Toll house renovation update - April 2016
Since I have been in post at Avoncroft, I have seen the team of Toll House volunteers building in size and strength, and quite a few structural improvements!
Large bedroom, under window, before treatment.
There were visible patches of damp on the internal walls and upstairs ceiling. The chimney was cleared and repaired by the sites smith, Liam, which has meant a ‘drying out’ of these areas.
Visible damp patches on the wall prior to repair of the fireplace and chimney
Back of the picture hanging next to the damp area over the fireplace
Volunteer Robert Cholmondeley covering the objects in the large bedroom prior to paint removal.
Stair wall, view from downstairs to upstairs
Internally and externally, we have removed the paint from the walls. This was because the paint that had been used after relocation of the Toll House was not breathable, and was causing visible bubbling on the surface. This meant the bricks were vulnerable to damp and moisture. This would mean accelerated decay of the building as a whole, so it was decided to strip the paint inside and outside and replace with a conservation grade paint, with a lime base.
External paint showing paint detachment
Mark Powell Builders re-pointing the chimney.
Doffing machine - ECSmidlands
The external paint has been doffed, and samples have been analysed to determine what the most likely original paint was that is bonded onto the brick and woodwork.
Samples of paint were removed from as close to the brick and wooden doorframe as possible. These were then sent off for analysis, and an extract from the report can be seen below.
As many as seven separate phases of decoration survived on the door frame. However, analysis indicates that the final six of these schemes were applied at some point after 1920. It is considered most likely that both the initial and the second phase of decoration was executed prior to 1950.
These findings suggest that either the door frame was renewed or paint stripped in the first half of the twentieth century. As a similar number of schemes were identified on the painted brickwork, it is likely that its first surviving decoration was also applied at around the same time as the door frame was renewed or stripped. However, the initial use of limewash on the brickwork is interesting, and may reflect a longer history of limewash decoration. Limewash was usually applied externally at fairly rapid intervals and then hacked off when the build-up of layers become too heavy. Therefore, it is possible that the external elevations of the Toll House had been repeatedly limewashed but that earlier layers had been removed in the first half of the twentieth century.
Throughout the twentieth century the door frame was painted in shades of green. Although the external walls were painted white in the post 1920 period, it is worth noting that shades of brown limewash were identified initially.
Lisa Oestreicher Architectural Paint Research
Much of the inside has been repainted now, using a lime putty, which was diluted and applied in layers, by one of our sites volunteers, Robert. The difficult area of the staircase was undertaken by contractors due to Health and Safety constraints of a difficult to reach space
St Astier lime paint and Uniprotect
Consultations with traditional lime building and painting specialists, including Dr Gerard Lynch, and Keim paint, means that we have been able to choose a replacement paint suitable for the brick work, both inside and out.
Large bedroom, under window, after painting