Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Good Mantle of the South

I've decided to name the parlor mantle, Glinda, The Good Mantle of the South. This is in comparison to her evil twin, the dark mantle in the dining room {shudder}.

Just look at how she glistens and shines! And all I had to do to get her to look like this was to click my heals together three times and say, There's no shellac I can't strip. There's no shellac I can't strip. There's no shellac I can't strip.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sanding Tile

No, wait, that can't be right. 'Sanding tile' doesn't make any sense. What that should be is, 'I got sick of sanding, so I started playing with tile'.

The plan was to sand all of the windows and get them ready for primer. If I can get the replacement head blocks installed I can measure for, make and install picture rail. That was the thought, but that doesn't make any sense either. I need to paint before the picture rail goes up.

I started working on the double windows in the back parlor and it turned out to really be a lot of work. Not only did I need to sand, but I also had to remove old rusty hardware, which was installed in 1895 and then had a zillion coats of paint put over it. It did not come off with out a fight. There are also holes to fill from old window treatments. The parts that didn't get stripped of paint didn't need to be sanded, but they did need to be washed. It just went on and on.

While I was working on the windows it also dawned on me that before I can put the head blocks on or measure, make and install the picture rail, I need to deal with the pocket doors. They need to be removed, cleaned, and I need to install the new hardware, which I haven't even bought yet!

Needless to say, after about an hour and a half working on the windows, the job was not only tedious, but it also seemed sort of pointless. I mean, it will need to get done, but it is hardly a pressing issue. Since the last of the salvage tile came in from Urban Remains in Chicago, I decided to play with that instead.

The tile is sitting on a cardboard template, which matches exactly the concrete area of the hearth where the tile will be set. I have a finite amount of tile, and all but the blue tile with the frogs and dragon flies is salvage antique. What that means is, if I run short or break something, I'm screwed. 

The tolerances are very tight. Of the vintage tile, the only extra I have is one peice of the 1X4 dimpled green tile, and I have a half dozen of the half peices of the 1X6 mottled blue tile. That is it! The three outside boarder tiles will have mitered corners. One wrong cut and there is no extra on one of them, and I have one extra piece on another. It is going to be a nail biter.

On the plus side, it fills the space very nicely.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hiding in plain sight

It was right there in front of me the whole time and I didn't even know it. This mantel, and its sister in the parlor are the only two things in the house not made of redwood. Although I have stripped acres of paint off woodwork in the house, this is the first time I've done this type of work on anything but redwood. I could have finished this evening, but I ran out of paper towels.

I would say I have between 4 and 5 hours of work in to it so far. Relatively speaking, this was effortless. I'm not sure if it had something to do with the way this was finished 120 years ago or if it is because it is oak and not redwood, but the shellac just lifted right off. Stripping shellac off redwood is pretty easy, but not like this.

The original finish was shellac, but it had turned black and was alligatoring in places. It was also filthy and very grungy, and had chips in the finish, along with wax drippings and ciggarett burns. If this were a piece of 18th century American furniture a finish like this would be prized and stripping it off would have destroyed the auction value. In the parlor, though, it just looked like crap. At least that's what I think. I'm sure some will disagree.

I used the same methyl chloride based stripper I used on the stairs, but this just worked much faster. The reaction time for the stripper to do its job is 10 to 15 seconds. I brush it on, wait 10 seconds or so, then wipe it off with a paper towel. That gets 90% of the shellac off. I then apply another thin layer and scrub it with steel wool.

The question now is, what do I do for the new finish. I'm not sure if this was originally a golden oak finish that had just really darkened over the years from the heat of the coal fire, or if the shellac was tinted originally, and then it darkened even more. What I am fairly certain of is, it was not intended to be the black color that it was when I started.

My real concern is getting an uneven finish if I try any type of stain or oil. If I don't clean this very well and very evenly, the oil or stain will penetrate differently and I could have splotches of lighter or darker color. My plan is to tint the new shellac before I apply it. This should give me an even finish.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Primed and ready...

