Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dining room

Apart from the exterior painting, the dining room was the biggest project we tackled by sheer virtue of its size.  The fact that the wallpaper was underlay by a bright red paint did not make the prep work any easier.
The bulk of this work was done by Dominique with some help from Billy and Bob and to an infuriatingly lesser extent, from Danny.  Oh yes, we got Dom's daughter Marie involved, too.
There were a lot of issues in this room - maybe it was the most used?  I don't know.  But the plaster was in pretty bad shape, and there were dangling wires that we didn't know if they were live, or what they went to.  We're still sorting that out. 

Needless to say, there was a ton of prep work and endless sanding.  Weeks later, we learned that there was a thinner kind of skim coating we could have used that would have made this work much easier.  That would have been nice to know before we basically turned our dining room into a facsimile of the surface of the moon.

To add that special complication that each room seems to have up its sleeve, we discovered that the trim had been done in oil paint.  Being told that it was very difficult, messy, and smelly to work with an oil-based primer, we asked Billy and Bob to do that for us.  Later we found out it wasn't really that hard - Dom did it himself in the library.  At least we learned the technique for determining whether a paint was oil or acrylic. (Paint some acrylic on it, let it dry, and see if you can scrape it off with your fingernail.)
It's still not quite done in this picture:  we have some wainscoting to replace, the floors haven't yet been redone, and the cabinet inset hasn't been reworked.  We're still experimenting with furniture and paintings.  But we're using it now, and even had our friends Reeny and Jon over for our first real guest meal.

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