Sunday, April 08, 2007

1895 Bathroom: The Movie

I sort of finished the tile today, and I wasn’t ready to start anything else, so instead I started cleaning. I have family coming for a visit in one week and I really need to get the place cleaned up. They’ve been here before, and they know it’s a real work-in-progress, so it doesn’t need to be prefect.

Anyway, I polished the bathroom today so I thought I’d shoot a video of it. This was the first room I did in the house, and as you can see, it’s not really finished. There is the window that needs help, but I’m saving all of the windows to do as one project over the course of a year or so. The other issue, that I sort of talk about in the video, is the missing piece of trim.

The missing trim is a wainscot cap that they used in every room of the house that had wainscoting. It’s the same profile of trim in 5 rooms and the back stairs. I was missing a piece for the bathroom, and missing some for the kitchen. I thought I might have some made for the kitchen, so I figured I’d just wait and get enough made to replace missing pieces in both rooms. I ended up using something different in the kitchen, so now I can use some of the original pieces I salvaged from the kitchen to complete the bathroom. The trouble is, it’s not going to get done unless I do it.

It dawned on me as I was shooting the video that I haven’t really finished any rooms in the house yet. I did the bathroom and the kitchen, but the bathroom needs the trim piece, and the kitchen still needs the edges of the marble on the island finished. I really need to do these things as soon as I finish the bathroom. This assumes I do someday finish the bathroom.

I also talk about stripping the shellac off some of the beadboard. I used salvaged wood from the addition to have the missing beadboard made. When I oiled and shellacked it, it came out lighter than the original wood. I need to strip off the shellac and then re-oil it and tint the oil with red mahogany stain. A friend of mine turned me on to this trick and it works very good to match the old color of the wood. The new wood, because it was salvage from the 20s, was milled at about the same time, and is also old-growth wood, but it just hasn’t had the same exposure as the original beadboard, so it comes out lighter in color. So I’ll do that before I put on the wainscot cap. Then, aside from the window, the room will be done…..except for the tub and sink faucets, but that’s another story.

So now I give you, 1895 Bathroom: The Movie. Do I hear Oscar buzz already?


JAXTER said...

The bathroom looks stunning! The feet on the tub look similar to a dolphin round-like motif I saw somewhere at some point, but perhaps this is entirely unrelated.

Kathy from NJ said...

May I come over & take a bath? It's really nice, Greg. The downstairs bath looks great, too. I'm so glad you decided to keep the window.

Greg said...

Thanks Jaxter!


It's a long flight from NJ, but well worth the trip. I can assure you. I love that tub.

That bathroom was a disgusting mess when I first bought the place, and the plumbing for the tub and the sink was out of commission, but when I saw that tub I was sold. It took more than 2 years before I was able to use it.

gabbysmeow said...

I really like the bathroom. It looks very spacious. Just curious about the beadboard... it looks great! Do you stain it? What sort of finish? Also, what kind of wood is it? Thanks.

Greg said...


The beadboard is redwood, as with all of the other woodwork in the house. I used a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil and turpentine on the wood, and then finished with 4 coats of shellac.

Marilyn said...

Know what you mean about always having one more little thing to do to finish a room. (Like I ever finish a room!)
Loved the comment about being in denial about fixing the windows. I think every one of my windows needs work. Got two done.
What are you going to do with the walls--paint or paper?
You also need some of these to make the transformation complete.


Greg said...


The color is washed out in the video, but the walls are actually painted light blue just like the original 1895 walls. That room is pretty much as it looked in 1895. The toilet is a little different, but everything else is literally exactly as it was in 1895.

I saw a set of original bolt covers on Ebay a few weeks back. If I wasn't hemorrhaging so much cash on the downstairs bathroom right now I would have bid on them.

slateberry said...

Hee hee, "the brainiacs down at DEA bath." You're so kind!

Love everything, but I have to comment about the light fixture: I am in awe of the lot you bought from the guy in Maine. Every time I look at lighting on ebay now, I shake my head and think, yeah, but even if I get this for a good price, it probably won't be like the deal Greg got from that guy in Maine. The detailing on those pieces--perfect! On a happy note I found some things at HOAH that are similar. Just expensive is all.

Greg said...

Yes, I was being kind to DEA Bath.

As for the fixtures, I think getting that grouping from Main was the single best purchase I've ever made on Ebay. Yes, I got a good deal, but also, I think those fixtures are the epitome of late Victorian style. That purchase set the stage for others that followed.