Biography of Westinmoreland House

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October 21, 2005

Behind the Textured Walls

After getting our power restored, and having the itch to get this place into shape, Brian decided to see how easy it was to remove the awful texture on the walls. It had been placed by the previous owner, which once we get into scraping off the texture we learned why he slapped it on there. The texture is so thick and pointy in some spots it will actually cut you. We have always hated it. Its not your usual texture but very ugly grains running up and down the walls. It is quite gruesome in my eyes. Well once we started we found it was a cinch with the right tools, which was a lathe tool actually. Here a detail of the before and after texture on the walls:

We discovered the living room was once green, which funny enough is what I have it as, as well. Not a surprise though since the floors had green and white tiles from the 1960's. Anyway once we got to the top of the wall we find this:

Yeah! Instead of dropping the wires and fishing for them, our previous owner knocked out a whole in the wall and made it easier for him to feed the wires. Well once finished he completed the hole by stuffing fabric batting (yep the stuff your mom used to make those little strawberry shortcake fabric dolls) into the hole and patched over with some sheetrock tape and putty/texture. Lovely.
We did end up finding another hole, where he had mistakenly cut an outlet hole in the wrong place. Once again a cover job was used, though he must have ran out of the fabric batting this time.
Our plans will be to fix the holes, properly and no fabric batting this time. Then smooth the wall & then paint it. It took us not even an entire day to take out one half of the wall, and that was mostly because Brian had to run an errand and I am a slow poke at physical work.

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October 24, 2005

Used Virginian Brick

When choosing a solid brick, we had the choice of used St.Louis, Georgia, South Carolina or Virginia. Now since my ancestors came from Virginia guess which appealed more? Both Brian and I liked the Virginia Brick the most. Ranging from soft reds to orangey reds the used bricks have an aged charm all thier own. It will be used to make a brick surround for our wood stove. The weather has turned chilly and we really need to put our wood stove in working order again. And since we have taken up the previous luane board floor and laid a real wooden floor down, it?s now time for the brick surround & pedestal that the stove will rest on.
Just for the record it was .70 cents per brick. We were able to hand select each brick since we got an amount of 150, and we will be returning soon to get another 150 bricks. We are going to clean off some of the mortar that was left, but we don?t want them perfect looking! We will reuse them if we ever build a fireplace, which we want to one day.
Here is a photo of the brick:

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December 1, 2005

A Woodstove Floor

The Virginian bricks we bought are quite lovely. More so when they take the shape of a floor. Brian laid the bricks last Thursday. We think it came out fantastic and it greatly improved the poor little stove that now looks much grander standing on its very own brick floor.

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January 29, 2006

A Dilemma Perhaps Solved?

I have been perplexed at how I was going to go about painting the living room. The reason being it is open to the kitchen. The original owner had a wall between the two rooms, but later the wall was removed and now we have an open kitchen/living room area. I had toyed previously with the idea of stenciling a border around the windows in the kitchen. The living room area does not have a window, only the front door. However we are hoping to later add a window that goes around the sides of the door. Anyway I never did stencil around the kitchen, but I did paint the kitchen a cheery warm yellow with white trim. It?s a solid yellow and very pronounced. I always wanted the walls of my living room to be a warm shade of red. However I knew being the two rooms have no boundary beside a beam that goes between them, they would fight for attention and be way too pronounced. So after looking at several colonial/early American style interiors, I think I have a solution. A solution, that would allow me to keep my red color for the living room and not fight with the yellow kitchen. I am thinking of wainscoting the bottom half of the room and then painting it red along with any molding around the ceiling, windows, and doors. Thus allowing the walls to stay white(ish). However I was thinking of doing some stenciling around the molding, with period stencil designs. The more I think about it the better I like that idea. Just for visualization, here are some examples of what I am thinking of doing

Now I don?t exactly like the ?country? theme, but I do like something that really echoes the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I have to run it by my husband and see what he thinks, but I think it?s a smooth transition for the two rooms.

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January 30, 2006

Historic Stencils

On the topic of stencils in my last post, I have found a site that sells historic stencils. There are so many I like its hard to choose from. They are the exact era I am looking for!

MB Historic Decor

For those with more Victorian tastes here is a stencil site most likely to suit,

Epoch Designs
Those are the only ones I know that sell authentically reproduced stencils. If anyone knows of other sites or sources like these please let me know! Well I need to get back to making dinner!

