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Latest Activity

Franz replied to Pamela Christie's discussion Green Wall Board circa 1910
"Gypsum drywall didn't appear until after World War II.  Some early wallboard came with a printed paper surface that appeared (from distance) to be vertical boards. Before the gypsum board there were many wall boards made from shredded…"
3 hours ago
Charles J replied to James Olson's discussion Provenance of Furniture in the group Old House Interior Decorating
"Isn't it great to discover something like that!   "
5 hours ago
James Olson added a discussion to the group Old House Interior Decorating
10 hours ago
James Olson replied to Charles J's discussion Spring cleaning antique furniture in the group Old House Interior Decorating
"My primary experience with furniture is turning ready-to-assemble (RTA) and unfinished furniture into more interesting pieces with the use of wood appliques and decorative trim moulding.  And, when I was younger and more naïve, I would do…"
12 hours ago
James Olson replied to John Dingman's discussion What do you call this door knob/latch?
"This morning I came across the May '76 OHJ article, "Decorating A Mid-19th. Century Farmhouse" which pictures (pg.5) a "Judd Patent" door latch in use at the Fort Plain Museum (D. Lipe House - 1848); mid-way between…"
13 hours ago
James Olson replied to Leigh Semilof's discussion Hanging Lincrusta
"This morning I came across the article, "Repairing Lincrusta-Walton", OHJ, Dec.'75, pg.5"
14 hours ago
James Olson replied to Clare Martin's discussion What has your spouse screwed up?
" In the above thread I mention a) hiring a "fake" architect, b) a mistake in the design/construction dwgs./framing of the front porch,…"
James Olson replied to Nina Smith's discussion load bearing porch box column - hollow!
"Of the 4 porches I've helped restore, three had hollow core columns; one was wrought iron."


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Old House Forum

Green Wall Board circa 1910 3 Replies

I am stripping wall paper in a northern Michigan circa 1910 Farmhouse.  The wall board is a rough green wall board that I have never seen before.  Anyone have any clue what it is?  How I can seal it after the wall paper is down for painting or re wallpapering?  I was surprised that the walls weren't wet plaster, but then thought this is was such a rural area back then, in the middle of the area where forests were being cut down in the early 1900's.  I am not surprised.  But have not clue what…Continue

Started by Pamela Christie in Old Houses: 1900-1945. Last reply by Franz 3 hours ago.

What do you call this door knob/latch? 17 Replies

I have several of these throughout my house. I wanted to order a replacement part for one but I can't find this same knob & latch anywhere online or in catalogs, in part because I don't know the proper name for it.Continue

Tags: latch, knob, Door

Started by John Dingman in Old Houses: Pre-1900. Last reply by James Olson 13 hours ago.

Hanging Lincrusta 4 Replies

Hello, I have been a subscriber to Old House Jpurnal since I moved into my 1870 Italianate in 1991. It was a rent a wreck heading for demolition. Not the fanciest of it's breed but in my price range and I like a challenge. Well, after 23 years I am finally getting ready to put a much needed bathroom upstairs . I would very much like to put in Lincrusta in the form of Dado panels around the walls but am hesitant to tackle the project myself. Why, because it's very expensive and I have not had…Continue

Started by Leigh Semilof in Old Houses: Pre-1900. Last reply by James Olson 14 hours ago.

What has your spouse screwed up? 2 Replies

Time to come clean! We're collecting stories for a new column in Old-House Journal, and we want to know if there's anything your better half has totally messed up during the course of your restoration. (If you're the one who screwed up, feel free to out yourself, too.) Bonus: We'll tell you how to fix the mistake in the magazine. Give us your best stories!Continue

Started by Clare Martin in The Old-House Attic. Last reply by James Olson yesterday.

load bearing porch box column - hollow! 2 Replies

I have a house built in 1914. The front porch is about 12ft x 25ft. It has 2 tapered box columns, one on each corner. They are constructed of 1x (Fir I believe) and nailed on the corners. I had believed that these were cosmetic and that there was a structural post inside these columns. I just found out that this is not the case. This is one big, heavy porch (slate roof). I'm mystified as to how it is still standing. Is this ok? Or should I add posts in the middle?…Continue

Tags: support, hollow, column, porch

Started by Nina Smith in Old Houses: 1900-1945. Last reply by James Olson yesterday.