Good, bad, or otherwise, the plaster is done and the walls are primed. It is really starting to look like a real room. I had to do more sanding than I would have liked, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I would like to be able to blame it all on Megan the intern, but the fact is, the worst wall was mine. Even more, her work was as good or better than mine in many areas of the room. There was a point where we were competing for space, she was on the scaffolding, and I was trying to work the wall right next to her. Being the gentleman that I am, I gave up space to Megan. The bottom two or three feet of that wall nearest the bay was terrible. I never did the final pass with the trowel. I think I got it sanded smooth enough, but if not, that is where the sofa will go.

I also got the new outlet installed. Megan was not here for that and it is too bad. Learning how to retrofit an outlet in to a finished wall would have been good for her to learn about.

Megan has been out galavanting around the country, so she missed out on the outlet and all of the wonderful sanding. I thought about waiting on the outlet until she was back in town, but The mess must go on as they would say in show business if show business were more like old house restoration. She also has an upcoming bathroom remodel job and I turned her on to a Craig's List add for an old window restoration job. She told me she got the job the day before she left.

What all of that means is that I probably won't see as much of her around. I am happy to see her get real jobs, but I am going to miss the help. 

I'm still waiting for the tile to come in for the hearth, and that should be next week, so that might be the next job. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I am going to need to restore the oak mantle. I got away without having to do it in the dining room, but the one in the parlor is not in as good a shape. If I do restore the mantle it will need to be done before the tile.

The mantle will be tedious work. I need to strip off all of the old shellac, and there are turned columns and other fancy millworker. It is going to add a week or so to the project. If nothing else, it will give me more time to stress over paint colors and window treatments.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Details, details, details

I have worked every night this week on the parlors and except for the added tools lying around on the floor, I swear you would not know the difference. I'm at the point of doing prep for painting and millworker, so all of those little things that I've been putting off need to be done....

I need to pull that nail.
I need to scrape that paint stripping residue off.
That needs to be sanded a little more.
That needs a little more scraping.
That needs some putty.
I need to caulk that.

I did get the hearth ready for tile, but that is also one of those minor things that really doesn't scream progress. It is just one of those things that needs to be done. It did require grinding tile and mortar, so if nothing else it added to the mess in the house. That's something, right? I have progressively made the rest of the house more messy. That's progress.

I also finished stripping the paint off the baseboards. Most of it was done, but I saved the last pass until after the plaster was finished, because inevitably you will get plaster on the baseboards. So that is another one of those things that took several hours, but anyone coming in the room wouldn't really notice. It was almost done anyway.

I've also decided to install one more outlet. That probably should have been done before I plastered, but that sort of thing has become rather routine after ten years, so I don't expect any major issues. Now that I write that I picture large sections of plaster peeling off the wall as I cut the hole for the box.

This also means another trip under house. Oh joy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blue!?!?

That's what my fist thought was this morning as I was laying in bed. I imagined these hideous plum colored walls and thought I must have been insane to even consider that color for the walls in the parlor.

I quickly got dressed and ran down stairs to look at the paint chips again. I saw the Windy Blue and thought, "Ok, that's not too offensive. I can see that color on the walls."

Then at work today, seconds after I called in a sandwich order to the bakery, I thought to myself, "Blue!?!? Was I insane?". I raced home after picking up my lunch to look at the paint chips again. Once again, I thought, "It's really not that bad."

It's going to be a long couple of weeks until I paint. I need to get some samples on the walls.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The part of the job I hate

Naturally, when working on the walls with Megan over the past few weeks the talk turned to wall colors. As I've said many times over the years, I hate choosing colors. There are just too many choices and I agonize over it. 

One thing I know I don't want to do is duplicate the color scheme of another room on the first floor. With its red walls and gold frieze, the dining room was my one bold color scheme. For the parlors I don't want bright, clashing colors, but at the same time I don't want the room to be boring or dark. This is an 1895 Victorian parlor, after all. I'm certainly not doing a reproduction of a Victorian parlor, but I don't want the room to be plain, either.

So, for the past month or two, any time I got a magazine or catalog in my hands I scoured the pages for images of rooms that don't have boring white walls. There are a lot of nice rooms to look at, but many of them are utilizing colors I have already used, to some extent. I have rooms on the first floor that are green, white, cream, red and gold, and blue.

I saw one room in a Ballard Design catalog which was charcoal or gray color with white trim. I thought it looked really nice, but as I was in the parlor slather on some plaster I mentioned it to Megan and as the description came out of my mouth I no longer liked it. 

