Thursday, March 12, 2020

home(t)raveling 3.0: week 140

the Staircase strikes back!

This post will BRIEFLY* present the cosmetic transformation of the upper section of the staircase, which happened after we split it halfway up to the second floor. Would you be interested in the first part of the process, check this recent post (in Spanish). Would you NOT be interested in it at all, just check the pics below to get an idea of how it was (i) before, (ii) when Wallis discovered the 2 side-cabinets were rotten and falling apart**, (iii) halfway building the mezzanine and divider and (iv) after completing the job. Then kindly scroll down to discover what it looks like now...

(i) before, (ii) Wallis smashing down the 2 rotten side-cabinets, (iii) halfway building the mezzanine and divider and (iv) with the job done.

So, first thing first, we changed/replaced the window's lintel: it was so absolutely rotten and eaten by wood bugs there was literally no wood left. You know the Swiss paradox about Swiss cheese? No? It goes like this, the hole, the cheese: "the more cheese, the more holes, and the more holes, the less cheese". Same here! It only took a screwdriver, a gloved hand and 5 min to get rid of the whole piece (although evidence suggests a chisel and hammer were used). We were lucky enough that the whole stone wall above didn't fall. Looked like it wouldn't, though... Then we basically measured the size of the replacement piece, went to the wood stock (not the festival! our salvaged wood library aka matériauthèque) and dug for an appropriate piece we cut, sanded and treated. We actually did with 2 pieces, so the back one would add more strengh and just cover up the outer window's frame over about a centimeter.

cautiously removing the lintel ; done! ; cutting up the new one ; the back piece ; the front piece ; with the plasterboard job done.

With the lintel replaced, we took a deep breath, then finished to remove the old plaster, loose pieces and paint flakes until these old walls looked clean-ish. Instead of spending hours plastering them even, nice and new, we decided to go the easy way (forgive us, purists of all Laws!). We stuck plasterboards with chunks of adhesive plaster. Although we first thought we'd leave the bricks at sight around the window, it seemed difficult and time-consuming for a maybe not-so-nice result. So we rebuilt everything with plasterboard, filled the gaps and grooves with filling plaster, sanded, put some jointing band and filler, sanded, applied the finishing filler, sanded, chased the cracks, sanded, and so on...

the plasterboard job done ; the filling put in perspective (aka seeing the big picture...) ; the staircase with its new, bright white, ceiling!

Last but not least, and not without some interesting high-ladder and rope-access-like acts, everything was primed and painted in the colourful way: bright white for the false ceiling, the same light beige as the rest of the staircase for the walls. Ah, and of course, we could finally (after over a year) add the skies' blue to the crops' green of the first mid-floor, so as to complete this little tribute of ours to Vincent's 1890 masterpiece - Wheatfield under thunderclouds...

During ; Before (again) ; and After: the genesis of our "Wheatfield under thunderclouds" staircase. Call us freaks, we love it! :)

Well, that'll be it for today!
Take care, enjoy the spring-to-come
And we'll see you soon,
Big hugs to y'@ll
W. T.  & F.

an old batten from the barn's roof gets a second life: cleaned, sanded and waxed!



** she was just slightly and recently pregnant back then, but would have said? Well, we knew it, of course...And wondered whether anybody would notice when we first published this pic on a previous episode...

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