Montpelier Restoration Update – 5/6/2008


Mason\'s applying the whitecoat to the South Passage   South Cellar Passage Whitewashed   Mixing Whitewash

The masons have put a whitecoat onto the walls and ceiling of M-109 (South Passage).  They have also whitewashed the walls and ceilings in M-008 (south cellar passage) and M-009 (South Kitchen).  



Keith Repairing Door

Olivier Dupont-Huin and Keith Forry continue to repair the suriviving Madison-era doors.


M-100 (North Wing Chamber)

Jack Applying the Distemper to M100   M-100 Distempered   Ocher Pigment for the Distemper

Jack Fisher has applied an off-yellow colored distemper to the walls.  Evidence for the distemper, which is similar to the paint that was applied to the walls in M-106, M-205, and M-201, was found on one of the cornerbeads that flank the fireplace.  The pigment, which gives the glue-based distemper its color (seen in the image to the right), comes in large, solid blocks and has to be ground down to a powder before it is added to the warmed distemper base.


M-200 (Small Bedroom)

Mechanical Stripping Floor Test   Chemically Stripping Floors

In order to test two different methodes of cleaning the floors, two test patches have been made on the floor in this room.  The first test patch (the image to the left) was done by abrasively cleaning the floor and the second test patch (the image to the right) used a chemical similar to a paint stripper to remove the many years of accumulated wax and stains found on the floor.  As a result of the tests, it is clear that the test using the chemical remover was more effective in removing the waxes and stains from the floors and less damaging to the historic floorboards.  However, prior to cleaning the floors throughout the house we will have paint conservator Susan Buck take samples from the floors to determine if there were any finishes on the floors in Madison’s era and to record the floors’ finish history.  We will also leave a small portion of flooring uncleaned in each room for future testing.  


M-204 (Garret Closet)

Ladder Stair

Gene Lyman is assembling the ladder stair that will access the garret.  Ladder stairs were very common in the 18th and 19th centuries and were often found in secondary spaces such as outbuildings, cellars and closets.



Bill Bichell, Gene Lyman and Blaise Gaston have installed the upper and lower rails for the colonnade railing.  Bill Bichell is currently making a template for the Chinese-style fretwork that will infill the railing.

Wayne Applying Render to Colonnade Column

Mason Wayne Mays has also started to apply the final coat of render to the columns on the colonnade.  The finish render will be made from lime putty mixed with a very fine white sand.  The render is being mixed to the consistancy of a very thick whitewash and it is applied in a single, very thin coating. 


South Wing Deck

Footers for Porch

Mac Ward has laid out and poured the footers for the south wing deck.


South and North Wing Cellar Entrance (East Side)

Venerring Cellar Entrance

Mason Jerry Campbell continues to veneer the eastern entrances to the cellar passages with hand-molded bricks.



West Walk    West Walk II

Thomas Tyler is installing the gravel base for the pathways that will lead from the Portico stairs to the cellar entrances.


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