As we continue to scrape the endless amount of woodwork in the living room, dining room, stairway and upstairs hallway of the Cheney Cottage, I go back and forth on how I feel about it. Sometimes, it feels very zen: scraping each small area of wood, carefully removing all the paint chips - it gives you lots of time to think.
The living room ceiling
At other times, it feels like working in a 1902 sweat shop.
The dining room door
We've had a lot of help: Jeannot has been coming over during the week and working on the living room; Ady spent a Sunday working on the area under the stairs; Jimmy has been coming every weekend and working in the dining room.
So now a lot of the woodwork is done, ready for the last two steps: First, we will wash all the woodwork with alcohol, to remove the final "haze" of paint. Then we'll re-shellack everything.
Dining room wainscoting
We're also going to get some estimates from plasterers on getting all the plasterwork done at the Cheney Cottage. Unlike many remodelers, we don't believe in taking out plaster and putting up drywall. The plaster gives the house a very solid feel, the walls are always more interesting in plaster, and the thermal mass of the plaster helps keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter.
Underneath the stairs (scraping courtesy of Ady Torf)
But a full year with no roof, sitting out in a field in Albany, has damaged a lot of the plaster (to say nothing of two moves and cutting holes for beams). There is much to repair.
I spent some time laying out the kitchen cabinets this weekend as well, and we've started to think about what we will do in the kitchen and downstairs bathroom for a floor. We did a lot of other odd jobs: fixing the weights on the linen cabinet/laundry chute door; pulling nails out of old 4x4s to ready them for the installation of the fence (next weekend's job); fixing the one surviving overhead cabinet in the kitchen; pulling down wallpaper everywhere.
Meanwhile, at the Delaney House, the foundation is probably 80% formed, so we're hoping that the guys will finish it this week, get it inspected, and we can pour the new foundation soon.
I also spent some time beginning the repair work on the large double doors that will soon become the front entrance to the Delaney House. The doors are beautiful, but obviously at some point in the past, someone had kicked in the lefthand door. The door was cracked at the top, and much of the trim is loose. The wire glass in the windows in both door is cracked - being wire glass, however, it did not break, so we plan to leave that until after the construction is done. The doors are ready to be hung, as soon as the new walls are finished.
Once the Delaney House is sitting on its foundation, with the new walls in place, we plan to have a dance party. Check back for details - all will be invited.