03 June, 2009

Progress on the Tenant Unit

We interrupt the Road Trip Recap to bring you a few pictures of what we've been doing to the tenants' unit this week.

We've had almost a two-week gap between occupancies, so we took the opportunity to replace some of the very scary cloth wiring:

Seriously, this crumbling old LIVE wiring was going through boxes that were hidden within the wall, stuffed with newspaper and plastered over more than sixty years ago. Why the Box House hasn't burned down already, I'll never know. It's such a relief to have this replaced.

Mom and Ted did most of the actual rewiring. We correctly guessed that there were sconce boxes in the wall above the fireplace, based on our house forensics downstairs. As with our living room, the tenants' living room also had major work done in the 1940s, where the ceiling fixture was removed and capped, the sconces were removed and plastered over, and the light switch plastered over. All that remained were five wall sockets. We found and opened everything.

While they rewired, I painted. Actually, I used Behr's Venetian Plaster. It is applied with a trowel, takes forever, but the results are fantastic--lots of lovely texture and it hides all kinds of lumps and bumps in the plaster and lathe walls.

We chose colors from the stained glass windows in the living room:

Okay, to tell the truth, we chose colors we liked, and then said, "Hey, did you notice how well these colors match the glass?"

What is not noticeable right away is that the previous owners did not tape the wood trim when they painted the rooms white. There's paint splashed on all the woodwork. I'm still trying to figure out what to use to remove it without removing the finish, which has a lovely patina.

Here's the fan Ted installed after opening up the ceiling box. We needed to add a support rod to hold the weight.

An antique chandelier from eBay went into the dining room. Arrgh. See the white paint on the wall behind it? That's not my crappy paint job. I had everything taped. That's white paint on the wood, all the more noticeable because of the color contrast.

Sconces were also purchased from eBay, and installed. Grr. The white paint is really noticeable on the trim here, too.

We still have quite a bit of work to do. We discovered that one of the vintage chandeliers that came with the house has frayed, bare wiring so that's all getting replaced. And I decided to strip the sconces in one of the bedrooms. All in all, we hope to have everything done by the weekend (touch wood).


Karen Anne said...

It looks beautiful!

About the Behr's Venetian Plaster, I've been waffling forever about what to do to smooth out the sand texture ceilings in my house. And the rec room paneling. Do you think that would adhere? Do you just smooth it on? How textured is it, like sort of plaster, or more than that? Thanks...

Joanne said...

I've never tried to apply it to a ceiling, so I'm not sure about working with it overhead. It's thicker than paint and creamier than plaster of paris, with a slower dry time. It's good at hiding minor imperfections, but I've not tried it to cover another textured coating. It simulates, but overall looks smoother, than traditional plasters. As far as paneling, I don't think it would adhere. I had to prime our stairwell before using it, because it had been painted with what looked like a semi gloss and wasn't adhering well.

I'd try Google with your specific terms; I found a number of blogs and forums were people talked about their individual results.

Jennifer said...

What a gorgeous chandelier!

I love the plaster... and how nice it matches the window.