All hands on deck

Colin is up the ladders again for the weekend, back to help Cat paint the ceilings in the stairwell and landing.

There is a lot of cutting in to do in the stairwell as there are so many beams and edges and there are two mist coats to do before two top coats!

We have purchased a second sofa from friends in the village (in fact our Architect and his wife) and, while it snowed, we had help to move it into the house.

The sofa did get a bit wet in the move so it is drying out in the study before we cover it over to protect it from the relentlessly dusty house! This is intended for the dining room, so we can relax around the fire in that room too.

I have been covering up and wrapping the timbers on the landing, ready for the ceiling and walls to be painted. I am particularly proud of this one. I call it ‘Bin liner bat’.

The shelves on the landing very carefully wrapped and protected. We have spent hours (several times now) cleaning up the timbers so do not want them splashed with paint as well!

Cat taping off the beam before she adds filler to the top where there are gaps.

Painting initial mist coats with white emulsion onto the modern plaster wall outside the bathroom.

Colin painting a second mist coat onto the landing wall while Cat cuts in for the ceiling.

Working late into the evening whilst I made my first ever cottage pie for everyone, which was surprisingly delicious!

I have been cleaning up all the windows and doors, inside and out, and I have left the worst until last. The rear dining room window looked like a very large monster had sneezed on it, with orange snot, something very bad happened here…

This is also one of the few windows we haven’t yet renovated as it is not an original one. It looks much better but will need sanding, filling and repainting. This can wait until we have moved back in.

Sunday and Colin is back in the same spot on the ladders, painting top coats for the ceiling and the bits of wall up there.

Cat is sealing the joints between the ceiling and the wall before painting the top coats.

So much cutting in…!

The Earthborn clay paint for the landing and stairs walls has been tested out. Colin has used it on the small bits of wall at the top of the stairs. It is super thick so will need watering down a little, but it is SO MUCH EASIER to use than the bloody lime wash.

Colin tidying up the edges with a knife.

Finally, after much deliberation, we have decided on the colour for the sitting room walls. Fenwick & Tilbrook’s ‘Aged Copper’, on the right, is the winner. We may use the other colour, Fenwick & Tilbrook’s ‘Ladyholme’, on the walls in the study.

Cat using a very fine sand paper on the landing window, to remove the last of the plaster from the precious old oak frame.

I have started to clean up the timbers and stone in the sitting room, as this will be the next room to paint. There isn’t too much plaster on these, but the stone walls are thick with orange dust. A combination of scrubbing with a wire brush and damp cloth and also hoovering with Henry. I think the walls will also need washing…

The gorgeous and brilliantly named Fenwick & Tilbrook’s ‘Major Tom’ that we will be using on the wall outside the bathroom.

I have cleaned up and am oiling the bathroom shelves. We are using Osmo’s Wood Protector which is very water resistant, protecting the wood from water marks and dampness.

The oil brings out the rich colours of the elm. These have been made from the old floor boards that our older sister found in Wells reclamation yard back in the summer but were not quite right for the floors. We are delighted they are being used, they are going to look beautiful in the bathroom.


  1. Its all looking lovely Zanna. You’ve got real stamina, but what a lovely thing to do and a legacy to leave. I would never have imagined what a difference it would make revealing all the natural wood and stone. Hope I get to see it in real life!! Im taking inspiration from all your wood oiling…. Xx

    1. Aw thanks Jane! It is utterly exhausting but it is all worth it! We cannot wait to see it all come together over the next few weeks and most importantly to move back in!!! You must come and visit when we are all allowed out again xxx

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