Megan said she would keep her eyes peeled for colors and I warned her flat-out that I would hate every one of her suggestions at first and to not take it personally. I hate every one of my suggestions on color when I first think of it, and in three instances I've hated it even after the color was on the wall and I then had to repaint!

A day or two later Megan sent an email with a grayish blue paint chip she found someplace. Naturally, my immediate response was, "Ugh! No way!". Then the next night after opening the email a half dozen more times I started to think, "You know, that's not too bad". 

I need three colors in the room. There is the field of the walls, the frieze and ceiling,  and the trim. The walls I think should be darker than the frieze and the trim lighter still. I was down at Sherwin Williams buying primer today, so I went up to the wall of terror (paint chips) and made some preliminary choices. This is very preliminary and could change many, many times over the next few weeks before paint goes on the walls. Hell, it could even change after the paint goes on the walls.

Now, I know I said I didn't want to duplicate any color schemes of other downstairs rooms, but I'm not going to count the laundry room. It is the smallest room in the house and you must go through two other rooms just to get to it. So where I'm headed is blue walls, lighter blue frieze and ceiling, and white/cream trim. (You see, just writing that down makes me not like it.)

For the field, sw6241 Aleutians or sw6249 Windy Blue or sw7601 Dockside Blue or sw6242 Bracing Blue

For the frieze, sw6238 Icicle or sw6525 Rarified Air or sw6224 Mountain Air or sw6239 Upward

I din't get any samples for trim, but maybe Honied White, which is what I used in the kitchen for trim and cabinets.

Then, of course, there are the two medallions, which I will be giving an understated paint scheme to, similar to the one in the stair hall.

I'm also revising the idea of clouds on the ceiling and frieze with skylarks streaking across the ceiling. Probably won't happen, but it is something I've always wanted to do.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tile Time

Well, the plaster work in the parlors is nothing more than an unpleasant memory. I made a dump run today to get rid of the last vestiges of the job. I'm sorry my intern missed out on that because the dump really is lovely this time of year. Yes, the sights, sounds, and most importantly, the aroma of the dump really reminds one why exactly we are put on this earth in the first place. {sigh!}

Anyway, the next chore is going to be the fireplace. The goal is not to get this to be a working fireplace, but rather make it look presentable.

Above is the dining room fireplace just after the tile was set. The mantel and green surround tile are original, and the cast iron cover and hearth tile are not. This is the goal for the fireplace in the parlor.

Here is what I'm starting with. I need to grind out the remaining bits of original hearth tile and remove what is left of the cast iron part of the surround. The ultimate goal, of course, is to do no harm. That means, don't damage the mantel or the original tile surround. When I did this in the dining room I almost had a heart attack when one of the surround tiles nearly plunged to its shattered death when I removed the cast iron part. Try replacing one of those!

I start by making a cardboard template for the tile. I'm working with mostly antique, salvage tile, so I need to play around with the design. It's not like I can run down to the home center to buy more if I run short. I must have the pattern set before I start anything. Much of the tile is similar to what I used in the dining room, but unfortunately, I don't have enough to exactly replicate what is in there.

I have 3 of these

Two of these

I have 4 of these. These were not used in the dining room at all.

The rest of the tile is mostly vintage and will be used to fill in around the main tiles in the first two photos. The problem is, I don't have enough.

This is one design, which comes up short. There is a 1 to 2 inch gap at the top.

This design utilizes some of the fleur-de-lys tiles. The 3 tiles at the top would be sliced in half lengthwise to fill the gap. I don't really like this.

This design would work if I had 8-feet of 1X6 boarder tile. This is the best solution except for one small detail: I don't have 8-feet of 1X6 boarder tile. I'm shopping, though. What I want to avoid is running down to the home center and buying 8-feet of off-the-shell 1X6 boarder tile. I think modern boarder tile would stick out like a sore thumb along side the other tile. So I'm shopping. What would be perfect is a period majolica tile in a blue or green shade, with an incised design of some sort.

This is the “new” cast iron cover which will go on.

Earlier today much of it looked like this. Some stove black and elbow grease took care of that.

Edit: I just bought 9.3 feet of dimpled, mottled green, 1X4 majolica boarder tile from a salvage place in Chicago.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Much better

No, not just much better, but night and day better. We spent nearly 2 hours reattaching the outer ring and then filling in the edges and seams with plaster. Very tedious and very much worth it.

