Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A non-update on the front hall

Months ago, I audaciously announced that I was going to redo my stairway and front hall, and even posted several "before" pictures because I really did think that I would soon be able to demonstrate progress.  Six months later, I had managed to apply primer to a small portion of the woodwork, and almost immediately after that we got Phoebe and I put the whole project on hold because I didn't want to expose an infant puppy to oil-based primer fumes.

Now I think I'm ready to start working on this again.  One problem is the fact that previous owners (they of the mustard paint?) covered the original plaster with drywall and did a very clumsy job of it.  I believe the correct procedure is to remove the trim, put up the drywall and replace the trim, but whoever did our drywall simply slapped it up in such a way that it looks like the walls are eating the trim.



We've lived with this for so long, I'm not even sure what proper stairway woodwork is supposed to look like, but, I imagine, not like this:
Trim is totally flush with the wall


I actually had to go to pinterest and look at pictures of normal, un-fucked up stairs and my suspicions are confirmed: the woodwork is NOT supposed to disappear into the wall.

So, we are faced with the question we return to again and again with this house: Fix it for now, or fix it for good?  As much as this drywall disaster twirls my OCD meter, I think we are going to have to fix it for now.  Someday, when all the kids are through with college, at which point I imagine Jon and I will have nothing to do but sit around and count our money, we'll hire someone to fix this properly.  Until then, just freshening up the paint and getting rid of that ghastly orange colorwashing will do wonders.  She said optimistically.

11 comments:

  1. This June marks five years since the kitchen ceiling fell in. It was repaired the following week, but has yet to see a drop of paint. It's on the list of projects to tackle.

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    1. Painting a ceiling is not very rewarding. Definitely not as rewarding as painting a dining room!

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  2. Wow. I am so impressed, though. My dream was always to restore an old house, but D is NOT handy and I (accurately) predicted divorce court if we took that leap together.
    Amazing what people can do to a perfectly lovely piece of wood, isn't it?

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  3. I know it's not a 100% correct fix for this problem, but have you considered just slapping some trim right over the seam between the drywall and baseboard? Not sure how many corners and angels would be involved, but it must be less trouble than removing the drywall or putting entire new baseboards everywhere.
    (I've e-mailed you a mock-up of what I'm thinking.)

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    1. I was going to suggest the same thing. It will give it the finished look it is currently lacking. Any decent carpenter can do this job for fairly cheaply.

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    2. Thanks Annie! Someone else suggested the same thing on my facebook page. I think your email somehow got lost in the ether, but I think I can visualize what you're suggesting. I just need to find the right molding.

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  4. Like you, I vote for halfway between restore-the-original and leave-it-like-it-is. Seriously--paint the drywall a nice color and forget it until everyone graduates. It will be SO much better and you can peacefully live with it for a few more years.

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    Replies
    1. I agree, and it's not usually smart to go rushing into a major project when you can get by with a simpler fix.

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  5. Wait, we're supposed to have money AFTER the kids finish college?

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