There's been a bit of a hiatus on the progress of the cottage because we ran out of money. But, we have some friends in a similar renovation situation as us who found a local sandblaster that specialises in low-impact Olivine (very fine silicate) blasting to remove paint from delicate walls and he offered us a deal for a Sunday job.
You can see that there is thick white paint (layers of various masonary paints) on some of the walls below, and that the salts and damp in the walls are pushing through the paint and leaving dirty yellow marks.
The Olivine Guy (henceforth as he shall be known) set about blasting the paint off, and creating a lovely toxic cloud of death around him over the course of 12 hours.
The below photo shows the 'dust' from a single stone's worth of paint. After that it became too dusty to take photos in the house during the job.
The below is taken from outside the back door - Olivine Guy is in there somewhere.
The aftermath and cleanup has taken 4 days so far. The dust has gotten everywhere. It's penetrated through dust-sheets, gone in to rooms we had sealed off, and is hiding in nooks and crannies smaller than we can get a sliver of paper in to... let alone a Hoover.
But, it's been worth it. We have some before-and-after photos of the blasting, and what they were attacking.
The fireplace in the Sitting Room is a fairly hard brick. We currently suspect that this was built much later than the rest of the house because the bricks are much better quality than those used in the Kitchen (circa 1880), and we guess that at some point the Sitting Room was used as a kitchen.
The whole fireplace was originally coated in masonary AND vinyl paint. We'd managed to get all that off and were left with a raggy, rough limewash.
The blasting has taken it back to the brick beautifully, and exposed some concrete pointing, and a single cream brick at the bottom left.
Not a great photo, but you can see the North wall of the Kitchen was covered in patchy whitewash of some sort.
You can see that the blasting has brought out the bricks really well, and tidied up the old beam. Incidentally, we've discovered that the beam has been used as something else previously to being above that window. It has notches and slots for assemblies which can't possibly have been in that location.
And lastly, you can see the difference in the stone walls, below. The colour of the local stone - blue, umber and orange - coming out strongly.
For all of the walls we'll now be looking for a clear, breathable sealant to stop them shedding much dust and adding to the pockets of dust we have everywhere else in the house!