It is awesome!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Do over

Well, I woke up this morning not feeling good about the plaster medallion we put up yesterday. After we got the last of the four outer ring sections on Megan pointed out that the last one we put on wasn't really sitting right. I looked at it and with an authoritative air to my voice said something like, “Oh, it's just not made that well. We'll clean that up when we fill in the gaps with plaster.” I think more than anything I just wanted to be done for the day and didn't really care.

It bothered me all night and this morning as soon as I was dressed I was up on the scaffolding looking to see how bad it really was. I was bad. In fact, both of the last 2 sections we put on were not sitting properly and both in the same way. They both were high on one end, and it was the end that was furthest away from the last screw.

That was the first problem I noticed.

I thought about it at work all day and made the management decision to remove at least that last one we put on to see if I could fix it. My fear was that the plaster had set up to a point that I would do more harm than good trying to get it off. Well, fear not, the plaster wasn't doing shit to hold anything on. The plaster we mixed up to secure the ring sections to both the main body of the medallion and the ceiling set up so quickly it never adhered to anything else but the ring piece itself. As soon as I took the screws out the piece fell in to my hand.

So there were two problems. First, the screws should have been towards the inside of the ring so if one side sat proud it would be the outer side which could be filled with plaster against the ceiling. Second, don't use plaster to put these up. Or at least don't apply it to the medallion first. The Plaster of Paris the medallion is made of just sucks all of the moisture out of the newly mixed plaster and it becomes useless to secure the parts to anything.

I think maybe if we had applied the plaster to the ceiling and then stuck the medallion sections up it would have worked. (I wonder if that is what I did in the dining room? I should take notes.) In fact, when they put up the original medallions, they first cut holes in the ceiling to expose the lath and then applied the medallions to the ceiling so they had their own keys in the lath. I did that with the one in the stair hall. Because it was so massive, I wanted the extra security.

So after the first ring section came off so easily I took the other four off. There was no evidence that the plaster we applied before putting them up was doing anything to hold any of them in place. The problem now was that I had globs of hardened chunks of plaster stuck to the bottom of them. I took them out to the shop and used an RO sander with 80 grit to grind off the plaster. It was an incredible mess. By the time I got through the forth one there were white clouds of plaster dust billowing out of the shop door. I'm not kidding, it looked as if the building was on fire. The worst part was I had to do the same thing to the edges of the main body of the medallion, so the parlors are off limits until the dust settles. It wasn't nearly as bad as what happened in the shop because there was much less plaster, but it was bad enough that I don't want to be in there.

So tomorrow I'm going to put the ring sections back on, only this time I will use screws and construction adhesive. Most importantly I will put the screws towards the inside of the ring so that if the piece does not sit flush it will at least be flush where it joins to the main body of the medallion and I can fill with plaster on the outer edge. I think Megan is coming by tomorrow, which would be nice because a second pair of hands will be helpful.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

At long last

The moment I've dreamt of all of the years has finally come to pass. The plaster on the first floor of the house is finished. I never thought I'd see this day come. Form this day forward my life will be perfect. Already the air smells fresher. Food tastes better. I feel healthier and more in control of my life. Yes, everything is going to be ok from here on out.

Some where out in space a meteor changes course.

Megan and I powered through the last four walls in the front parlor today. Megan spent most of her time on the big bay with the three big windows, which was just fine by me. I'm more of a big wall kind of guy. I like the large expanses of a big wall where you can get a lot plaster on in a short amount of time. When I get to the corners I can get frustrated with trying to get a straight line. Megan seems to be more suited to that, so it works out well. 

The bay has a lot of slim slivers of wall where the wall on either side of the windows hits an adjoining wall. At some points the wall is only 2.5-inches wide. I ground down a scraper to fit the space, but even with the special tool it is still tedious work. 

I feel ok about the medallion. I think it will come out good once we finish it, but it was difficult work getting it up. This is the forth one I've put up and it is close to being the biggest. It rivals the size of the one that went up in the stair hall, but that one was already assembled because it was salvage. Both of them come in five pieces and then you assemble them as they are installed. In the case of the one in the stair hall it was removed from a ceiling in one piece and then I reinstalled it in one piece. It weighed freakin' ton, but installation was easier, in some respects.

