Saturday, January 5, 2013

Victorian Corner Beads

Back in the day, houses with plaster walls often had wooden corner bead, which was used to protect outside corners.  In the Cheney Cottage, all of the outside corners had them.

As the house aged, people put up wall paper and painted, and the corner beads were buried.  When we started working on the restoration of the house, we rediscovered them, but were not really sure if they should be exposed.  After some consultation with Daniella Thompson and Anthony Bruce of Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, we decided to keep them in place, and to finish them. So when Armando and his crew re-plastered the house, they ran the plaster to the corner beads and did a traditional finish detail.

The exposed corner beads have now been scraped and sanded and re-stained and re-shellacked.  They make a beautiful contrast to the white walls.  They also match the other woodwork throughout the house (in the kitchen, for example, they match the door to the pass through).

Corner beads in the kitchen of the Cheney Cottage

The corner bead, stained and shellacked

Tomorrow, I will be tiling the backsplash in the kitchen.  The staining of the woodwork is 99% done (just a couple doors upstairs to do) and then the shellacking will begin.  By Friday, we hope to have taken up the floor covering, and have the bedrooms, the hallway, the living room and the dining room completely finished.  The laundry room is finished, except for moving in/hooking up the washer and dryer.  The first floor bath is completely finished.  

Getting closer and closer.....

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