Sunday, May 19, 2019

More on the parlor

To finish the parlor we added some columns and carpeting. (I love columns!)

We found two old wood columns in a lean-to shed on our property. (I love it when we can repurpose old items).

To give the columns a more elegant look we ordered two Roman Corinthian style capitals.

Then came the work of sanding, priming and painting the columns a glossy white color. (The capitals were also primed and painted a glossy white).

As you can see the columns did not reach floor to ceiling so I needed to build a pedestal for each column. I first started with the floor and top base for each pedestal.

The rest of the pedestal was assembled and the bases were attached.

The pedestal was caulked and imperfections in the wood were puttied. Paintable wallpaper was applied to the hardboard sides and the entire pedestal was painted a glossy white.

With the pedestals built, the next step was to assemble the columns. (I'm grateful for scaffolding).

But we were not quite finished with the columns before the carpet layers came.

After the carpet was installed we finished the parlor.

Chris is the decorator but I had to add my own flair to the parlor. Chris loves elephants so I could not resist purchasing an elephant table for her. I found this table from Design Toscano.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Ceiling trim

While Chris worked on assembling the centerpiece for the ceiling I turned my attention to the ceiling trim. We decided to add a corbel feature to our ceiling trim. Since we could not purchase the corbels we wanted, I needed to make each one from different pieces of wood. I used two different pieces of chair rail with a hardboard backing to construct each piece. The corbels were constructed as one 8' long piece and then cut into individual pieces.

The corbels were painted and while they were drying I started on the board needed to attach the crown molding and the corbels.

After the crown molding was attached, then the corbels were spaced and attached to the underside of the board. I used a free online baluster calculator to determine the spacing.

The tower posed a different problem for us. I purchased some semi-flexible plastic trim but the curve was too much and the trim broke. (This is the beginning of my failed attempt).

We eventually purchased some resin poured flex trim which worked better and looked more professional. This is what the parlor looks like now with the ceiling centerpiece in place and the trim hung and painted. (The curtains are an added touch).

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Parlor ceiling center piece

With the Plaster of Paris pieces poured it was time to start to assemble the centerpiece for the ceiling. A bit about the construction, the center is constructed with plywood and hardboard is layered and centered on the plywood. A medallion was attached where the light/fan would be located. The layers of wood are painted two different colors. The trim and detail work on the hardboard is made of Plaster of Paris. The trim on the outer edge of the plywood is wood. There are four places where the wood trim needed to be curved. The trim around the edge of the wallpaper is also wood. Everything except the trim around the wallpaper was glued together while laying on the floor.  After the glue dried Chris and I lifted and nail it in place on the ceiling. (It can be heavy so make sure you nail it into ceiling joists and not just sheetrock.)

*A hint on how to curve the wood. I placed the small pieces of wood in a glass pie plate with water and covered the plate with plastic wrap. The pie plate was then placed in the microwave for several minutes, thus allowing the steam and water to penetrate the wood. After the wood became flexible it was removed immediately from the dish, towel dried, and attached to the plywood edge. As it cooled and air dried it took on the shape of the curve on the plywood. (A word of caution: the wood has to be handled while hot so be careful to not get burned.)

Pouring the Plaster of Paris pieces

The trim pieces are made of Plaster of Paris. Since the mold is flexible it can be used to pour several pieces.

Curved pieces were made by inserting plastic into styrofoam to obtain the desired shape.

We also used a variable speed massager to help the Plaster of Paris flow and to remove bubbles. The mold was placed on the massager and held in place while the Plaster of Paris was being poured into the mold.

Once hardened, the pieces were ready to be trimmed.

Creating the molds for the trim pieces

The positives were placed on a flat surface. Playdough was us to created an outer dam around the Sculpey molds. A rubber mold making liquid was then poured over the Sculpey positives and allowed to harden, thus creating a mold for multiple pourings of the trim pieces.