The first coat of linseed paint has been going on over the weekend. I quite liked the natural wood but it will last a lot longer with UV protection and some oils.
Linseed paint doesn’t crack or peel (unlike the modern gloss paint that ruined the timber), and is breathable so the wood should remain well protected. It should only need nourishing with boiled linseed oil every 15 years.
The window frame used to be white but I’ve gone for black for more of a Tudor effect. I still haven’t finished the first coat – The edges take a long time so it will probably end up taking 2 full days per coat. It’s starting to look nearly finished now.
It turns out the new gable timber frame is due to arrive at the start of October (the old one was rotten) but before the frame arrives there is a lot of work to do. There are two beams that pass right through the chimney, but beetle infested wood isn’t great structurally so needs to go. Some unusual use of acro props with a strongboy at each end (I’m working higher than the longest acro so can’t use the ground for support) will hopefully dissuade the chimney from falling over while the beams are cut out.
It seems the timber frame is earlier than the chimney, and was much modified when the chimney was added. The brick size and English bond pattern used in the chimney are characteristic of the 17th century. The first records of a pub on the site are from 1646, but I don’t know whether the building had a previous use, or whether they decided shortly after building it that a brick chimney might be nice. If I can find any wood that has survived the beetles I’ll hang on to it so I can have it dated at some stage.
When the chimney was built 2 inch thick brick tiles were added to either side of the timber beam in order to support the chimney brickwork. The tiles on the inside were still supporting the chimney so I left them in place and replaced the timber with bricks before putting the external tiles back in place. The mortar will look tidier and match the rest of the chimney after brushing.
Further up the chimney a 2 inch thick beam was removed and replaced with tiles so I could retain the tiles on the outside. This section is near the top of the 9 inch part of the chimney so had a course of bricks behind.
I am using Pozilime from Ingilby which is limewash with a few additives that allow it to stick to masonry paint, and will use normal limewash on the new lime render. Limewash is weird stuff – it is transparent when applied thinly and then goes white a few hours later as it dries.
It looks magnificent even after just the first coat. Later after 4 coats it looks much the same but has finally covered the old paint.
It is so nice to rid the front of the magnolia paint.
I’ve spent a week on the front of the house getting it ready for paint. So far I’ve finished stripping the modern gloss paint from the wood and mostly sanded it, applied the final coat of render to the oriel window, and made a small repair to the timber frame just above the middle of the window. The old timber was chiselled out at an angle so water doesn’t run into the joint.
Gaps in the timber have been filled with linseed putty. The frame is far from perfect, but is generally sound. The wood will be finished in Linseed oil paint which doesn’t crack in the sun and is breathable unlike the modern gloss on the downstairs windows which needs stripping and repainting after only 2 years.
After 4 months boarded up the windows are just about back in place in the oriel window. I used linseed putty which turns out to be easier than modern stuff when you get the hang of it, but time consuming to apply. The glass looks very much older than 105 years, but I suppose that was the original intention.
There used to be a big hole in the sole plate of the timber frame. I think the pegs rot out, water gets into the peg hole, then after further years of neglect the frame rots. For that reason I’ve replaced all of the broken pegs. A piece of Edwardian softwood recovered from the attic made a perfect repair. Angling the bottom and knocking it into place should provide good support for the post.
The silicone sealant between the frame and the plinth didn’t do the frame any good. I’ve scraped out the damp loose stuff and filled the gap with lime mortar which should allow it to dry out.
All of the various gaps have been filled with lime on the infill panels and linseed putty on the frame. The strategy is to use breathable materials to keep the frame dry, and use them to seal gaps to keep water out in the first place. The first coat of limewash will go on soon.