Wall Washing Wonderland

The hallway walls needed washing. They've needed washing for some time, but it's been put off because of things in the hallway or other projects or other things getting in the way.

The hallway before washing

As you can see, the hallway is very very dark with the plywood over the window opening while we wait for our new window. This is before I cleared the hallway out.

Mr Kitty playing with the dot in the cleared hallway

I moved everything -- our pile of things to give away and various tools -- out of the way, because we had invited people over to help us with the walls today. We can in theory do a lot of this work alone, but people ask us all the time to let them help us with the house, so we try to make it something not too terrible and where they can really help us rather than mostly hinder us. Wall washing seems to fit that bill.

Noel scraping paint off the wall

Noel worked on scraping paint off the wall -- on one part there was some dark green paint on top of the old chalky paint that needed a heat gun to come off. The nice new Baker scaffolding was very handy for working on: much nicer than a ladder.

Tim washes above the front door

This is Tim, scraping the plaster over the front parlour door. At some point we decided to take out the plywood to get more light inside, and it made a huge difference.

Kate and the wall

And Kate, caressing the newly scrubbed wall.

Me, with George and Goldie

I was doing mostly the first pass at scraping, working with a spray bottle (of which we suddenly did not have enough) and scraping the bulk of the paint off the wall to make it less gross to wash. Helping me out were Goldie and George. George came with Tim and Kate.

Amazingly clean walls

We made amazing progress today. I was not expecting to get as far as the stairs, given how slow some of the other parts of this work have been, but the inside wall was a fast wash, and having the scaffolding meant we could get up high and do the work easily, without hauling a ladder around.

Clean, clean walls

Not only did we make good progress, but the walls, cleaned off, look a million times better. It really was an amazing transformation.

Lots to do on the stairs

We still have a lot of work to do on the stairs and upper hall, but I feel like we've made a really good start on this project. We would not have gotten half as far without Kate and Tim, so thanks, guys! And thanks, George, for supervising so carefully. And now I am very tired and ready for a nice hot shower.

posted by ayse on 03/04/12


I think Tim and George did the brunt of the work carried out by us three.

I assume that pink paint has been discussed at some time :-) What were they thinking...

An amazing transformation. Even with the Barbie pink woodwork, I now can see the elegance of this old house. Great work!

Hi, I have been reading your blog forever, and love watching the transformation of both the house and yard.

At our 40' tall queen anne/victorian/nw carpenter's gothic bungalow, we work at glacial pace, usually involving some combination of time, money and triage.

2 years ago we stripped the 3 layers of wallpaper, that had been painted over, off of the upstairs hall. We discovered 2 colors of calcimine paint. Gold and then Burgundy that would come off the walls as powder. The washing (used Dirtex) of the walls reminded me of that movie Sunshine Cleaning. First my bucket looked like blood, then tomato soup, then pink lemonade and finally clear. Plaster washer, special primer to seal off any residual calcimine paint, repairs and skim coating, more priming and paint, and now I am hoping to get the downstairs hallway done next year.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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