Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mid-August Update

We finally, after much agonizing, decided to take down the plaster in the parlor. It needed patching, but was in decent shape overall; the need to insulate and rewire trumped our desire to keep it intact in the end. It took us one short afternoon to tear down what had stood for 130+ years and I still feel remorse about it. Once the plaster and lath were out and we could really see the "bones" of the house we were amazed to see such varied building techniques and a lot of recycled lumber.
Notice the recycled beam in the corner
Removing the plaster gave us a good shot of how plaster keys should look from behind.
Plaster keying from behind

The parlor is definitely not balloon framed as we were told by someone who came to look at the house. It is actually modified post and beam construction.

Gill and the boys also began work on the front porch. They tore off the flooring and are replacing the rotted out sills with treated 4x4s.

In researching ways to remove creosote from wood I discovered a fabulous cleaning solution that works better than anything I've ever tried before. Into 2-3 gallons of very warm water you mix 1 cup oxiclean and 2 tablespoons trisodium phosphate. Another bucket should be filled with lukewarm water. Dip your sponge in the chemical bucket and scrub the wall until the sponge is dirty, rinse it in the cooler bucket and repeat until the wall is clean. The results are *seriously* amazing. Need proof? Here you are!



  1. Oh my gosh!!! I cannot believe the cleaning job! That's incredible! I also cannot believe all the work you're having to do. Following this project is about as fun as following your sewing/re-enacting stuff!

  2. Thanks Emily! I showed Aleks the wall when he got home and he thought we must have sanded it!


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