Archives for posts with tag: bedroom

We had some old pillows that came along with the old duvet that I used to insulate the loft hatch. We decided to use them for draft-proofing the chimneys because we’d looked into chimney balloons already (and bought one, before promptly losing it somewhere).

First, I had to clean out the grates and fire surrounds, with help from my sweep’s devil: P1020863

I got a good look at the chimneys after clearing away the ironmongery. The chimneys are lined with a sectioned ceramic pipe, built in when the house was constructed:

P1020860I expected a rougher, square section, something a bit more chimneys of Greenknowe. A circular section, however, means a rolled up pillow goes in like a Pooh bear into a rabbit hole:

P1020862I did a couple of bedrooms, with the spare room to go. Guests in the spare room have commented on the chimney noise in some strong winds (“I thought you’d been stuffing pillows up there.”), with no hint of noise in the bedrooms I’ve done. This is promising; in the worst gales I get woken by the whistling winds in the chimney and less noise means fewer draughts.




I do love a before-and-after post and this is a fun one. The first room we’ve redecorated upstairs is Iris’s bedroom, so for the first time ever tonight Arthur is sleeping in a bedroom alone. We’ve spent most of the summer working on this room, albeit in fits and starts and mostly at night.

When we moved in, this room was empty and it is the smallest of the full-size bedrooms upstairs. The window faces west and overlooks the copse and dell that floods in winter. It also has a nice view of the herb garden and is mostly above the kitchen. As the room is directly underneath one of the chimney stacks, the chimney breast and ceiling had been damaged when the chimney stacks began to fail, so there was a large damp patch, peeling paint and a few cracks to be dealt with. We have had the chimney stacks fixed so these issues shouldn’t recur.

Here's the most damaged area at the top of the wall.

Here’s the most damaged area at the top of the wall.


As ever with decorating, most of the hard work was in the preparation. We stripped the wallpaper (in a heatwave), plastered and filled the damaged walls, cleaned and sealed the damp area, then repainted the walls. We also repaired the window so it opens, repainted the woodwork and carried out simple draught-proofing. This involved installing beading around the base of the existing skirting boards, sealing gaps in the floorboards with a mix of sawdust and glue and installing a chimney balloon. We’ve painted the floorboards white.

Most of the work was completed in time for iris’s birthday but we had to eave the floor to cure for at least a week before moving in the furniture. Here’s how the room looks now. We still need a curtain (found the perfect fabric but it’s a touch too expensive) but in the meantime she has shutters to keep the light out.

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Here’s a few more work-in-progress pictures of Iris’s room. We finally finished painting the woodwork in time to watch Usain Bolt tonight, which was an unexpectedly early finish. I even managed to get a couple of articles done for work. As you can see, there are more filled and plastered bits of wall than untouched areas! We’re leaving the plaster to dry while our next WWOOF guest is here and will paint the ceiling and walls the week after next.





We’ve finally got started on renovating the second spare room which will, by the end of summer, become Iris’s own bedroom. Here’s how the room looked when we moved in (and it’s been pretty much untouched since). The damp on the wall above the fireplace was caused by the dodgy chimney stacks which we have had repointed and reinforced. No more water is getting into the room but now we need to redecorate and clean up the damage.


Stage one involved removing the shutters, curtains and other hardware and stripping them of paint. The shutters have been repainted and we’ve installed extra beading around the windows to improve draught proofing. Matt has also overhauled the window in here to make it as draught-proof as possible. If anyone fancies the curtains, they are originals – ’50s or ’60s I reckon, but not our cup of tea. I have washed, folded and measured them!

Not quite the same angle as the before but this is the first of a series of pictures of the walls after stripping the paper and before filling and cleaning.

Not quite the same angle as the before but this is the first of a series of pictures of the walls after stripping the paper and before filling and cleaning.

Stage two was stripping the pink-painted lining paper from the walls and the flaking ceiling paint. Given I started this task in the middle of a heat wave, you can imagine it wasn’t much fun spending the evenings in a west-facing room with a big box of steam. Eventually, I wound up doing it wearing a water-drenched nightie to keep cool! Working most evenings, it took the best part of a week to remove all the paper. The ceiling paint pretty much fell off with only a little encouragement as it didn’t seem to like the steam too much.

Here's the most damaged area at the top of the wall. This wall and window are west facing.

Here’s the most damaged area at the top of the wall. This wall and window are west facing.

Stage three involved cleaning the damp patches with a mould remover and plastering the large holes, particularly where the water had come in and around the new plug sockets. We filled other hairline cracks, scuffs and scrapes with polyfiller.

After leaving this to set for a couple of days, we have now sanded down the filled areas and have used caulk in the corners and around the skirting and other woodwork for extra damp proofing and a more flexible fill.

The easy wall - adjoins the kids' current room. Just a little filling needed here.

The easy wall – adjoins the kids’ current room. Just a little filling needed here.

Tonight, while I attempted to work with the world’s worst internet connection, Matt finished the caulking and rehung the shutters. Tomorrow evening’s task will be to paint the remaining woodwork and then there’s a pause while we leave the plaster to completely dry out. We have a WWOOFer who will be using that room next week, so we’ll need to spend Sunday cleaning the room and preparing it for a guest who hopefully won’t mind the unpainted walls. To be honest, even with the patching I reckon it looks better than the peeling pink paper!


We even removed the radiator - such pros!

We even removed the radiator – such pros!