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April 4, 2006

All About Walls

Its been busy around here....with family that came in! But we are now back to work on the house again.
In a previous entry I mentioned how we were scraping the texture off of our livingroom walls. Well instead of scraping, Brian sanded the texture off today. Here is a photo of the awful texture...

This stuff is so thick Ive cut my knuckles on it before. It really is awful, so anyway its all off in the livingroom now! One room down and two to go!
Here are some photos of the progress.....

The Front Door & its de-textured wall....

The wall right of the front door....

And finally the wall right of the last one...its the wall you see when you walk in the front door...

All de-textured now! What a mess though. We have some spots to repair, which should take place tomorrow as well as floating the sheetrock.

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April 24, 2006

Doors, Doorframes, and Walls

Earlier this month Brian built a new door frame for our bedroom. A couple of reasons for this was, 1) it was the only door frame in the house with mitered corners and it was smaller in size than the other trim work. 2) Brian had to install a new door, and it would make his job so much easier.
Here is the door way after taking down the existing doorframe

Now he hasn?t built a door frame before but it wasn?t that hard for him. First he planed the wood, we have a lot of rough cut oak that we are using. It planes up beautifully.
Then after all the measuring and cutting he started to put it together. One thing he learned is the nails they make today really are junky. Almost everyone of them bent going into the oak. So that was the slowest part of the whole job.
Anyway now we have a beautiful and very STOUT doorframe. He is thinking of rebuilding the entrance doorframe as well with oak, since it does make it so sturdy! Here is the doorframe after getting it built and all the trim up, the trim by the way is just pine...

When we tore down the existing doorframe we discovered a couple of things. One, we found where the original back window was in the living room before the bedroom addition was added on. It?s the reason you can look on the left side, from the bedroom vantage, and see where there is plywood, and where there is the original siding to the house. On the right side its siding from top to bottom. But not on the left. Also the paint coating is very thin on the siding that was once the back of the house, suggesting a closer to original color. Which all makes sense, since its...take a guess? Yep...GREEN. loL! Those people REALLY liked green =) Here is the siding, sandwiched in between the walls in our livingroom and bedroom

Then after a lot of putty, sand, putty, sand, we finally got the first wall painted last night with its new Cottonwood tint from Ralph Lauren. The color sample really doesnt do it justice. Its got a lot of yellow undertones and on the walls its nearly a lighter tan color in the day. At any rate in does very well with the really bright in contrast kitchen color of Goldfinch.

And the doorframe with its 1 coat of Kilz, and its one coat on the wall. We still have to add another coat for the wall, and 1 coat of brilliant white for the trim...

And this shows the two rooms. Right now the livingroom is darker than normal because of furniture being out of place. The beam in the middle will be painted white eventually to match the rest of the trim.

At least I can see some progress ~ finally after all the dust loL!

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May 4, 2006

Moving Forward with some Progress

We are now about 64 percent finished with the livingroom. Last week we put two coats of cottonwood on the walls, and there is now two coats of white on the trim. We even got the "cornice moulding" which is actually just 1x4's, since I prefer it more simple in here. Its painted with one coat, but needs a second which we have yet to do. The only things left are to fix a small spot on the ceiling which needs some texture and paint. The current floors to be taken up and the new laid down. The doors to be painted and the outlet covers to all be installed and thats it.
We just got a hold of 12 foot sheetrock at less than half the price per sheet, so the other rooms will take less time and be much easier than all the sanding and puttying we have been doing!
We still have our eye on that house that I?ve mentioned before. Anyway the man has to first repossess the property (which will be about 5 weeks to do from now) since the person he sold it to hasn?t made his payments since the storm. They weren?t living there, but I think they were fixing it up, but they havent been back since the storm. (Might have something to do with some side damage from a tree swiping it)
Once he does that we will be able to put a contract on it, the money for that is on standby. Once that happens then I will post some photos of the place and say a little more about it. Its turning into quite a puzzle. =)
Until then we are working hard to get this place ready to sell.
So far all is going according to plan, and thankfully we do have a LITTLE time which will "buy" us some for fixing this place up. I'll post some photos soon of the progress and the new walls. =)))


The Pictorial Progress

Here is what the wall that used to have a hole in it now looks like, before the trim went up

Here is our 6 year old, serious at work

And here is the light switch cover that came with the house before, and then after I applied the same technique as with my light fixtures for the bathroom.

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Biography of Westinmoreland in the House: Living Quarters category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

House: Kitchen is the previous category.

House: Notes & Misc is the next category.

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