The one we put in today had to be installed one piece at a time and the pieces don't always match up. The worst part is the plaster sets up almost out as soon as it is applied to the medallion. I'm not exaggerating in the least. Megan mixed up a very soupy mix of plaster and within 3 or 4 seconds after it hits the medallion the plaster is like clay. And this is after I squirted water on the pieces for a minute or so while she mixed the plaster.

The plaster is not the only thing holding it up. As with the one we did last week, the main body of the medallion is secured to the gas line in the ceiling. We also counter sink some screws and drill them in to the lath for the four outer pieces which ring the main body of the medallion. Hopefully we hit lath, anyway. I know for sure one did not hit anything. Tomorrow I will drive some more screws in and then on Tuesday we will fill in gaps where the sections meet. Like I said, I think it will be fine, but it is at that point where I am anxious about the outcome.

I think it will be fine in the end. Like my neighbor Gary would say, "That's what paint and putty is for"

Saturday, June 09, 2012

One down and less than one to go

The plaster in the back parlor is done! Oh, how I've waited for this day and it is finally here. By this time tomorrow the plaster job in the front parlor will be nothing but an unpleasant memory.

Meagan showed up around ten and finished the narrow areas on either side of the fireplace while I rearranged equipment and materials. She did a very good job. I've always found it frustrating to work in narrow areas like that, but she seems to have a knack for it.

We then worked on one of the two remaining walls together before breaking for lunch. It was then decided we would do the ceiling in the front parlor rather than finish the one remaining wall in the back parlor. Megan had to leave at three to go a job that actually pays money (If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, capitalism doesn't work), and ceilings are much easier to do with two people.

Even with two people, the ceiling is a pain in the neck. And I mean that literally. It is just so uncomfortable to work over your head like that for extended periods. It's done though, and that is what's important.

After Megan left I made a trip to the hardware store for supplies and then finished the last wall in the back parlor. Boy that feels good. Tomorrow we have the four remaining walls in the front parlor and the medallion to put up. I think the four walls will go fast. One wall is is the opening between the two parlors, so it is mostly open space. Another wall has the pocket doors on it, and another wall is almost all window.

After that I can look forward to days of clean-up. Oh joy. I think the next project will be the hearth tile and fireplace surround.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Attention class! Come on, settle down now...

Sort of a lite work day for me and my intern. There was some classroom time, a lab assignment, and a field trip.

The main job today was to put up the plaster medallion in the back parlor. This was the lab assignment. Since we had to cut the power to parlor and remove the existing ceiling fixture, I took the opportunity to go over residential wiring and show Megan the work I had done on The Petch House. This was the classroom work. Finally, we headed to Blue Ox Mill to order baseboard. The field trip.

Back in 2003 I took a two semester course on residential wiring at CR, which was invaluable and allowed me to rewire the house myself. I guess invaluable is not accurate, because I saved $15,000 or so dollars doing the work myself. It took me about 3 months, but I replaced every inch of wire in the house, installed a new mast, main disconnect, 2 sub-panels, every switch and outlet – except the switch in the dining room – and ran all new phone, coaxial cable, and CAT V to 7 rooms in the house.

Today Megan and I went over wiring a switch. Wiring a series of outlets. Load calculations. Calculating amps based on voltage and wattage. We talked about the different wire gauges and how they are used. The difference between hot, neutral, ground, and traveler wires. Wiring 3 way switches and smoke detectors. Along with when and how to use GFCI and AFCI breakers and outlets. I thought it went quite well.

Then we cut the power to the parlor and put up the medallion. I would like to say that went off without a hitch, but there were issues. It was nothing major. Actually, the problems we had were fairly typical. When I put up medallions in the house I sandwich them between two electrical boxes and tie everything in to the original gas lines, which ran the gas lighting in the house back in 1895.

There is a gas pipe up in the ceiling which runs along the top of the joists. I screw in a piece of pipe to that original gas pipe and connect an electrical box to it, using the center knock-out. Then another length of pipe is added to that box so that it will just come out of the opening of the medallion. After that another box is attached and the ceiling fixture is attached to that second box. The medallion itself is in between the 2 boxes. It ain't goin' no where after that.

