushed anything.  Pacing ourselves we've allowed drying/curing time between each step.  Sometimes, we've gone off for months to do other projects before returning to these wall crack repairs. 
My brother Will is moving along down the stairs this past month--working his way to the 12' x 12' foyer.
Descending the stairs into the foyer.  Isn't it odd how light plays on a wall and changes from eery yellow to and erry green/yellow?  How dreadful.   I'm going to paint the stairwell walls and foyer red--the same red as in the dining room.  The foyer leads directly into the dining room.  Makes sense to me.
Here's another photo of our dining room.  However in the evening, the walls take on a darker red.

Below is an image of a Sargeant painting I saw long after I painted our dining room.
Don't they look similar?
It's elegant and how I imagine Jon and I entertaining.  Ha. Ha. 
Ok, back to the foyer repairs . . .
Will is just about done with the webtape and durabond wall crack repairs in the foyer.  Next he and I will tackle the skim coat. 


  1. My goodness, you have worked hard!

  2. It is very interesting to see the process of the repairs, and I think that when all is done, when you look at those walls, you will see not only all your hard work, but also the entire 120 year history. That is exactly what restoration work is all about.
    --Road to Parnassus

  3. Dear Mrs. D.,

    Now I see why we have not heard from you for a while — you've been working very hard, and now your house is smiling back at you!

    I painted my living room yellow, and did it over three times! I think yellow is one of the hardest colors to judge from a paint chip, and with that color especially, it's good to get some sample paint.

    An entire living room wall in my house is mirrored, and one of the yellows looked okay on the wall, but a sickly green in the reflection.

  4. Wow, this is so exciting! I can't wait to see the finished product (as is the case with all house related projects). I have been dragging behind a lot on the house because of the work issues, but now that I have a new job, I should be able to save some money and get a few projects rolling.

  5. I know exactly what you went through with all the wall cracks. We did that, too. When we first moved in we had some large holes, too. My living room ceiling used to be tobacco stained pink with assorted holes - LOL! Great job!

  6. Linda,

    Wow! I'm catching up on the past 2 years of your posts, and all I can say is WOW! Such talent between you, your husband, and extended family, and such gorgeous results in all you do! Love the Sargeant painting comparison. There aren't many people who get the look "just right" in their restorations, but you certainly have a true artist's eye for the details!

    I'll keep reading till I'm all caught up. :-)