Friday, April 17, 2009

Entry Modification Phase 2

The next phase of our entry modification became more renovation as we discovered damaged plaster across the front wall. We came across this after we removed the slat blinds and hardware to give this front wall a more minimal aesthetic. The horizontal windows are recessed from the main wall plane about 1-1/2" that sets the windows in another frame of plaster. A simple peeling of some loose plaster turned into dry chunks falling from the wall. Before we knew it we had begun an unexpected project.

We have single pane metal casement windows througout our house, very typical of the Dombars and Mid Century Moderns. The front entry area of the house tends to get extremely cold and drafty which leads to lots of condensation. The plaster has suffered much of this weathering and needed a major overall. Although hard to see in the photo, there were several cracks and damaged outside corners of the windows heads. Much of the surface of the wall was wavering and in pretty rough shape.

The process involved taping, mudding, filling all the voids, and skim coating the whole wall. Plaster work was generally new to me having mostly drywall experience on simple flat walls. The inside corners and window jambs proved to be a challenge. We quarantined the entire stairwell in plastic to isolate the dust. It probably took me about two weeks to really get to the point of priming.

The third photo shows the final cleaned up plaster result. I think we had primed a couple coats at this point. Our 1/2 bath upstairs is adjacent to the entry and we also removed wallpaper and skim coated the 'wallpaper reveal' in that room as part of this project. Obviously, the AC in the window is an eyesore but was a necessary evil for us to have cooling. It's position in the stairwell really kept the house comfortable in the heat of the summer. Eventually it would go and be glazed, to be shown in a future post.

While subtle, I thought the recessed window condition could be expressed with a contrasting color. We decided on a dark grey for the inner color and a cool light grey for the outer. The light grey continues into the bathroom (after we removed all the wall paper) and into the downstairs. We kinda had a major painting spree at this point and painted our dining room wall a lime green. The three colors had a nice balance and added a dynamic to our space that helped us feel more at home. We had been in the house for 4 months at this point. The last photo is us 'settled in' post painting.

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