Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pick pick pick

I guess you could say that I am the kind of person that can’t resist picking at a scab. I can’t help it. I don’t know what it is that makes me a little obsessed with loose ends. Is it the physical and mental itch or something else?

This weekend, I couldn’t hold back anymore and had to start picking at the pealing paint on the bedroom wall. What I didn’t realize was that I would soon become consumed by the pealing and within twenty minutes, I had de-foliated an entire wall of our bedroom. It caused a pretty crazy mess but what I found was pretty fascinating.

When we started planning the renovation, we wanted to add picture rail to the bedrooms. An aside: the second greatest atrocity one can do to an old house (the first being application of wall to wall carpeting over a hardwood floor) is to tack, nail, or anchor anything into plaster walls when you have picture rail. It is uncivilized and frankly, it makes your plaster crack and fall off the wall but I digress. When we started planning the renovation, we wanted to add picture rail to the bedrooms. I thought that it might seem strange doing this to rooms that never had picture rail (I really am not a purist when it comes to restoration but I get nerdy thoughts like this sometimes).The pealing away of all of that paint revealed, at a height of about 7’-6” above the floor, a distinct line. About every 18 inches along this line is a screw hole. It is most likely that this is the ghost of the picture rail that used to exist in the bedroom. Not that I was sweating adding something new to the house – this just makes it kind of cool that we are putting something back in the house that used to be there before.
Also beneath the layers of paint you can see remnants of the original wallpaper. It is actually nice. It is a robin’s egg blue paper with white foliage and silver berries and flowers. It appears that a slightly different paper was used above the picture rail. I am not a big fan of wallpaper so we will be painting but we have some photos that show what used to be there.

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