Lathing Away

In the Octagon Bedroom, the narrow wall to the left of the mantel, and to the right of the wide pocket door, was a friggin’ mess.


Now. Ready for plaster! I had to remove the vertical trim to the door. A few feet above the mantel you can see the ghost shadow of the lost picture rail. This will be reinstated. Of course!


It is odd. Even though the “after” image still looks scary, the room feels less damaged. And it looks less damaged. Yes, the plaster is missing but this area no longer looks…brutalized.

And this makes me smile.

For a little something, somewhere, is a tad bit better.




  1. Leigh on January 16, 2021 at 2:57 am


  2. Colin Boss on January 16, 2021 at 2:57 am

    Morning Ross.
    You’re right, strangely. It does look less brutalized. It looks like you’re making good progress in the midst of these strange times.

    • Ross on January 16, 2021 at 3:07 am

      Strange times, indeed, Colin.

      Something good happening at the Cross House, a week after the US Capitol was attacked by Trump supporters. I’m still in a state of shock.

      I feel like I’m living the Twilight Zone.

      • Dan Goodall-Williams on January 16, 2021 at 5:03 am

        Ross, I have said since 45 was elected that we are in an alternate universe. Maybe now things will get better.

  3. Roberta Louise Rogers on January 16, 2021 at 9:10 am

    I am new to the Cross House. Just listened to an old vlog where you share information about you purchasing the house, why you originally purchased the house and what developed since. You said something in the interview that struck me so profoundly that I had to get online and learn more. You spoke of how the house has become a friend, fulfilled some part of you that was lacking in your life before. How you know the house because you are becoming intimate with it as you work on it, knowing it. This really resonated with me as I purchased an old 1950’s that had not really cared for as much as it deserved. The house which I am sure none of my family felt too keen on me purchasing has become my dearest friend. I in no way have the skills you have but along the way in fixing it up I have found the right people and learned new things myself. My home has allowed me to be creative and give it the love it so deserved and in return it has sheltered me from storms and protected me as I have needed it. It has wrapped its arms around me in my deepest sorrows when I lost my oldest son. It has been my friend and I am glad that there are old things that we can bring new life to and build a friendship with. Best of luck in all you do Ross and may your relationship with the Cross House grow ever more.

    • Ross on January 16, 2021 at 2:04 pm

      Very nice to meet you, Roberta!

  4. Mark Colburn on January 16, 2021 at 9:47 am

    When you’re ready to plaster, you might want to do a mock- up on which to practice. Looking good Ross.

  5. Sandra D Lee on January 16, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Ross: I admit the after image is scary, but as you say, “less brutalized;” and I prefer to look at this as: “Righting a wrong…. restoring beauty & artisan architecture from the 19th Century.”

    Echo Colin, “strange times,” as well as scary, disturbing & terrifying times 1 1/2 weeks ago…

    This room is going to be lovely and with painstaking steps, one marvelous righting after another….

  6. Mary on January 17, 2021 at 2:50 am

    Does the single Terra cotta-ish colored tile have a story? It feels like this fireplace focal point has a cozy flow for its adjoining room as well.

  7. Melissa Obrock on January 24, 2021 at 11:34 am

    It absolutely looks less damaged!

  8. June on January 26, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    Every time I see you closing up another hole all I can think is that the house is getting warmer every day you are there! I am fairly confidant that freezing pipes may or may not be a problem with walls that are ( if I remember your words ) pourous ?? I am hoping that for you, the additional warmth not going straight up to the attic warms more than your heart and keeps more money in your pocket, It makes me want to have my entire house re-plastered. It was on the tax books in 1900 and while in good shape, needs TLC to stay that way.

    One thing you rarely ever comment on is how HARD and SOUND CONDUCTING native lumber is. If you try to fix anything, nothing is a true 2×4 like kiln dried lumber which is more like 1.5×3.5!!! It may be 2.5 x 4.25 and the next totally different. And if that alone does not present enough of a challenge, the lumber used has such a tight grain you can dull more blades than you can ever imagine! And that since many of these pieces were very very long, getting a nail in on one side of the house wakes the dead on the OTHER side of the house!! LOL Such beautiful wood grain!

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