I had gone to the hardware store before Megan showed up, but even with careful measuring, none of the pieces of pipe I bought were the right length. After some trial and error it was back to the hardware store to return a 5.5 inch and a 6 inch piece of pipe and to buy a five inch piece of pipe. A lot of time and effort for a lousy half inch, but it really made the difference.

After that there was some back and forth with deciding how best to attach the pipe and the two boxes. It is all apart of the process. So finally we have everything set so the medallion would be firmly against the ceiling and the bottom box would be firmly against the medallion. I mixed up a batch of plaster. I held the medallion while Meagan slathered some on the back. Then I forced it against the ceiling while she put on the bottom box and attached the nut. It was perfect...or so I thought.

While Megan got the sticks in place to secure it while the plaster set (not really necessary, but it is sort of a belt and suspenders approach) I started to think about putting the ceiling fixture back up and that is when I noticed we had forgotten to pull the wire through. Ack!

Fortunately the plaster had not completely set up. With a little effort we were able to unscrew the bottom bolt, remove the box, get the medallion off and do the whole thing over again, this time making sure the wire came out the bottom box. Whew!

While we were just finishing that up Eric from Blue Ox called and told us to come on down. Blue Ox Mill is a custom mill here in town and is an amazing place. It is in the 1902 power plant which supplied energy for Eureka's trolley cars. Eric was the only one there so we made our way back in to the shop to find him. He was working on a book binding project for this years group of kids who learn skills at the mill. We made our way past the collection of antique scroll saws, an 18 foot lathe, and piles of wood, sawdust and millwork. It's like Willy Wonka's for woodworkers.

Eric gave us the full tour and told Megan to come back anytime. She may be able to get time on some of the lathes this summer. Besides the milling machines there is also a printing press, blacksmith shop, and casting shop, all utilizing antique machines and traditional methods. I've been there many time, but I never get tired of going back.

The baseboard should be finished in about 2 weeks.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Time

Sometimes it seems like there is never enough time in life to do the things you really want to do. {Sigh!}

In this case though, there wasn't enough time to finish the thing I really want to be finished with - The Plaster! When it comes to plaster it just seems to go on and on and on. Paint stripping is another one of those tedious chores that seems to take forever, but it doesn't have the same level of mess and annoyance that plaster work does. Plaster work is the messiest job of the project. It also takes the longest and it is the toughest on the body. The worst part is, it sometimes seems like you will never get it smooth. At least I don't refer to myself as 'Lumpy' anymore.

The only time I ever break a sweat is when I'm plastering and today Megan, my intern, and I both worked up a sweat and didn't get nearly as far as I would have liked. I get the feeling she could have gone on longer than me, but that was mainly because I did most of the trowel work on the ceiling. Don't get me wrong, Megan pulled her own weight, but I took it upon myself to do the worst of the worst. This is not so much because I want to take it easy on her, but because I'm a little cautious about turning over some jobs to her. I have issues, I know, but I'm working on them.

The ceiling is brutal work. You are working over your head and it takes a great deal of effort to get the plaster on in a very thin skim coat. I think we worked well together. I would trowel on the plaster and get it mostly smooth, and then Megan would come along behind me and do the final touch up. It is a pleasure to work with her and it really is nice to have the help on such a big job. Plus, instead of muttering obscenities to myself, I get to cuss out loud to Megan. It really works out so well.

While we didn't get as much done as I had hoped, I certainly would not have done better on my own. To be honest, I often set unrealistic goals on some of the work I do here. Everything takes longer than I think it will.

I think we did about 75% of the room. We were able to get the ceiling done (Ugh!) and the two largest walls. Megan did the trowel work on second half of the last wall and when we do the other 2 walls we will split the work 50:50. It is really coming out nice. Almost as good as the bathroom. The bathroom is my proudest moment as a plasterer. Everything is compared to that plaster job, so when I say it is almost as good as the bathroom, that is quite a complement. The goal when doing the skim coat is to have the walls be ready for paint the second you are finished. That is to say, no sanding. So far we are looking real good.

Tomorrow we are going to install the plaster medallion and take a trip to Blue Ox Mill to order some baseboard. Then nothing on Monday and Tuesday, and then finish up the back parlor on Wednesday. Then it is on to the front parlor. After that, the plaster will be done!

The optimist in me which sets unrealistic goals on projects says we will finish the front parlor next weekend. The realist in me has absolutely no idea.