Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Almost like a real house!

The house project is making progress and starting to look like a real house. There is still plenty to do but for now it's worth taking a look at what we have achieved. So here is the almost finished salon:

The thing I'm most pleased about I think is how light it is. Amazing when I think back to how dark and dingy the room used to be. Even the white lime pointing makes a huge difference to the space.

Below is my new window seat finished in my spare time this weekend. The white pine cladding on the front is great stuff: pre-finished, dead easy to install with a air finish nailer and cheap.

The stairs I made still need a hand rail but this is in-progress. I think i'm going to make iron baluster rail to add to the contemporary neo-monastic look.

And in the kitchen (shown below) is the cupboard Julia saved from the fire.
To explain: we had a dresser we were going to paint. I / We did this only to find that Crown undercoat (water based) and crown top coat (oil based) do not mix. On the tin they say that they are compatible with "all undercoats" etc but they are not. Well, if you ring the help line, they say that technically they are, as long as you flat the undercoat down with 400 grit paper between coats and for that reason they legitimately claim total compatibility on the tin. Having painted the cupboard only to find the paint falling off in strips, I was ready to cut it up for firewood in a fit if peak! Julia, on the other hand, calm as ever, refused to admit defeat and made me scrape off all the paint I had just put on, sand it down, and then re-paint it with (none Crown) white wash. In the end I'm glad she did, as I think it now looks stunning. This somewhat round about technique has at least left the cupboard with a genuinely aged patina, although I wouldn't recommend trying to replicate this process.  

The other thing I did with the cupboard is to replace the drawer fronts. The original ones has a machine routed pattern all the way round the front (like some kitchen units have) and they looked wrong. For me it made an otherwise nice cupboard look too modern in a not very appealing 1980's kind of way. The replacements are plain and to my mind at least more in-keeping with the intended style. Its also very solid (being oak) and great for keeping the crockery in; but such a lot nicer now its not dark brown varnish

And just as a reminder, the big picture.

And the shed in bloom

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