The Sistene Chapel

Having spent the entire weekend up a ladder, I felt progress had been made.

I was in the Maida Vale living room peeling off hundreds of years of old paint from the ceiling with a steamer. It was remarkably satisfying, extremely hard work but what a difference as the architrave was revealed in its former glory. And then I decided to tackle the ceiling rose…

Before and after
Stripping the architrave by hand
One wall done…

Letad had diligently researched a product called Peelaway. Easy to use, one simply covered the item to strip in paste, covered it in a special chemical paper, left it for twenty four hours and peeled it off. Simple!

Except it wasn’t that simple for me. Add the fact of being up a ten foot ladder without stable floorboards, add the fact that the ceiling rose is now covered in grey residue which has to be scrubbed off with a toothbrush and add the fact that it will take weeks to clean. I have to wonder if it’s worth it.

Work in progress – removing paint and grey paste
If it ever gets finished, it will have to be admired by all guests and will be spotlit from all angles. It can never be painted again and will have to be covered in gold leaf. I’m going round after work tomorrow to have another go… I am nothing if not persistent!

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