Thursday, February 22, 2007

Making progress

We've been hard at work here the last week. The ceiling has finally been completely stripped of the dirty, crumbling popcorn (I am SO glad that is gone), the beam is being sanded down to its natural state, and plans are in the making for bookshelves and a mantel surrounding the fireplace.

For the ceiling: After reading about the difficulty in creating a smooth finish to the ceiling, and knowing we are definitely not ceiling experts, drywall experts, or actually any other kind of home renovation experts, we decided to take the easy way out, and actually get the kind of rustic cottage look we want anyway. We will use Behr's Venetian plaster, non-tinted, for a soft white, textured plaster look. First, we will prime with the Zinnser BIN primer and then we will apply the Venetian plaster.

Here is a photo of the plaster technique on a wall from Behr's website:
But before we go any further on our ceiling project, we have to finish the beam. It does seem one thing always leads to another and we are never finished. To think that this started just as a simple wall paining project, but I could not BEAR to think about painting the walls before we had removed that popcorn!

So now we are sanding down the beam. There were some shallow cracks in the beam that I filled with wood filler - that is the orange-colored strip you see running across the beam; that has now been sanded off. There is now a fine powder all over the room (we have sealed this room off from the others with plastic) . It was going pretty fast yesterday, and then everything seemed to take twice as long. At the end of the evening, I figured out I had accidently switch to the fine, finishing grade sandpaper instead of the tougher stuff - no wonder things slowed down! (Heather - thanks for loaning us the palm sander - if I burn out the motor, I will get you a new one.) I should finish this today, and then we can clean up the dust all over the floors, walls, and ceiling, and get to the ceiling by this weekend.

There has been debate about whether to leave the beam in its natural state, stain it darker so it will stand out, or to paint it white to match the other woodwoork that will be in this room and help it to blend in. I would like to live with it for a while in its natural state and try to find some corbels for the ends, to dress it up a little bit.
Anyone know what kind of wood this might be? I will post a close-up later so that I can get help identifying this wood.

1 comment:

Pam said...

oh, your celing is going to look so great when you plaster it! I want to do that to my kitchen walls. And celing. Though it would probably make clean-up harder in a room like that.

We had beams like yours in our old house - they were stained a really dark brown and I didn't like them when the woodwork around the windows and baseboard were brown, but once we got them painted white, it was much better. The celings were wood though, a nice golden wood that mirrored the floors. What is going to be on your floor? That might help you figure out what to do with your beam.

Can't wait to see how it turns out!