Monday, 18 October 2010

Undoubtedly what Van Gogh would have used .. had he been ..

.. a painter and decorator .. These brushes are genius ...

Dulux say these brushes are great because of the "special split bristle tips which minimise marking to give a smooth even finish" (my sash window frames agree) .. but I say "it's because I never have to find the screwdriver" .. each brush has its own built in tin opener ... that what's they should have done years ago.

Times have changed .. it used to be a new outfit and a night out that made me happy - now it's some paintbrushes like these. Or I  can say is "Get some".

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The 1960s have all gone now ...

When the plumbers left having relocated our boiler from the dining room to the loft room; and the very inefficient  hot water tank  (it leaked heat like a cat without fur) from our tiny family bathroom also to the loft room ... we were able to remove the rather hideous slatted cupboard that once contained the hot water tank and make some space ...

Inside the rather dire cupboard was a little slice of 1963 ..

Isn't it just gorgeous! Unfortunately it's had to go .. but here it is for everyone to see, admire and start singing those 1960s song to!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Coat of many varnishes!

4 coats down .. 1 coat to go.

Here is the shiny new floor in the dining room at "Fairlea" .. It's amazing .. the floor that was languishing under an old green carpet that smelt suspiciously of cats wee! Here it is, in all its glory:

Can't wait until the skirting boards are in and that lovely fireplace finds its home at last!

Friday, 8 October 2010

"Fairlea" Nice Floorboards!

Having spent the last 2 weekends painting, and with "Dining room Dave" back this week putting up the picture rail and coving and starting the sanding .. this is what our dining room looks like now:

Transplanting some pieces of architrave from other areas of the house (that will eventually be changed anyway) Dave has mended the "wounded" windows so they are complete once more:

I didn't want "standard" modern coving, but something more in keeping with the house. We got some small Victorian cornice from Bonds Plaster Mouldings. It looks lovely, but as Dave soon found out, is extremely fragile, heavy and much more difficult to fit than the likes of the more modern coving from places such as B and Q and Homebase! Still ... it's up now, a bit of filling and a final top coat and it will look lovely.

Possibly the room never had a picture rail originally, but we think that it helps balance the rooms proportions and adds interest. We have used Dulux Chalky Downs 4 for the wall above the picture rail (and it will be used for the skirtings also) and Dulux subtle Ivory 1 from their Taylor Made Colour Range

Because of the line of windows, a mass of curtains, especially when pulled back could look "busy". The current plan is to join in on the current trend for roman blinds and this fabric is planned - rattan linen from 247 Blinds.

Dining Room Dave should finish the sanding today and then there is the small matter of the 2 lines of adhesive that even the hardest grade of sandpaper won't remove! It's either old lino glue or double-sided carpet tape. Have checked out many sites and people have suggested all manner of ways to remove this stuff .. from heat guns to peanut butter! Going to start by seeing what our local Crowborough hardware supplier T and T have in the way of off-the-shelf adhesive removers. Will let you know what gets it off!

Then there is at least a weekend of varnishing ahead. Planning on using Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor varnish and at least 4 coats. As with any DIY project, there is still a multitude of little jobs left to finish, but there is "light at the end of the dining room" .. and yes, it's probably coming through those old sash windows now that the room is "loved again" ...

This level of mess (thankfully) seems a while ago now ... for this room at least. (One room nearly down, only another 7 rooms, 3 hallways, 1 porch and a garden landscaping to go!!)

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Chocolate Teapot ..

The dining room is looking smart in its coat of new paint. And yesterday, when out at the local and extensive (I am being sarcastic) selection of local Crowborough shops .. I found my first "new old" item that simply had to be purchased for display when the room is finally finished.

Some weeks ago ... in the charity furniture shop .. when my face connected with its face, it was love at first sight. It looked at me and I looked back and I told it ... "I am going to have you for my new dining room". However then came the price tag ...£30 .. in other words ..  a 5 litre tin of Dulux Endurance (special mixed colour ivory cream 4) or .. 3 metres of reclaimed floorboards from Ajeer ... or enough slate look tiles, some grey grout and tile adhesive (from Pentagon tiles - Crowborough) to tile round the fireplace .

But then came the reduction and at half price, I resisted its stern expressions for several more visits. Until yesterday when it leapt into my possession and I found I had parted with £15 for it. What more could you want, a clock that neither ticks not chimes (yet).

This is my very own chocolate teapot - but I love it dearly!

Friday, 1 October 2010

The problem with chimneys ..

Is that these days we're not using them!

It's only October and it's raining again. There are damp spots appearing randomly on the third floor chimney breasts. But what do we do. It isn't that wet, it's just damp .. as soon as we have some sunny days, they dry out again. So far the second floors are "okay" .. that's kind of good, because I just under coated the dining room walls!

One of the chimney breasts in the ground (partly underground) floor is dry as a bone, the other one we're not sure. But there is no evidence of damp spots in the chimney breasts in the loft (as yet, but maybe we need to get all the old thick plasterboard off?)

The roofing contractor said the chimneys needed re-pointing. Others have said the pointing is in fine order and it certainly looks okay to me. Our neighbour, who repointed his chimneys himself a little while back, said that his pointing was in much worse order than ours looks to currently be and there wasn't much damp, even after the repointing, their master bedroom chimney breast still gets damps spots after rain.

The problem with chimneys is that there is much that could be wrong .. the capping (all of ours but the one "in use" has been capped) .. the flashing ... the damp course inside the chimney itself is shot .. and there could of course be the one obvious point .. these chimneys were designed to support fireplaces that got used regularly .. and these days .. we seldom do. So they never get to dry out.