Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Hatful of Rain

I second the sentiment of nv at This D*mn House: I hate rain! And because we live on opposite sides of the state, the same rain got us both. NOAA radar showed a big blob of rain stretching across Missouri and I thought, Yep, I'm not workin on my shingles today and she's not workin on her porch. Darnit. But today was not a total loss. The scraping of painted-over wallpaper in the living room continues on. (That wallpaper border up top is three layers thick, by the way, but at least it hasn't been painted.) And I found something interesting. See that horizontal stripe across the plaster? Every so often along it are patched nail holes. So I'm wondering....was there a picture rail up there at one time? And while I was pondering that, I noticed something else. I don't know how well it shows up in the photo, but about four inches above that stripe is the shadow of a long-ago border that's since been removed. Shining a bright light on it, I can see a geometric pattern of alternating light and dark rectangles along the bottom edge but I can't quite make out what the main part of it looked like. Possibly floral or leaves. I think it's the pattern of vintage wallpaper that bled onto the plaster. There don't seem to be any traces of paint there, and the rest of the wall doesn't seem to have been painted. What do you guys think? Picture rail and wallpaper border? Two wallpaper borders? Decorative paint that's been lost forever? Or do you have another theory?


  1. Yep -- d*mn rain! Hey, love your woodwork. Vintage woodwork is so awesome.

    Your mystery could be an old border. Or it could be old wallpaper. Folks LOVED to wallpaper in old homes. We even had wallpaper ON CINDER BLOCKS here if you can believe that. Created an interesting moisture problem I had to fix a year or two ago.

  2. Looks to be a picture rail. I'm sure your house had them at one point; I've always seen them with that kind of woodwork.

  3. Yep, a picture rail for sure. Could it have been a stencil with primer over it? Old primer would sink into the plaster versus sit on top like modern paints. If not, then I'd say an old wallpaper border for sure. The paste on any new layers could have sunk into the first border causing it to bleed.

  4. Oh boy picture rail!!!! I love that stuff. Plus it's so handy. You can move your pictures everyday and still not have any holes. Plus I like that you can hang your pictures using a variety of items...chain, ribbon, round braid. I think it's fairly inexpensive as woodwork goes.

    Maybe a stencil....I know that was big back then. That would be cool too.

    It's looking good.

    These storms have got to go. Wind wind wind....rain.....wind wind wind....more rain. As a matter of's cloudy again and very windy here today. Yesterday we drove all the way to Ohio/Ind border for a race. It rained out. Booooooo. Husband went back today and my son is using my ticket.