Thursday, 16 October 2014

Repairing the plywood ceiling

The joys of aged maple plywood ceilings end when the reality of repairing them slaps you in the face!

The hole left behind when we removed the wood heater
As many of you would know, we recently removed a wood heater from the main living area. You can read about it here if you are new to the blog.

The hole after the roof was repaired
A lot of creative thought went into repairing the hole left in the ceiling after removing the heater flue. The ceilings are made from rotary cut Queensland maple plywood panels. They are the most sumptuous ceilings to behold and was part of the reason we fell in love with this home when we first saw it.

a distance shot of the hole left after we removed the wood heater
We tossed around various ideas with the help of Danny, a builder who has great experience working on mid-century homes. Initially we thought we could replace the whole ceiling panel; it had sustained water damage from where rainwater must have seeped through over the years.

Sadly, finding rotary cut maple plywood is next to impossible. We tried to source it second-hand and we also looked at the newer plywood products with a view of colour-matching it to 50 year old maple.

Another idea was to steal a panel from one of the bedrooms, and substitute it. You know, do the old 'switcheroonie' trick with a less attractive repair being relegated behind bedroom doors.

In the end our final solution would be the least intrusive and most efficient. We recycled the doors of an old maple plywood cabinet (the original kitchen overhead cupboards to be precise) that had been left behind in the garage by the previous owners (bless them!). Re-purposing the doors and converting them to a ceiling panel seemed the most viable option.

It was a slightly unorthodox solution but it meant we could colour match the ceiling without it being horribly obvious. It also had the added benefit of being free material!

Danny came over and did the job for us...with surgical-like precision...

Cutting out the damage with the help of a template and small cutting tool.
Yep, Danny is a surfing hippy who like all our recent builders is extremely well-read! Tick!

Danny made a simple template, based on the plywood doors which he had jointed together, as guide. With that template he was able to cut out the damaged ply and make a new space in which to fit the re-purposed plywood doors.

A neat ceiling gap in which to place the re-purposed plywood doors

Making the plywood piece fit proved slightly tricky. There was a lot of hand sanding the edges and corners to get a precise fit. Poor old Danny spent a lot of time getting it perfect which is just a beautiful thing to see in action - he took so much care.

A good fit. The plywood piece is in.

Danny planned to nail the piece in place but was afraid the nail heads would detract from the final finish. He changed his mind and decided a quick drying super-grip adhesive would be the best option. He used the Sika SuperGrip 30 minutes and held it in place with a telescopic prop. We left the prop up overnight just to make sure the plywood was not going anywhere!

The final product.

Et voila! You don't instantly notice the repair, particularly if you weren't aware a wood heater occupied this space. Nonetheless you can still make out there was a repair which I guess forms part of the new history of the home.

We couldn't be happier with the final result...and now we have more flexibility with this space and the ceilings still look great despite the repair.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A.F Dawson Residence at Brisbane Open House

Well what a busy couple of weeks we've had in the lead up to Brisbane Open House which was held last weekend.

It's all done and dusted and we were so pleased to be involved in the event as part of the residential homes component. For those who don't know, our home was the A.F Dawson Residence in the program.

Jason and I had a terrific time opening our home and sharing it with the general public -  meeting lovely new people and even the neighbours. We were also happy to meet quite a few Fun and VJs readers and instagram followers. Thanks so much for visiting and hearing the story of what we know about the home so far and our plans for it.

For those of you who missed out, you can visit Walk Among the Homes blog to view a special virtual home tour. As the house is very much a work-in-progress, there have been a few changes since's ever evolving as we remove, repair and restore!

AF Dawson residence – Photo by Elizabeth Santillan

We were also chuffed to be in the Courier Mail's QWeekend 4 October issue with an article written by the wonderful Margie Fraser. It is a hoot of a story about how we came to view the house because of the furniture and ended up buying the house instead!

And if you still want to satisfy your curiosity about the house, keep reading here. I promise to keep it updated more religiously as we go along!

Monday, 29 September 2014

The blue room - painting the mid-century master bedroom

Painting, painting and painting. It's all we ever really do around here...actually, I lie. We've had a few jobs completed, so I will get you all up to speed with our goings-on over the next few blog posts. But firstly, today is all about our blue master bedroom.

A few weeks ago we painted our bedroom a lovely shade of 1960s light blue. Again, we are trying to match the original colours of the house. Jason has been the chief colour matcher and he seems to be nailing the choice each time he goes to buy the paint. Go Jason!

Our bedroom was a mix of the original light blue colour and white - it seemed to be incomplete, like someone gave up when they were doing the job (and for a change it wasn't me!). We were planning on painting the room white however as with our laundry and kitchen we decided to embrace colour.

Blue suits the space and exudes a nice calming ambiance. We're loving it.

The following is a pictorial of our new lagoona teal coloured bedroom.

This is an after photograph of the painting. This shot is of our built-in dressing table.

Jason also re-painted the door which opens out to our backyard.
A corner of our bedroom with the blue coloured walls

In progress shot of Jason painting the walls

Painting white walls blue

 We still have a few things to do in this bedroom, such as changing the window coverings, and painting above the window frames (it just needs to be freshened up with white paint)...all in good time though.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Painting the mid-century laundry

The one-wall-a-weekend painting program has been quickly stepped up to one-room-a-weekend now we are unlocking our doors to be part of Brisbane Open House 2014! Nothing like a deadline to get things moving.

Last weekend we attacked the laundry with a tin of 'fresh frappe' green paint. We intend to keep some of the original colours used in certain rooms of this mid-mod home. 

Our initial thought, before we moved in, was to paint the entire interior white but having lived here for about six months our line of thinking has changed. Yes, who are we? 

I know, the light mid-century colours can be polarising...but we think they're fun and add to the personality of the home. The colour is also entirely appropriate for the era of the house. 

The laundry feels much fresher and cleaner with the newly painted walls. The change is not markedly different, however we believe the overall first impression is better.

After: repainted the laundry walls with light green paint. Jason also had more success painting the stable or dutch door. He's only painted it the once!

In progress shot of the walls as they were being painted

Before: this is laundry when it was owned by the previous owners

Monday, 8 September 2014

Removing the unwanted wood heater

Vale wood heater. It was nice knowing you, even though we never used you during winter. You were like the elephant in the room...taking up too much valuable space. We never took any photographs of you when you became ours because we never thought you worthy...sadly, unloved

For the few cold nights we have in sub-tropical Brisbane we were prepared to sacrifice cosy warmth for more useable room. 

A shot of the wood heater when the house was with the previous owners

A couple of weeks ago we hired a plumber to remove the heater and repair the inevitable hole in the roof. It only took about an hour or so for it to be done. Afterwards, a few days of rain assured us the plumber did a good job because we were leak-free!

Wood heater-free living space. You can see the maple board on the right.

Our next dilemma is to repair the hole in the Queensland maple ceiling. Finding aged maple rotary cut plywood to match the rest of the ceiling is a problem.

The solution we came up with, with our builder, was to re-purpose some old maple wood doors from the old kitchen cupboards which had been stored under the house. Fortunately the previous owners had kept the old overhead cupboards in the garage and they are a close enough match to work

Our builder has fabricated two old doors into one board which he will use to repair the ceiling. You will still be able to tell there was a repair to the ceiling, but that's fine. It all forms part of the history of the house as it evolves.

Removing the wood heater will provide us with more flexibility in our living and dining areas. That is always a good thing.
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