Should the ceiling be stenciled or left clear? 8 Replies

All -    I'm having a difficult conundrum here. The original plan for this dining room was to have an orderly starfield pattern (with small metallic stencils) on the ceiling. Also a stenciled medallion. However, once I made the wood paneling and also stenciled the frieze panel, Im unsure if adding a starfield pattern to the ceiling would strengthen the room, or weaken it because of features competing for attention. Im also not entirely sold on the green center vs the rookwood red surround, but…Continue

Started by PStewart in Old Houses: Pre-1900. Last reply by Mark W. Hoffa on Tuesday.

termite damage

I was renovating my room this weekend and when I pulled down the outside wall I noticed that termites had munch on my house. The damage seems to be confined for the most part to the bottom 2x4 at the top of the wall. Do I need to treat the wood at all? I have real 2x4 redwood studs. Or do I just treat it for dry rot and make sure there is no structural damage? Thanks, MikeContinue

Started by Michael Cozad in Old Houses: 1900-1945 on Monday.

Victorian Dining Room Almost Reborn 2 Replies

 Even on Easter the house doesn't end!! Dining Room Update. Ceiling finished (in 1880's/1890s Aesthetic Movement stencil -- custom cut!) and server brought in. The same corner.Back in 2008 and today in 2014.Almost everything in this is hand made. I am so excited!(yeah, I went for the Star Field stencil).…Continue

Started by PStewart in Old Houses: Pre-1900. Last reply by PStewart on Sunday.

What's the worst thing a contractor has done to your house? 11 Replies

We're looking for homeowner horror stories for the June issue of Old House Journal—specifically about contractors gone awry. Share your tales of woe here! (Bonus: If we pick your story for the magazine, we'll tell you how to fix it, too.)Continue

Started by Clare Martin in The Old-House Attic. Last reply by James Olson on Saturday.

Blog Posts

Arts & Crafts or Coastal Style?

Our new lakefront cottage has a vintage look and I am trying to decide if an Arts & Crafts look or a Coastal look is more appropriate. I think an Arts & Crafts look is tougher to pull off but I really respect and admire that style. A coastal look may be more suitable to something that is lakefront and is easier with all that wicker and white paint.  Any thoughts? I have attached a picture of the front. …


Posted by Terry Spencer on October 15, 2012 at 11:13am — 8 Comments

Cheap Winter Window Fix

I have turn of the early 1900's "replacement" windows and good old aluminum storms.  Drinking straws make wonderful, easily removed gaskets.  They even fit in the storm window bottoms.  When I close a window, its tight! 

Posted by lyn joy on October 1, 2012 at 8:45am — 2 Comments

Imminent Teardown of an Historic Home


Yet another of New England’s early saltbox homes has recently been condemned to teardown in the name of commercialism and historically insensitive…


Posted by John Poole on September 26, 2012 at 1:30am — 6 Comments

House style

Picture%202.pngWhat do you think is the style of my Victorian house?

Most say it is in the Gothic Victorian style due to the arched windows and front double door and the quoins in the corners.

Posted by gary minnick on September 19, 2012 at 5:00pm — 4 Comments

Old-House Online

Friendly Kitchen in a 1912 Foursquare

You might say that Julia Hanfling has been stewarding this house in Portland’s Colonial Heights since she was 14 years old. That’s when she took it upon herself to “rescue” the door hardware from a neighboring house about to be razed by a developer. She carried the items home and then installed the vintage hardware [...]

Fancy Painted & Cottage Furniture

From the mid-1600s to the mid-1800s, paint was the humble medium of choice for embellishing furniture. Painted furniture was not just a country or folk art phenomenon, but was also de rigueur in fashionable urban homes. A new finish could disguise inferior woods, visually unify objects made of varied woods, and update out-of-style pieces. Paint [...]

Romantic 1920s Bayou Bungalow

The Louisiana vernacular meets suburban bungalow in this well-tended house in Lake Charles, in the southwest corner of the state. Its low gabled roof overhanging a spacious porch, horizontal windows, and exposed rafter ends are bungalow basics; the straight-through center hall recalls shotgun houses. Inside, the treatment is more cottage than Craftsman. Early 19th-century country [...]

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

During a century that witnessed at least five major architectural movements and the birth of interior design—all before 1950—color palettes went in and out of fashion. Some looked to the past, while others looked to the future with formulas based on new technologies like plastics or chrome. Some hues consistently reappear, only to look fresh [...]

New Classic Kitchen in a Cape Cod Federal

When a new kitchen meets an old house, start with black and white. In this Cape Cod Federal house built in 1844, the classic white cabinets with wide stiles and rails are handsome and evoke styles from colonial to Arts & Crafts. They are grounded with natural soapstone countertops in a very dark charcoal. This [...]


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