Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hole in the Wall

Having a Handyman Hubby is both a blessing and curse. David saves us a lot of money by tackling house projects himself, but sometimes he will start a project and let it sit for months (or years!). Of course I am really grateful for his talents and hard work! However, in this one instance he let his curiosity get the best of him.

Our house used to end with our kitchen, but at some point over the years, an addition was added on. David was pretty sure that our kitchen doorway had a transom since it used to be the doorway to the outside. He's obsessed with transoms, so he decided to test his theory by making a hole in the area above the doorway, and sure enough it was empty hole where a transom used to be.


Doorway in kitchen.

There was a empty box that held the transom.

David wanted to fill the hole with a transom, but we needed to find one that would fit. It took us about two years to find the perfect one. So we had a random hole in the doorway that whole time. We ended up finding one that was the right size on eBay for a good price.


Transom from eBay.

The transom fit in the hole nicely, David just need to add trim around it. David used fluted molding and corner rosettes to frame the transom so that it matches with our window trim. He could only add trim around three sides, as the transom went to the edge of the wall.


Transom fits nicely.

Trim added around the transom.


Although the hole in the wall looked bad for a few years, it was worth the wait to get a nice transom. I love the way it looks when the light from the hallway shines through it. 


Finished look. 


Lit up transom.

Another project that David worked on is exposing the brick on the other side of the doorway. Since this was the original end of the house, this brick used to be the exterior wall. We had experience with this since we had exposed the wall in our living room.


Exposed brick.

David removed the drywall and then used paint remover to try to clean up the brick. That didn't work well, so he tried a heat gun, but after a few hours scraping, he gave up and decided to leave it as is. This brick is a little worse for wear, but the worn look fits since this should be the outside.


Old exterior brick.


David installed this glass light that we got from Second Chance to complete the hallway. I like the way the light casts shadows on the ceiling and shines through the transom. He also made another plaster ceiling medallion using a mold.

Glass light from Second Chance.

The light casts shadows.

Finished hallway.

Friday, January 5, 2018

DIY Ceiling Medallion out of Plaster

In an effort to restore our home to its former glory, we've been replacing the lights in our house to antique lights.

We got this antique light from Weber's Antiques in Mount Vernon. It's likely that it is from the turn of the century because it has arms for gas lights as well as electric lights. When electricity was first introduced in houses it was a little spotty and so people would use gas as a back up.


Antique chandelier

David had to rewire the chandelier because the wires were deteriorating. Luckily, he is a pro at this since he had already rewired our dining room chandelier (thanks to some help from YouTube tutorials).

Rewiring the chandelier.

The more difficult part was replacing the wires in our house and adding an electrical box to bring the electricity up to code. The chandelier was installed and working properly until my very tall brother was over one day and hit it with his head, haha. This knocked out the electricity and so David had to open it up and fix the wiring and decided to cut the pole of the chandelier so that 6' 4" people could clear it.



Hooking up the chandelier to electricity.

We wanted to add a medallion to the ceiling around the light like we had in the living room and dining room. For those rooms, we had purchased plastic medallions at $25 a pop. David figured it would be more cost effective to buy a mold and make our own out of plaster, since we needed more for other rooms.

Medallion mold.

David filled the mold with plaster and let it sit for a day or so, but when he went to remove it, it cracked into four pieces. The medallion could be salvaged by patching it back together with more plaster. 

Cracked medallion.

David added some wet plaster to the ceiling and attached each piece by drilling screws lightly in. It was difficult to match up all of the pieces so that it made a perfect circle. He covered the cracks with plaster to smooth it out. Once it was dry, he removed the screws and sanded it down. David painted the medallion first with ceiling paint, and then glossy paint. It's not perfect, but it turned out pretty well considering it was in multiple pieces. 


Painted medallion.



Installed chandelier.

We searched a long time for some shades to cover the bulbs. We looked online and in antique stores, but finally settled on some from Loews.

Shades for the light.

I love when we get to add some old touches to our house and give it a vintage feel.

Chandelier with shades.

Finished look.