Montpelier Restoration Update – 10/17/2007


209 plastering

The finished brown coat has been applied below the chair rail in M-200 (small bedroom) and a scratch coat has been troweled onto the ceiling of M-206 (east central chamber) and M-209 (Upper South Passage). A majority of the walls above the chair rail in M-209 have also been scratch-coated.


Mill Work

Blaise Gaston, along with Nick Oster, is currently producing the treads and risers for north and south cellar stairs, the shelves for M-103 (north wing, west closet) and the new chimneypiece for the north wing.


M-100 (North Wing Chamber)

Austin installing chair rail 100

Austin Antrim continues to install the chair rail.


M-101 and M-103 (North Wing, East and West Closets)

keith cutting miter baseboard 103

Keith Forry is installing the baseboards for these rooms.


M-105 (Dining Room)

Ed Gomez has almost finished installing the chair rail for the dining room.

Repairing 105 mantel105 mantel

Bill Bichell continues to repair the Madison chimneypiece cap that was recently donated by Randolph Thompson.


M-201 (Large Bedroom)

Dino Priming ChimneypiecePrimed chimney piece 201

Dino Copeland continues to prepare this room for painting.

distemper test patch

Wayne Mays has also applied a test patch of a glue based distemper paint to the room’s eastern wall. The color of the distemper is based on a similar color found on the room’s wooden corner beads. However, this is just a test patch and the final decision on whether to apply a wallpaper or a distemper paint on the walls has not been made. The only technical problem that was found with the test patch were the development of multiple, pin-sized holes across the coating. The problem appears to be caused by the paint being drawn into small holes found on the plaster surface. To correct the problem Wayne is going to try a thicker prime coat (or clearcole) that should fill in the holes and solve the problem.

Mark Gooch has also re-hung the sash weights for the room’s windows.



glazing portico lunette

Mark Gooch has cut glass panes for the portico’s lunette window and installed them.



mac repairing soffit

Mac Ward is repairing and trimming the eastern cellar window in Nelly’s kitchen. A portion of the soffit piece for this window was reused by the duPonts and it was recovered during the demolition stage of the restoration. Since it will be reinstalled, Mac has repaired the fragment and restored it back to its original length and width.

wine cellar enclosures

Les Lamois and Thomas Tyler continue to frame and cut sheathing boards for the board enclosures that will encase the modern duct chases in the cellar



base coat render colonnade capitals profile guage on colonnade capital

Wayne Mays and Matt Lohmeyer have started to put the thin base coat on the caps and bases of the colonnade columns. This base coating is very, very thin (only as thick as the highest part of the surrounding bricks) and it is being used to even out the surface so that the eventual finish coat (which will also be very thin) will be smooth and accurately reflect the Madison-period. This extra step is necessary because the bricks which make up the interior of the columns have been damaged by the removal of several successive layers of stucco. The collar of stucco found below the capital in the photos is temporary and it is used to help guide the profile gauge.



Installing gutter brackets

Martin Roofing continues to install copper gutters on the Mansion. Currently they are working on the north elevation.


2 Responses to Montpelier Restoration Update – 10/17/2007

  1. Larry says:

    Hello –

    Could you tell me how high up the wall the chair rail is in M-100 (North Wing Chamber)? It looks really low to the ground, but I like the height and would like to see how it would work in my home.

    Feel free to contact me at my e-mail address: correus at yahoo dot com


  2. Anonymous says:


    The top of the chair rail in M-100 is 33-1/4″ above the floor. The chair rail is also three inches high. These circa 1812 chair rails are lower then the earlier c. 1797 and c. 1764 chair rails and I believe their height was based on using proportions derived from classical and Palladian architecture, whereas the earlier chair rail height was based on local vernacular tradition.

    Take care and let me know if you have any other questions,


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