The prep work for the painting started this morning with the two painting professionals arriving before I did and waiting for me to walk through and answer their questions. Because of the nature of the building, and our limited budget, we decided that they would make their best decisions on whether to patch or sand. In some places, there are large settling cracks, but if they break open the cracks, there may be something even worse behind them.
There are some spots where the plaster was applied on a fiber backing, such as burlap or hessian. This was a common way to apply plaster walls to a mortar background. There were a couple of places, especially on the hallways and staircase, that I could see the pattern of a cloth behind the paint. They will be able to patch this and then apply a skim coat of “mud” to the rest of the wall to make a smooth surface. A good plasterer is worth his weight in gold, especially when you’re working on a building of this vintage.
By late afternoon, the two painters had started applying the first coat of paint. You can see where they covered the colour samples and let it dry (left image).
It will dry overnight and then they will do the second coat on the walls, and the first coat on the trim tomorrow. We came out of a meeting and everyone gasped at how great it was looking!