February 9, 2012: Not Bad for a Shoemaker

            I’ve been wanting to replace the wainscoting in the dining room here ever since we bought this house in 1999. Today’s the day.

            Actually, at first I tried to have the original wainscoting restored. It’s still on the wall from when my great-grandparents owned this house in the late 1910s, but it’s covered in layers of paint and glue, from when some wiseacre in the 1970s covered up the wainscoting in fiberboard paneling. That was pretty—and still here when we bought the place.

            I couldn’t find anyone who was willing to strip the paneling here in the house; all the restoration people I had out here a few years ago wanted to tear it all out and take it someplace else to strip it. After meeting with a couple different restorationists, I decided just to cover it up with new pine slats. Fortunately, my carpentry skills are nonexistent, and so the resulting new wainscoting looks old—wavy and patchily stained and, well, like it’s been clinging to the wall for decades.

            My grandfather, who lived here in this house when he was a young man, used to call people who didn’t know what they were doing (but attempted carpentry anyway) “shoemakers.”

Thing I Hate Today: Bad taste.

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One Response

  1. You hate bad taste? Don’t tell Mr. Waters.

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