Thursday, June 04, 2020

Benson Row - 13

Penrith, Cumbria. April/May-2020.

The lockdown special. Obviously no progress from the builders but the devil finds work for idle hands.

Mary was bored and she always hated the anaglypta wallpaper that covered the walls throughout the house. Not long after we bought the place I redecorated the living room to tone down the custard yellow walls to a Dulux Nutmeg white. But that was not enough to satisfy Mary so one day whilst bored she attacked the last remaining anaglypta.

Of course Buggins here gets to make good and redecorate. The back wall was in a shocking state. I used almost a whole 3kg tub of Polyfilla (US: spackle) smoothing the wall and the dust from sanding it back down caused a major white-out.

Next up was the "booze box" so named because we used to store all our gins, whiskys and other spirits in it. I don't have a before picture but it was dark oak all over (the colour of the pattern). We have had it over 25 years and it was essentially a bonus purchase. It was part of a job lot at auction where we were bidding for a bridge table. The plant stand, footstool and hat stand that came with it have long gone but the faithful old booze box lives on including re-gluing it back together when it tried to self destruct. 

Cue a bored Mary and the attack of the sandpaper! After a couple of dusty days the lovely original oak, free of dark stain, was revealed. A couple of coats of varnish to protect the surface and box is resurrected.

One side panel was over-sanded in part ruining the even colour but it is amazing what a little improvisation with brown mascara can do when you don't have wood stain.

Meanwhile down in the cellar I was working on a door for the storage space. We bought an old door from Brunswick Yard architectural salvage in Penrith. Unsurprisingly 150 year old stone walls are not straight, level or square so I had to hand craft a door frame.

Once I had done that the door had to be trimmed to fit, hung and the surround made good.

The final touches and a bolt are still to be done but I am pleased with the progress so far.

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