Well, here we are, one month after our closing date. In our (determined? excited? naive?) minds, we were supposed to be moved in by now. “Oh, sure, a month of work and we’ll be all set. It’ll be a lot of upfront, but it’ll only be a few weeks.”
As you can imagine, we are not yet “move-in ready.” We are both tired, and I am frequently grumpy. We subsist on granola bars, PB&J, and the occasional fast food. It turns out that old houses can be full of surprises. Who would have thought?
The biggest wrench in our plans has been the plaster. After taking down the wallpaper, the sheer square footage of wall space just seemed to much to tackle ourselves. David is very handy and a fast learner, but we were overwhelmed by skim coating the entire first floor. Not to mention, a beautiful archway in our dining room (original to the house! early 20th century architecture!) was all but falling down, and that kind of plaster work is an art form that eludes us both.
Why not just take down the plaster, right? Slap up some drywall instead, and you’re ready to go. Well, that may very well have been the fastest solution, but (if buying this house gave you any indication) David and I seem to rarely take the easy route. We both felt strongly about preserving this historical aspect of the home, as well as maintaining the beneficial qualities of plaster, like durability and sound resistance. So, we contacted plaster restoration companies in the area and waited for an estimate.
Our instincts about the plaster were instantly confirmed when we met Wayne Little. With over 40 years of plastering experience, he assured us that our walls were in excellent shape, and that he could reconstruct our plaster archway freehand (!!!!). He will skim coat our walls and ceilings on the first floor, preserving our plaster for years to come, and his excitement to get started has been contagious. We love to meet another enthusiastic supporter of old houses!
While Wayne and his partners work downstairs, we’ll tackle other projects. We’re starting to make headway on painting the bedrooms, the staircase, and the upstairs landing. We repainted all of the trim, painted all of the ceilings white (what an unexpected difference that made!) and prepped the rooms for painting the walls.
We stripped the wallpaper from the only bedroom that still had it, and now that room is primed and ready to paint. Thankfully, the upstairs plaster was repaired at some point, and it’s in great shape.
We also painted what will be the master bedroom, using Loft Space from Behr. (Please excuse the ugly fan and atrocious green shades. I’m the process of ordering replacements for both.)
It may seem small, but it’s progress like this that tips my love-hate relationship with the house distinctly to the “love” side. Uncovering its beauty has certainly been an adventure!