Saturday, March 9, 2013

Painting Projects for Brooke: Bath, Studio, Kitchen, Stairwells and Upstairs Hall

So, this will be an unusual post, because it's intended for my brother-in-law, Capel's brother Brooke, who is a painter by trade, but off in eastern Mass. It's a good time of year to work on inside painting, so here are four possible projects we're going to look at working on together.

Bath - 8.5' x 8.5' and 7.5' at highest point:

This is (finally, drum roll, yay!) our attempt to finish off the upstairs full bath renovation. All of the trim and beadboard wainscot has been painted by yours truly. The top half of the room was skim coated with a plaster veneer by an amazing plasterer named Kieran, the owner of Bestwall Plastering in New Jersey. The new plaster is cured now and ready to paint. There will need to be a coat of primer and then two coats of paint. It will be eggshell blue. You can see my paint samples in the photos.

Here's a basic view of the tub and SW corner, showing how the wainscot is topped by plaster:

View of slanted ceiling, from door, looking at window in NE corner:

Then around the room panning right from the window, showing the full sink wall to be painted:

Its curved plaster wall corner (the medicine cabinet door will be on by the time you arrive, promise):

Half-wall and ceiling above tub/shower assembly (the ring can be taken down):

And then a shot trying to show how the ceiling slants down to the exterior wall, which is only 5' high and fully covered by beadboard: 

So that is the bath.

Capel's Studio - 11' x 12' and 10' ceiling at height, slanting down to 6':

This room is a lean-to addition on the back of the house, southeast corner. It leads from the living room. The ceiling here does not need to be painted. We like the way part of the trim is stained pine, and that will stay as is. The painted trim doesn't look great, though, and should be painted, probably in a glossy off-white. Capel thinks he wants pale grey walls. The new pine windows in the north wall will need to be stained and finished to match (more or less) the existing stained pine windows on the east, exterior wall.

The walls are mostly drywall, except for the former exterior wall, which is original cedar siding with what looks like two thin coats of paint.

Photos, panning around the room --

Starting at the NW corner of the room, where there is a built-in and looking at the door that goes back into the living room. This is the wall that used to be the exterior of the house and is still composed of cedar shingles:

Panning right, same wall, full shot:

Panning right, north wall with the new windows and patched drywall:

Panning right, east wall, now the exterior wall, and door to the backyard:

Panning right, north wall, and back to where we started with the built-in:

Close ups of the painted trim to be re-painted.  The bottom of the built-in:

Baseboard trim:

Door and trim:

Old window in the north wall:

Close-up of trim on existing window in the east wall:

New window in the south wall, pre-primed trim is to be painted, raw pine is to be stained and finished:

Again, existing window, sill and painted trim:

New window, sill to be stained, trim to be painted:

If you have ideas about this room, they'd be welcome.

Kitchen - 8.5' x 18.5' and 8' high:

Most but not all of these walls are plaster. Two sections are drywall, where a door was blocked off and stairs added added over the years. The wall behind the sink is covered with some sort of unknown splash guard-y substance. The wallpaper behind the stove is a vinyl wallpaper to be removed. The paint on the east exterior wall looks to be painted right over very old wallpaper. That combo has been totally melded together by time, and that old wallpaper will stay and just get another coat of paint. The new wall color will also be yellow, perhaps a slightly brighter, Provencal yellow.

None of the trim or ceiling or cupboards are to be painted (yet). This room will get renovated sometime in the next ten years, and then we'll deal with cupboards, etc.

Ok, so the kitchen is also on the back of the house, on the NE corner, opposite end of the house from the studio. I'm entering from the dining room.

And looking from the dining room door into the kitchen. The door to the breakfast room addition is in the far corner:

Walking toward the sink:

Panning left to the stove. The section of wall right behind the stove is wallpaper with vinyl paper that will need to be removed:

Here's a close-up of the wallpaper:

Now, looking back from the sink along the stove wall, towards the dining-room door. The rest of that wall is painted. There's no backsplash there, just plaster wall:

And panning left, the dining room door again, and back stairwell.

And now panning left again, the bottom of the stairwell and the exterior east wall:

Now we've gone up the bottom stair, and the full stairwell is in view:

And from the stairs, we turn, looking out over the top of the fridge, and can see the entire kitchen:

A close-up of the corner under the stair, with the door to the dining-room closed. The back stairwell is to the left, and under it is a closet:

Now, we're in that corner and you can see the closet door to the left. Here, where the closet door and trim are painted the same yellow as the walls, we probably want this yellow trim painted (what? Don't know). But it's the only trim that is not blue in the kitchen.

