The Convent Gets a Make-over Part I

Painting gear set up in the Chapel. The Mission brown has already been painted out from the stained glass windows. This is just an undercoat.

The old girl hasn’t really had much attention for many decades. A lick of paint from time to time in some rooms and a few low key renovations to suit changing needs of Church inhabitants. But no serious updates.

Her time has now come. And it’s not one of those reality-type challenges. Some of the work will happen over the next year or two (like the kitchen), but the main work is being done now. The exterior of the building is a textured concrete painted a traditional ochre and is in good condition, but the timber work, fascias, columns and detailing are all very shabby and being restored, which is much more than a quick paint job.

The boys hard at work.
The boys hard at work.

The inside is being painted from head to toe – every room. As well as being well sanded back, having all the cracks repaired and the dark timber painted out. The floors currently have every carpet imaginable on them – every room is different and sometimes there are many layers (some of which I have kept for posterity). Whilst I keep being told it will be cold, I’m getting all the floorboards bar the bedrooms polished whilst the bedrooms will be carpeted. I tend to think that lots of rugs and runners will give the place more character and cover the warmth aspect. There’s also the possibility that to warm rooms, you can always put a heater on and shut the door! I won’t be trying to warm this whole house at once.

The Chapel is the centre of action
The Chapel is the centre of action

The painters have now moved in – and with a vengeance. Stott’s are based at Mudgee and have quite a team which means that once they start, they can put quite a few people on and just go gangbusters, rather than stop and start with multiple jobs on the go. The work only started this week and I can see heaps of progress – mainly just in preparation, gap filling, undercoating out all the ‘mission brown’ woodwork, which is making the place look lighter and more modern already.

What will be my craft studio
What will be my craft studio

The boys are only working on one half of the building (not the section I’m living in) so there isn’t much disruption yet, particularly now I have the plumbing working again down my end of the house! I’m sure it won’t stay that way for long (the painting, not the plumbing, hopefully!). Anyway, I’m looking at at least three more weeks of painting inside then the floors are booked in. …then come the curtains. After the floors are done, the plan is to actually move in some furniture which will be exciting and let me clean up the Sydney home to get it on the market!

A new stage begins …

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