Acid Etching, Tin Lighting, Loft Railing and Floor, and, Of Course, More Snow–Feb, 2010

We are pulling together loose ends and finishing projects at Bunny Vista. Erin has been a frequent worker and has painted, cleaned, and helped push us forward as we try to make practical decisions to get the house ready to pass the occupancy inspection. Nick worked to clean and prep the basement floor for acid etching. The radiant floor heating is operational and is finally using the geothermal system instead of the on-demand hot water heater. The electrical work is also nearing completion. Here are a few photos of recent work.

John Boody gave us some amazing spalted sycamore for the loft floor, which also forms the ceiling for the dining area. Kelley is putting finish on the prepared floor boards.

John Boody kindly gave Kelley some spalted sycamore for the loft floor, which adds another unusual element to the timber frame room.  Spalted wood has been discolored by fungi or rot. The discoloration can form amazing patterns. Kelley says that the spalting of this sycamore looks like an oil painting. It is particularly wonderful looking up at the loft floor from the dining area, where it forms the ceiling.

The basement floor during acid etching

Kelley, Nick, and Erin painstakingly acid etched the basement floor, using muriatic acid to change the color of the concrete floor to this leathery brown color. Kelley decided to acid etch the floor for several reasons. First, it is a permanent finish with little upkeep. The lime in the concrete reacts with the acid when it is applied, changing the color of the concrete, so it never chips or wears, although it will need to be waxed once or twice a year. More important to Kelley, finishing the concrete rather than applying another layer of flooring on top of the concrete allows the radiant floor heating to work most efficiently.

Acid etching the floor required many hours of research and consultation, followed by countless hours of hard work. Nick and Erin spent several days scrubbing the floor to remove every trace of paint, dry wall mud, and dirt. After Kelley, Erin, and Nick tested a couple of different acids and a couple of different application methods, they felt at least a little confident that they had achieved the best color they could. They began applying the acid to the floor. Kelley sprayed two applications of acid onto the surface and Nick brushed it with a long-handled brush. Erin removed all of the residue, another process that sounded easier than it actually was. Kelley and Erin sprayed on three coats of sealer and spread the sealer with paint rollers and a lambswool mop. Finally Kelley applied two coats of wax. There are apparently a number of YouTube videos showing the ease of this process. None of them are to be trusted. It was a labor-intensive chore, but the results are beautiful. Thanks, Nick and Erin. You are invited to watch TV in the TV room and spend the night in the guest room. But you may not store any items in the storage room. Sorry.

Yes, the floor is beautiful and shiny with the lovely color and leathery look the Internet sites promised.

We ordered some tin lighting fixtures from Michael Walsh, who is the person behind Early American Tin Lighting. We have ceiling fixtures for the dining area and the hallway between the log rooms. We also have three pierced tin pendants for the kitchen, some sconces for the log rooms, and three exterior lights. Mike’s work is beautiful, and I was really happy to find a local craftsman. Mike lives and has his workshop and gallery in a wonderful log home west of Dayton.

This fixture hangs in the hallway between the two log rooms.

The ceiling fixture at night.

The master bedroom has two sconces and the office has one.

Master bedroom sconce

The second master bedroom sconce

Kelley is working now to complete the loft railing. He is using Atlantic white cedar boards left from building the deck.

Kelley set the boards for the railing in place to check for size and placement. The center board will be wider, and our plan is for Kelley to saw a decorative cutout in it. Kelley has taken the boards out, and today he worked on putting finish on them.

And, of course, we have had more snow. About a foot of snow fell this weekend. Kelley and Erin spent much of the afternoon today getting the truck unstuck and shoveling the driveway. I am trying to remember that the snow is beautiful. Here are some snowy views from the front porch.

Standing on the front porch and looking toward the southwest.

Icicles on the log section


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3 Responses to “Acid Etching, Tin Lighting, Loft Railing and Floor, and, Of Course, More Snow–Feb, 2010”

  1. room design Says:

    You have a nice log over there. I love the decoration too, the chandelier and the lamps.

  2. Brenda Says:

    The photography for this whole project is fantastic. Your home is naturally beautiful!! I love all the old materials and natural materials that you have used

  3. Ben Wurst Says:

    Beautiful house!

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