Old Wood – New Life

Since the last update Ron and I have been spending an incredible amount of time washing, scrapping, sanding, staining and varnishing all of the trim in the house. Some boards have been easier than others but overall we are having a good effect on the old wood. It is one of those updates that you really need pictures for as describing the long arduous task doesn’t explain it as well as a before and an after picture. The thing about starting with something that is 90 years old is that it already has some wear and tear on it so it will never be perfect. It’s called character so we just accept it. Now having said that the attic looks stunning as do some of the door frames. The dumbwaiter won’t be recognizable it was so groddy before and it has cleaned up very well. We started on the horizontal boards behind radiators and have now finished all of the horizontal trim. Now I have moved to doors, door frames and crown moldings. We have rehung a few doors on the main floor after they were refinished. It really changes the look to get the trim all put back in place makes it look the way we envisioned it; pretty exciting for us to see the final product starting to show up.
a href=”http://words.usask.ca/mtfiles/1918_Eatons_Eager/finished%20trim.jpg”>finished trim.jpg
The piles in the dining room grow daily as I complete things and leave them for the carpenter to reinstall.
We also commenced the work of staining and varnishing the pantry and island. It seems a bit like a daunting task to take that new wood and blend it harmoniously with the old wood. And then varnish, sand it, varnish it, sand it and varnish it one last time!! Although not original to the house we are installing some salvage wainscoting (thanks to Stephen Stade from Homestade Construction for organizing the use of a planer) in the kitchen along one wall. It looks very nice against the Dijon paint color.
staining island.jpg
The first part of staining the island; seemed dark after having been bare for a few weeks.
The counter top guys were out to measure up for the washstand vanity in the half bath laundry room as well as the downstairs bathroom and the bar (which is a quite aways from being built but easier to have them cut it all at the same time) so that should be ready to pick up some time this week.
antique washstand with sink.jpg
The washstand took some looking but we finally found one that was the right size and shape. Now we just have to modify the front drawer.
Ron has also been working on the electrical a little bit here and there. We have functioning plug ins on all levels now. It will be a while yet until we have lights in rooms with full circuits. We have some of the antique lighting that we require but haven’t sourced it all out. The new reproduction stuff is so expensive that it would almost be worth another road trip to antique stores (somewhere outside of Saskatoon as I search these ones regularly) to pick up some more. Helen and I spent an hour at an auction just north of the city and picked up a dining room chandelier to match the one we purchased in Regina. Slowly that part will come together as well but first I guess I had better source out the wire for redoing all of these lights. As of today I have ordered 11 reproduction lights from a place in Victoria and the price didn’t kill me (probably because I am going back to work full time in 10 days).
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Isn’t it a beauty; found this one in Regina when we were down there for Tom and Jenna’s wedding. Matches quite well with the auction one.
On the electrical front he intercom system is now at the house so Ron will commence work on installing that this week during his holidays. That is almost like an oxymoron holidays in the same sentence as working super long days at the house trying to do everything on the list! I always envision a holiday as a relaxing time I have taken my holidays over the whole month of June and I am looking forward to going back to work so I can have a coffee break. It will also be nice to have a chance to talk to someone as well!
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No pictures here of what a real holiday looks like but I did stop and smell the roses and see the sunset.
I did spend a great day on June 17th. Our friend Janice sent me an email after the last blog update. Her sister, Joanne from Edmonton, was so envious of our project and would it be possible for her to come have a tour and do something productive while her dog was having surgery at the vet college. So after the toonie tour we commenced the speciality painting in the parlor. I was itching to get the browns started but it is a very tedious job marking out all the lines and then a lot of fine painting. Joanne, who came complete with her own speciality brushes, doesn’t as a rule use tape for lines! We did use tape and before they left in the afternoon we had the first coat complete and all the finicky part of the second coat done. I stayed until it was complete and then darn that tape! This was one of those rooms that the oil based primer didn’t even stick well to so you guessed it we have all sorts of spots that had to be re-primed. They might still be white when Joanne comes back for another day in September. My cousin Lynette wants to be invited to the next painting party so maybe we’ll make some serious progress but as it stands it gives the room the character back.
joanne at work.jpg
Joanne and her craftsmanship.
lunch time.jpg
The sisters at lunch; sharing some sunshine and a rock.
parlor first border color.jpg
The end result of a great day’s worth of painting. Looks fabulous. On the right hand side of the picture you can see the original paint job that didn’t have to be touched up; someday it will all look like this again.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we have had some visitors out and it is always a lovely break to show family and friends our project. Newly retired nurses Carol and Jane were out for a visit and came armed with chocolate; how well they know me! Cathy and David Webb were up in Saskatoon and took time out of their busy schedule for a quick visit. My mom and brother were also up and while they were out checking things out my cousin Lynette finally got in for an actual tour and not just a look through the glass!! Sorry I missed her while I was doing the open house (no takers yet as the market is a bit flooded but we will be patient as we have no other choices). The regulars don’t get house tours anymore but it’s still nice to see them. So come out on out and see the progress or mark your calendars and come out for the one year anniversary party (July 12th). Hope to see you around.
PS lots of pictures this time for all you picture people! Hope they load OK. Haven’t heard any good or bad comments about that (or many comments about anything) so I am assuming my cropping them has helped load them a bit faster for you all.

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5 Responses to Old Wood – New Life

  1. Rey says:

    WOW!! I just checked in, and yet again you’ve amazed me with all the progress! How do you do on 10 year old houses? Could be your next project!
    Hoping to come out to Saskatoon soon and for sure will call before coming out (need directions there anyway),will bring cold bevies, snacks and will expect the grand tour!
    take care everyone,
    p.s. can I carve my name into the woodwork somewhere? I think you should let all your friends do it! 😛


  2. Heather Dunn-Kinsman says:

    Paint looks great, but how is the grass that you seeded in the spring? Oops wrong priority. The pics load a lot better now. If I had any holidays I would come and look too maybe even help. think I owe you a flooring job or something. Love you.


  3. kagould17 says:

    I thought of your project tonight when there was a story on the news about the move of an old farmhouse in the Westmount area, 50 feet back to create a new foundation. Then it gets moved onto the new foundation and some restoration work will be done. Will have to go take a look. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

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