Jan. 19th, 2009

helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I decided to try painting the back heat shield of the wood stove in a pale violet shade. The color was very pretty, but it didn't match the rest of the room, which is heavy on the wood and has off-white walls. Then I tried a shade of pale blue. The color still didn't work with the room. Perhaps it was the wrong shade of blue, and needed to be darker and greener (or something). This wasn't the main problem, though. When I added the last coat, the two coats I'd applied previously began to blister in spots and come off (they'd had plenty of time to dry, so it wasn't that). Apparently a layer of quark based paint, even dried, does not react well with a layer of tempera applied on top of it. Neither the quark nor the tempera seemed particularly durable, either, even without the problem of incompatibility.

So... I spent the next bit of time scraping off three layers of paint. Once that was done, I sanded it down until it was smooth, and then searched in the crawl space for wall paint left by the previous owner. They had left several cans of paint, and had labeled them with the exact room that the paint would match. I'd been reluctant to use that paint because I thought it would fill the house with fumes. I was happily surprised to find zero volatile organic compound paint - no vapors whatsoever. Thanks again to the previous owners for being cool beyond all expectations.

I found three colors of interior paint. One was an eggshell off-white, which is the color of the main room where the stove is. The other two were the kitchen and bathroom colors (earth tones). For starters I decided to match the wall where the stove is, and see how that looked.

It doesn't look bad, but I'm still not entirely happy with it. It looks a lot better than either the quark or the tempera - at least it's wall paint and it matches the surrounding wall. The problem is, I want it to look really good, not just ok. One of the other colors could look great - or it could look terrible and need to be painted over (and right now I'm tired of painting anything over). Still working on getting it to my liking.

We're also working on a frame to put around the hearth pad. [livejournal.com profile] rialian has cut all the pieces to size using a miter box so they fit together at 45 degree angles. The next step involves staining all the pieces, after which they can all be put together and attached to the hearth pad. Right now I have all the pieces, but have not yet stained all of them or fastened them together.

I'm also debating making a frame for the back heat shield panel to match - that might pull everything together nicely, especially if an artist was inspired to paint something interesting on the panel. I also want to do something with the bottom heat shield which at the moment looks like a piece of sheet metal (mainly because that's what it is). I'm thinking of attaching tiles to it or painting it some color, but not sure how that would look either. Visuals do not come easily.

This project has been ... slow. I would like to just put it all together, get the frame around the bricks, maybe make a frame for the back heat shield to match, and maybe someone with artistic skill could paint some sort of really cool artwork on it. I can see it in my mind (sort of), but am not sure how it would really look if it was constructed.

April 2010


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