The Devil is in the Detail

In one of our first posts, we noted the treasures and tribulations that we found in our old house.  Unfortunately, when you are in the process of a complete renovation some original details get lost.  I thought I’d go through and do an accounting of what we wanted to save and couldn’t, along with the few things that were a pleasant surprise.

1.  Fireplace

This was probably the biggest win.  When we brought some professionals (who shall remain nameless) through the house they speculated that the fireplaces were not marble and possibly were painted concrete.  After a lot of toil and trouble we went from this:

Treasure - upstairs fireplace

Treasure – Parlor room fireplace

To this:


From this:

Trinity's Bedroom Fireplace

To this:

finished - kitchen

2.  Wooden Shutters

Saved!  After prying off years of paint we discovered that all of the original shutters were still intact.  Some were in better shape than others.

Treasure - original wooden shutters

Treasure – original wooden shutters

And this:


To this:

shutters after

3.  Etched glass door

Saved!  From this:

back parlor floor

To this:

power room door

4.  Tin ceilings

These were not original to the house but were very old.  When people couldn’t afford the upkeep of their original plaster ceilings they tended to put up tin over them as a cheaper solution to repairing and skim coating plaster.  In the 70’s they just put in drop ceilings.  Although not original, they were very pretty so we wanted to keep them.

Treasure - art deco tin ceiling in kitchen

Treasure – art deco tin ceiling in the old original kitchen on ground floor had to go

We were able to save the tin in the hallway.

After – really just a paint job


The kitchen ceiling was previously a bedroom ceiling.  We were able to save most of it but we had to incorporate it into the new construction.  We looked everywhere and could not find this pattern or the tin crown with the shells.  We think it came out pretty well.

223 Prospect Park 090


ceiling patch


kitchen ceiling


3 thoughts on “The Devil is in the Detail

  1. Nice! Did you have the shutters dipped, or did you use another method of paint stripping? We have 4 sets of shutters left to strip – not particularly looking forward to it.

    • We had some dipped at Strip N’ Dip and some the contractors stripped by hand and some were just scraped and sanded then painted. I tried to do one myself but with all those nooks and crannies it was really difficult.

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