Sunday, November 26, 2006

Don’t You Ever Paint the Tile!

I feel a bit like Tom Sawyer right now. I started the bathroom project yesterday. I coated the wallpapered ceiling with Kilz and pulled down the remaining wallpaper. When I took down the shower curtain rod, a huge chunk of loose plaster fell off. I knew I’d have to patch the cracks but didn’t count on this big hole. When this house was built in the early 1930s, the plaster was applied to lath and included either cattle or hog hair to help stabilize the plaster. I came across some while examining the hole and figured out what it was after reading about plaster repair in historic houses at the National Park Service Web site.

Why I feel like Tom, is that right now as I take a break from scraping yellow paint off of blue tile, Mr. Bill is scraping wallpaper paste off of the walls. I didn’t nag or ask. I did about a third of the job, and he foolishly came in to ask how things were going. I said something like, “It’s hard to reach the top part,” and he offered to help. I showed him the wallpaper paste remover gel and he went at it. And he’s still at it. Bless his heart!

Christmas Countdown – 29 days


Don said...

Lucky Lady, when my wife decided to re-do a bath I stayed as far away as possible when it came to standing on something for the high work. Vertigo and treacherous perches don’t go together.

You bring back many memories for this son of a plastering contractor. Yes, what the hole exposed is wood lath, which had been replaced by metal lath before the time I made some spending money by doing common labor work for my Dad when I was about 14 around 1947. In fact, by then and because of the steel shortage in WWII, metal lath was replaced by rock lath (essentially today’s sheet rock with holes in it for the plaster to adhere to). Someone then figured out that if they just didn’t put holes in rock lath they could just make walls out of it and paint it and that doomed the plastering trade. Now, though, with so many older homes being renovated I hear that skilled plasterers are in demand and highly compensated. What goes around comes around, I guess.

Marion said...

I also live in a home that was built in the early '40's. There are similar things in this house that you describe in yours...such as the plaster repair!

So far, it's been very satisfying. And I bless the day Graham walked into my life...his help has been invaluable and so lovingly given!

Sheila said...

Don, I am the same way as you are. When Bill is working on some project, I learned the hard way that offering advice to a man in the middle of intense concentration can be unpleasant at the very least. He has bailed me out of a couple of projects, one being digging up an old patio with huge chunks of concrete with rebar (at least I think that's what it's called). And I suppose I have returned the favor by finding his lost items like a wallet, etc. But we are still missing two sets of keys that no one in the family can locate, not even me.

I'm tackling the plaster repair tomorrow. And thank goodness what goes around comes around. We are too quick to tear down when we can repair.

Marion, well if your home is old, then you can certainly identify. Yes, having someone to help is nifty and extra special when you love them to boot.

Ashley said...

Great blog, I hope to visit your great state someday. Please visit my blog and sign my guestbook. Have a great day

Sheila said...

Thanks, Ashley for stopping by. I'm heading over to see yours right now.