Bathroom,  Painting,  Renovations

Repairs to a House Built in the 1850’s

My Aunt lives across the lake from us in a house built in the 1850’s. Its a beautiful old, well taken care of, farmhouse. These days you hear the term ‘farmhouse’ used at random to describe furniture or wall and ceiling treatments, even kitchen sinks.  What they are trying to replicate is my Aunt’s house. The real thing. We get to watch the sun set over her house every evening.

nature,phtography,Loch Katrine, Nova Scotia,Canada

Earlier this year we took down several pine trees at her house.

As with any house, especially the older ones, there are always repairs to be done. She asked us to come over and take a look at a leak in the ceiling of her upstairs bathroom. A few years back, Jim and I gave this bathroom a makeover.  Now, the paint on the sides of the chimney chase is peeling and the ceiling tiles are water damaged.

First we had to take care of the cause of the leak. The chimney.

1850s house,bathroom repairs
Going up to check things out

We extended the ladder to the fullest it would go. Jim packed a lunch and hiked up to see what he could find out. For the ladder to reach, it was pretty much straight up and down.

1850s house,bathroom repairs
Still climbing…kinda sketchy

My job was to steady the ladder while watching out for a possible falling bucket of tar.

1850s house,bathroom repairs
Long way up

Jim added tar all around the base of the chimney, hopefully that does the trick. Then it was time to go upstairs and get to work. Now at some point in the 80s, tiles were added over the ceiling boards, I guess to give it a cleaner look. At first we considered removing all the tiles, repairing any boards that needed it and then painting it white.  Only thing is you never know what kind of trouble you might be uncovering. Trying to keep her cost down, she decided to just replace any tiles we felt necessary.

This is after we removed a couple of the sagging tiles.

1850s house,bathroom repairs
This should be fun
ceiling repairs
Removing more tiles

Jim started fitting the new tiles into the old tiles. Easier said than done.

ceiling repairs
Low ceilings = no ladder necessary

We had to take down the cove molding on the two sides of the chimney in order to fit the new tiles in place. Jim then put the moldings back on and the whole ceiling got a fresh coat of white paint.

With the ceiling addressed, it was time to start working on the walls. Jim used a scraper to chip away all loose bits, and gave it a good hand sanding to even out the edges of the paint. We put a coat of plaster on and let it dry overnight. The next afternoon we sanded and did another skim coat of plaster.

On the third afternoon, after a final sanding we were ready for paint.

ceiling repairs
Only room for one to work

A fourth afternoon was required to get the second coat of paint on.

ceiling repairs
Wet paint

Here is a picture of her upstairs hallway walls. Yup, shiplap. The real stuff.

ceiling repairs
Real Shiplap

Nothing against faux shiplap. I’ve even considered adding it somewhere myself, and I do love a good farmhouse sink. Who doesn’t?


Signed: The Lone Arranger 😉


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