Friday, May 16, 2008

This old house...

This week I've been 'plastering' and painting two bathrooms in our house. I wished I had thought to photograph the process step by step but nope! never occurred to me until just now. Darnit! The 'mud' is all gone. The trowel is clean....double darn! But if you have ever wanted to have that 'old world' , 'not perfect' stucco kind of look on your walls, I'm confident I could walk you through it. It's alot like frosting a really large cake with a trowel that looks like a pie server.

Our house is a 1937 Tudor Cottage. I call it the 'Robin's Nest' (someday I'll tell you why). It sits on a tree lined boulevard in the historic part of town.It is such a cutie! We really enjoy living here. Old houses are so special and full of character and charm. Unfortunately, they frequently require upkeep and repair. It can be a little frustrating and expensive, but if you are an 'old house' kind of person a new house, just never feels quite right.

We have alot of projects going on right now but one that is completed can be found on the dining room walls. A couple of years ago when we bought this house, I was constantly looking through magazines and gathering ideas. One thing that really grabbed me and made me want to run down the street screaming was a room that had a 'large scale' damask wallpaper on the walls! I was determined to get that look. I never really considered going to the trouble or expense of wallpapering but quickly decided I would paint the 'look' I craving.

Typically, I free-hand everything I paint, never using stencils ( too tricky for me). Yet it occurred to me that this method would be extremely time intensive. So, I tried something I had never done before .... I used an over-head projector! Remember? The kind we used in school?

First, I found a design I liked. Your design can be on fabric or paper. note: If you choose a fabric, later you can increase the WOW!!! factor by using them in drapes and(or) upholstery.
I walked into Kinko's with a yard of fabric in my hands and asked them to make me several transparencies that would show the entire pattern. I bought two shades of latex paint. Borrowed an over-head projector and painted 4 long days. I couldn't be happier with the results!
It did take alot of coloring in a gigantic coloring book, but it didn't cost much and requires no artistic ability. Below are a few helpful tips I learned during the process:
*Keep the projector a consistent distance from the wall, so the design will not GROW and shrink as it moves around the room. (I made this mistake but fortunately, it was not noticeable after the room was decorated)!
*For the lower half of the wall, sit the projector on the floor. For the upper half sit it on a tall bar stool. The outer edges tend to get a little fuzzy, so you may have to turn the projector off, to blend the edges and transition the stops and starts of the design. If in doubt refer back to the original design.

*You may want to quickly chalk-in the outline, turn-off the projector, and then fill in with paint. The replacement bulbs are very expensive! ( I did not do this! I left the bulb on for long periods of time and painted directly onto the shadow cast onto the wall.. Eventually the bulb burned out, delayed the project and shocked me that a little light bulb can cost over $50).

* Experiment with the scale! The larger the design scale, the more simpler to paint.

Once you complete this kind of project, you'll realize that the possibilities are endless because you can project anything onto a wall and paint it! If you have any questions feel free to ask! Just click on Comment, ask and I'll answer ASAP.
random thought: This is me holding Carter(in front of the wall we've been discussing, perhaps that makes it less random). She is my first, favorite and only granchild. She calls me Roxie, or Roxy, or perhaps it's Roxi? Anyway, I'm absolutely crazy about her! ...and guess what?Carter thinks I'm adorable. Which makes her all the more precious to me!!! ( wouldn't it be a wonderful time for the 'blog fairy' (you know who you are) to swoop down and drop a little video into my blog with Carter saying, "Roxie, I think you're adorable!"? Yes! It would be so nice...just precious...oh, please, oh, please! drop it right in here>


lyndsay said...

Roxy I love your house. It is so homey and fresh. That dining room is my favorite room in the whole wide world. It is just hard to believe that that isn't wall paper. You are amazing! It was great to see you last week. Thank you for all your generosity and support.

Jo Carol said...

Oh my gosh!!! I love it, I love it, I love it!!! I didn't get to come to SPQOH when it was at your home, so I missed the "tour". Do you take "drop ins"? I would love to see your home and studio!!

Roxanne said...

Sweet Lyndsay! I just love your comments...I sit on pins and needles hoping you'll leave one, so thanks for rescuing my 'behind'.
I can't wait to see you in a few weeks. There's FUN to be had!!!

Thanks Jo Carol! Come by anytime! There's no telling what projects we'll have going on, but you're always welcome. I love drop-in-friends, don't you?

lyndsay said...

Have you ever done accupuncture? I haven't but I guess it has some amazing benefits. hopefully I can get off work.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I can't even believe my eyes!!! I love reading bloggs and now I can read my "sweet Roxanne's" blogg. I miss you so much and think of you often. And this blog makes my YEAR!!!!!

I love you,