It’s been a while…despite my best intentions, the WordPress App seems to have gremlins, anyone else had problems?
Anyway, there’s a lot to catch up on…none of it very glamorous I’m afraid, but that’s the way it goes.
We’ve been busy in the library preparing for plastering. I’ve been Chief Chimney Restorer, recent duties have included chipping out the old mortar using a chisel attachment on the drill, followed by lots of scrubbing and finally treating the brickwork with acid to clean it up. The basic brick acid process is to wire brush the brick faces to release any loose mortar, then paint on a coat of brick acid which fizzes over the surface dislodging and dissolving mortar (it’s supposed to be diluted, but I use it neat… I’m a busy girl!) Leave the acid on for 15 mins or so and then rinse off with water and a floor brush. Here’s our brickwork before and after treatment…
We then set about chiseling out the damaged bricks at the base of the arch that we uncovered when we removed the old fireplaces. We’re planning to replace the damaged bricks with some we found strewn around the garden so they don’t look too incongruous against the originals. For now, we’ve put a prop in place just in case, we’ve worked too hard for the house to fall down now!
Next job was to replace the mortar. The mix is made from sand, cement, plasticiser and water, mixed with a paddle mixer. The mix then went into a mortar gun, a simple but genius tool. If we’d had this to grout our kitchen floor it would have saved a boat load of work!
Run lines of mortar into place & smooth over and, well…that’s about it! I’ve taken out a bit more than I should so that the brick faces protrude slightly, I didn’t want the mortar to look too new & prominent.
The bricks now need another treatment of brick acid to clean them up again and then need sealing, but it’s already looking much better than it did.
We’ve put plasterboard up above the picture rail to cut down on plastering costs. Quite momentous as we’ve now reached the stage where any brickwork exposed is visible because we want it to be. It doesn’t feel that long since every room was bare brick.
The plasterer should be back in the next week or two and should get the room finished over a weekend. We’ll then have to sand the floor. Grim. I’m thinking ahead to the design of the room. We’ll be using my leather sofas from my last house, together with the chair we had reupholstered and the globe we found in Stroud and I’m hoping to throw in Fired Earth’s ‘Carbon Blue’ & I’m loving this watercolour print fabric from Villa Nova.
Finally, I’m excited to be part of the Amara Design Awards! If you’d like yo vote for Lansdowne Revisited, pls click the button below…thank you!