In the last post, I showed you the brown bedroom that needed some repair work. The accent wall had sustained the most damage when a good portion of the wall had to be replaced when some pipes inside that wall were upgraded. The homeowner decided to just the insert a tan color and the surrounding wall a deep brown. This goes well with the brown straie finish on the remaining walls.
Two other areas needed to be repaired. The homeowner wanted me to just touch them up as best as I could, vs. painting over and re-basecoating. This finish is not forgiving and does not easily repair. I knew, especially since this finish was already 9 years old and quite faded, a good match was not going to happen. This is the before picture.
Here is the "after". You can see the repair when you are fairly close, but...
from a distance, you don't notice it.
Next up, a settlement crack. This crack really needs the attention of a plasterer who will open it up and fix it correctly. It's not a quick fix or it will just crack again. The homeowner decided to hold off on a real fix and just have me darken the crack. This is the "before" pic.
So, here it is, darkened. Up close, not so good, but from a distance....
It was very nice to relax and take some time off at the end of December, but now it's time to get January under way! It's always interesting to see who is going to call me the first few weeks of a new year to help them follow through on some of their home improvement resolutions, so it's typically an exciting time of the the year for business, seeing who is going to call me during the first month of a new year, to help them
follow through on some of their home improvement resolutions.
Last week I finally had the pleasure to meet a long time client of mine, whom I have known since 2004, but had actually never met. In 2003, I did all of the finishes in the condo she subsequently bought in 2004. Luckily, the previous owners gave her my contact info. Since 2004, I have returned 3 or 4 times to make some minor repairs, but this current owner lives in NY and uses this condo for her second home, since she often visits her children and grandchildren in the area. Recently, there was quite a bit of structural work done to the building, and her unit sustained some serious damage to the finish the bedroom.
I have to say, I was ahead of my time with the finishes done here and they have held up extremely well. I am still doing these exact finishes today, since they are all quite current.
Here's a look at the main living areas. I call this finish "Mother of Pearl" and it is done by layering various plasters and glazes. The finish was done in the entry, dining area and living areas, which all connect.
The entry ceiling has a galvanized steel look and is found in the entryway as well as the bathroom, pictured below.
The room I was called in to repair, has a brown straie finish, that I was never happy with. The previous owners loved it, but I never liked the way it came out and they would not let me redo it. I thought for sure when this unit was sold, that room would be painted over! Well, much to my dismay, that finish is still here to haunt me. The new owner has agreed to let me just use straight paint on the damaged wall, since that is a focal point wall. I can see a great pattern on this wall, but straight paint it is, at least for now. I do find the other three walls much more palletable now with this solid wall!
Here is the finish on the other walls. Remember, this was done in 2003 and has faded quite a bit!
I really enjoyed meeting the owner and working with her to find a solution to not only salvage this room, but to make it look better.
Next, I will show you some detail of the repair work done to this same brown finish on the soffit.
Some of my clients live in areas in and around Boston that are just impossible to find parking. When it's anywhere near downtown Boston, the Boston Common parking garage I usually use costs $22/day. If I'm very lucky, I will find a Visitor Parking space, which allows parking in such residential areas for up 2 hours, but a minute after the 2 hour time frame, you will find a ticket on your windshield. The streets are all one way here and very narrow. When I have a lot of supplies to unload, I have to park in the middle of the street, blocking all access, and quickly unload to just inside the door, jump back in my car and go park somewhere. Everyone is very used to this system and patiently wait if they should get stuck behind such a vehicle as mine.
I had to return to a Beacon Hill residence to do a two day repair job. A bathroom ceiling I did a few years ago had sustained some water damage and needed to be redone. I bit the bullet and parked in the expensive garage after unloading, because it was just the easiest and quickest way to get this job done. When I returned the second day, I needed a few small supplies, so I just put them in this handy little tote on wheels. I always feel like I'm in the the PBS series "Upstairs/Downstairs" when I work on Beacon Hill. There is clearly a class system. You see a bevy of services providers like myself navigating these very narrow streets with their specific tools of the trade. We all pleasantly nod at each other in passing. Then, you see a lot of government officials and politicians all suited up, making their way to the State House, which occupies a prominent space on top of the hill.
