This winter, for the first winter in a couple of years, we are once again sleeping upstairs in our bedrooms, and I'm loving it. Tom and I loaded up on extra jobs last summer with the sole purpose of insulating the attic floor so that when we turned on the heat for the second floor we wouldn't be heating the great outdoors. Somewhere, I have before and after photos of the attic, but who knows where they are. We're still probably heating the great out doors but not nearly as much. All the old, original windows still need to be reglazed and cracks and crevices in the facade need to be caulked. One day the walls will also need to be insulated as many of the rooms do not have the benefit of ambient heat from the adjoining rooms since most of the rooms have three exposures. But I digress.
I never do one thing at a time. I always have multiple projects in the air at the same time. So while socking away money for the attic insulation, I was busy stripping all the wallpaper off the bedrooms with the intent of cleaning up all the woodwork and floors so that we could feel like we were moving back into renovated rooms. I got all the bedroom wallpaper off, but still have a strip of wallpaper along the hallway ceiling yet to do. It will wait. After the wallpaper was off, I decided to leave the bare plaster walls as is for the time being. Frequently I see layouts in home magazines showing rooms with bare plaster walls and fancy furniture. If those fancy magazines can say bare plaster walls are beautiful, then I can say so, too.
As the summer was whizzing by, it was clear that I was not going to get as much done as I had hoped, so I concentrated on Mickey's room first. After the wallpaper was gone, I set about sanding down the painted window moldings and baseboards. I wasn't concerned with sanding down to the wood, only creating a smoother surface over which to paint. I did, however, want to strip the paint completely off the door and return it to its original beauty, including the beautiful brass hardware.
The ceiling paint presented a real problem because it was peeling badly. After a lot of scouring around on the internet looking at solutions, I decided the best I could do would be to manually scrap off as much paint as I could. I armed myself with some heavy duty sharp scrapers and took multiple passes at it, each going a different direction, and then I attacked it with my palm sander. In my scouring, I found a product that I could paint the ceiling with that would bind whatever paint was left to the plaster so that there would be no more peeling. After that was completed, I gave it three coats of ceiling paint. It's not smooth, but it works, and it is an old farmhouse and no one really notices. Someday I'll have the ceiling skim coated, but that's years away.
I bought a couple cans of Rust-o-leum off-white primer and painted the radiator so that I could get in between each of the ribs (?) with a light color. I then painted what I could reach with the paint I was using to paint all the baseboards and window trim.
I asked Mickey what colors he would like to have in his room. Blue and green. Instantly I set out to find a blue and green plaid duvet and matching pillow shams. While I was at it, I wanted to find him some flannel sheets, and I decided to buy each of our beds a down comforter. As it turned out, I opted for the down alternative comforters and Macy's had Martha Stewart's down alternatives on sale, and because I was lucky enough to purchase them online on Veteran's Day, I got an extra 15% off! Yeah, me! I'm not done done with his room - I want to replace his windows, find him either a good desk or a comfy arm chair, and I still want to skim coat and paint over the old plaster walls, but all in all, I'm very proud of how his room turned out.
Below is a picture of Mickey's room taken when we looked at the house the first time. Comparing it to the photo above, you can see the difference without the wallpaper, our off-white wood work and the tung oiled floor.
The door knob and face plate above is on the door to the closet. This face plate is heavy brass, better quality than what is on his bedroom door. Because there is some tell-tale signs of walls being moved when various additions were made the house, I think that his closet hardware was originally on his bedroom door as the bedroom door hardware is clearly not original, though it is still Victorian.