"Re the wallpaper: you can do it, although it MIGHT be quite time consuming and labor intensive. Our first house had 3 or 4 layers of wallpaper with about 2 or 3 layers of paint over that, and it was a major pain in the tuchis. At that…"
"Thanks both Ty and Lair. You're right, there are eyelets on the back of the cast iron which call for a wired connection to the firebox. Unfortunately, the previous owner mortared/cemented over the hooks/connectors which would have…"
"1890 home with six fireplaces and each with the original metal surround used as part of the original ceramic gas heaters. Lair is correct. Each metal surround should have two or four eyelets on the inside or back. You just need a hook, eye bolt or…"
"It looks to me to be Faux marble. I have seen hundreds of mantels similar to yours that were all painted slate. I never had much luck stripping them so you could use the original finish. Using denature alcohol I…"
"These old mantles and surrounds were marbleized by the same process used for marbled paper. The pieces were lowered by crane into a tank of water with oil paints floating on top. The paint was manipulated with chemical additives or tools to look…"
So here's the backstory: 1860's house, with what I suspect may be the original fireplace surround in it. The previous owner over-painted the surround grayish black, and I believe installed a new mantel. It looks as though the overpainting was done to tie the newer mantel in with the original surround, because from what little I've managed to see, the material of the mantel doesn't match the material of the surround.When he over-painted the surround, he didn't paint the first inch at the hearth,…See More
"Was the laundry room always a laundry room? If it were just the one pipe coming in, I would say it was a dry well for your gutters.
Do you have hard water? If so, maybe it's a mini-cistern to use naturally soft rain water for laundry or…"
"My browser at least isn't showing the picture. To a large extent, what the pipe may be depends on the age, location and history of the house. For example, we have a 1865 house, with a large cistern directly adjacent which was…"
"I'm pretty fond of RotFix and Sculpwood putty, both of which I used on exterior partially rotted columns, the first to stabilize the rotting wood and the second of which I used to reconstruct the lost portions. Of course, after they were…"
"Three rather off-the-wall suggestions:
1) Paint the unfinished portions of the floor with a pattern (checkerboard, stripes or other, for which you can use a stencil if you like) and then poly over the paint. this will look kind of good and offer…"
"Use a band saw if you've got a woodworking friend handy. Otherwise, use a hand-held jigsaw with a new long blade and clamp the wood securely to keep it from shifting during cutting. I guess you could use a hand coping saw, but…"
"I don't know what your current cabinets look like, but we basically pulled the doors off ours, repainted the boxes, and then just installed new doors inset into the boxes. We used new H hinges and spring catches, and it looks great. It's a…"
"You should check out David Smith, located kind of between Dayton and Cincinnati (website here https://www.davidtsmith.com/newsite/home.asp ), who's gotten some really positive write-ups. Looks like he focuses more on houses older than…"
"I can remember removing a couple over the years. In both cases there were wires attached to the back of the surround leading back to the stone where they were wrapped around a square nail. If I remember right there were 4 wires, 2 on…"
We've a fireplace in the main room, which I suspect was re-built at some point (given how new the firebrick in the hearth looks, as well as the condition of the main surround/facade, which appears to be stone of some kind. Hard to tell what kind of stone, since it's been painted and there's no place I can easily drill or chip away at it with a chisel to figure out the stone's identity.From marks left on the main surround, it's clear that at some point the previous owner had installed a cast…See More