The first day I arrived, I saw the area that had been patched. I had already decided that since this was a metallic finish, it would be more time and cost effective to repaint the whole ceiling than trying to blend in a good match.
I love this bathroom. The walls were done with a soft iridescent pearl glaze and the ceiling is a brushed aluminum finish.
Here's a closer look at the border, with a screw heads that have been painted on to look like the border is pieced.
Last week I returned to a house I worked on in 2007, when it was still very much under construction. The homeowners live in California, so this was a vacation home for them. I remember there were no working bathrooms at the time and I had to keep running outside and to a hose to get water to rinse brushes, etc. Although I did quite a bit of work there, I actually never met them, and all correspondence was done via email. Well, finally, we got a chance to meet when I was returned last week to do a little repair work. The house is sparsely furnished now, but there is a full kitchen and some working bathrooms! As you will see from these photos, a lot of finish work, such as trim, still needs to be done.
The main area to repair was around the front door. Other than that, there were just a few minor dings here and there.
I was a bit uncertain about being able to match the glazes, since it had been five years and I no longer had these glazes. I had my notes in their file, so was able to mix up new glazes and luckily it was a good match!
Not only did I get paid for this job, I also was given this nice zuchinni for a tip! :-)
Lately, I've been getting an unusual amount of calls for Repair Work, on walls I did quite a few years ago. I also love returning to a home to see how my finishes have held up over the years. Recently a client called me to repair a Lusterstone finish in her dining room where a thermostat had been replaced, and a glaze finish in her entryway where some water damage had occurred. I did this job back in 2005 and had not been back since. When I pulled my client's file, thankfully, I had kept meticulous notes about the finishes, but I could not recall the house or even doing this job. I thought when I got to the house, I would surely remember being there. Well... I did recognize my work, but that is all I recognized! This was a beautiful Victorian, a very unique house, so I am a bit worried about my lack of memory. I asked several of my decorative painter friends if this had ever happened to them, and was relieved to hear they all had such similar stories! Maybe it is because we have all been doing this type of work for so many years and have been in such a variety of homes. I may up the Ginkgo though. When I checked my photos, I am not finding the dining room repair, but here is the front hall:
I returned to this home and base painted over 3 of the walls I tried to repair, unsuccessfully, last week. I had already done all the patching, so now it was just a matter of base painting over the walls in question, letting them dry, and glazing again.
Here you see the back wall, not damaged, so not touched. The two adjacent, small walls are base painted and ready to be glazed.
The left wall re-glazed.
This wall to the right of the flat panel tv, was left untouched, but the adjacent walls had to be redone.
The second repair I had to do was in this small Family Room. I did this job about 2 yrs ago. The curved wall is actually square tiles that are striaed, which you cannot see in this shot. The problem to fix is the one side of the room where the texture is.
There was some water damage in this room from a leaky ceiling. This finish was done using Aquastone. I washed off the streaks and patched the damaged areas. Luckily, this house is close by because it required several trips, with the drying time.
I kept feathering out the Aquastone and then applied the base coat paint, feathering that out. In the end, after several attempts/methods with the glazing, I could not make it blend without noticing the patching. I spent so much time on this without success, that I decided it was best to just redo the wall in question, from top to bottom. The homeowners are submitting my new quote to their insurance company.
This week has been a week of repair work for me. First, I returned to the house where I recently did the diamond pattern in their Family Room.
A small hole had to be cut into the wall to run the wiring for their flat screen t.v. The homeowners did the patching themselves, afraid someone else might further damage the finish. They did a great job!
I based it, applied more Lusterstone and fixed the "grout line". It was an easy repair.
While the layers in the Family Room were drying, I worked on this ceiling medallion for the Dining Room. Here it is, based a light gray.
And here it is completed... an aged silver.
Next, I had a much more difficult repair to make in another home...