While we're in that corner, we'll turn around and look more closely along the stove wall, behind the lower cupboards. The lower cupboards here are free-standing and will probably have to be pulled out so the bottom half of the wall can be painted to the floor. Otherwise it will be too hokey, I think.

And finally, just a word on the "character" of the paint. It has crackling throughout in places on three of the walls. I like that character. If we do a coat or two without primer, or even a milk-paint? and the crackling comes back through in a couple of years, I'll be happy, not upset.

There are a couple of places on the east exterior wall where some old moisture and shifting has buckled a very old layer of wallpaper under the paint. This is ok. We'll want your advice, but probably not feel the need to do anything too complicated to hide it.

Breakfast Nook - 6.5' x 8.5' by 8' high at its highest:

This is an addition off the kitchen, also on the back of the house, NE corner. The walls are drywall. There isn't much wall, but what there is, is covered with the same vinyl wallpaper that is behind the stove. It should come down fairly easily. Here is a close-up:

In this room, once the wallpaper comes down, we might need a primer and two coats of paint, probably also yellow, but maybe paler than the kitchen. None of the trim is to be painted, nor the ceiling. 

This is a simple room to photograph. Standing by the sink in the kitchen, I am looking back into the kitchen on the right, breakfast room on the left.

Through the door into the breakfast nook.

And then, in the breakfast room, here's the back door, and then just panning around left:

Hall and Stairwells:

There are two stairwells, both in the back half of the house, the "back" stairwell off the kitchen and the "front" stairwell off the dining room.

The stairwells are 12.5' high at their highest point, 8.5' deep. The upstairs hall is 20.5' long and 3.5' wide with a 7.5' ceiling. None of the trim will be painted, but the ceilings will.

This is also pretty simple to photograph. We'll go up the back stairwell, from the kitchen, which you've already seen:

And look back down. This stairwell has a turn. The other doesn't.

Then from the top, looking down:

At the right side:

And the left side. This wall is drywall. Everything else is plaster.

There are two very minor cracks in the ceiling of the stairwell and some peeling on the exterior wall (which you're looking straight at, in the photo above). Here's a close-up:

Now, we're at the stop of the stair, which is near the end of the hall on the north end of the house, and looking back along the hallway to the south end of the house, where the guest room is:

And a close-up of the hallway walls, which are all plaster but have an odd waffle texture I'm not familiar with:

Now, we're walking toward the guest room at the south end of the hall. There is an angled bit of chimney poking out into the upper right end of this hall:

Here is a close-up:

Beneath that is a bit of cracking:

Now we turn around and look back down the hall, towards the linen closet in the north end of the hall. And here's the cat. Hello Minky.

In the photo above, if you look at the ceiling you can see the line where the paint changes color, right above Minky's head, and beyond that, the trapdoor to the attic. Here's a close-up  of the trapdoor, which is the only piece of trim that needs to be painted:

And here is the line where the paint color changes. We are more likely to go closer to the off-white on the left than the heavy buttercream on the right:

So now, we can look at the front stairwell, which is adjacent to the bathroom. And, conveniently, Minky is looking in the bathroom door. You can see the curved wall they share:

A different view of it, now looking down the front stairwell.

And the angle of the ceiling:

Oh, hello Phantom. Are you looking for Minky?

More shots of the stairwell ceiling, which is hard to photograph. The ceiling and walls here are good and have virtually no cracking and no peeling.

 And now, from the stairs, looking back up to the hall:

But where did Phantom go? Oh, here he is, stalking Minky from under the guest room bed. Minky doesn't like to be stalked.

"Hello, uncle Brooke. Come play with me!"


  1. Sherry and Capel- It has been awesome to see how you have cared for One Pugsley Place. Marty would be thrilled. He had a real DIY spirit, as you know. I look forward to more posts. Thank you-- Chris (Marty and Marguerite's grandson).

    1. Chris - Thanks so much for writing. It means a lot to us. I feel like we are only at the very beginning of a journey that is exciting and sometimes daunting. So very often I wish I could have met your grandparents. I feel like in a way I do know them a little bit, from living in the home we have shared. Besides which, often in the middle of a project, I just wish I could talk with them for a moment, there are so many little details about the house they would know, if only we could ask! It means a lot to know that you feel we are on the right track. Best, Sherry (and Capel)

  2. I wish I had come across this blog sooner. I just spent the last 10 weeks in Tarrytown at Lyndhurst Mansion doing some restoration work. I love your blog and the pictures. Great work!