I received a very exciting shipment from Sicily last week, the antique majolica floor tiles I ordered! I have always wanted an excuse to use a patchwork design of this type of old tile and here is my chance – I needed to fill the space in the floor from where the wall was knocked out and the metal beams were set into the floor. Typically, a grey pietra serena stone slab fills the threshold. I found a great deal from a seller online near Palermo, and the 20x20cm dimension works perfectly.
I also had to choose my grout colors from these little stick samples for the kitchen (white) and bathroom (grey) tiles.
It has been a colorful week, because the painter also began his work and we discussed the color choices. I showed paint swatches but the real mixing is done by eye and adding drops of concentrated colors. This is why it is almost impossible to match a paint color ever again — there is no recipe to write down and everything is hand mixed. So we did paint samples on the wall and drying them reveals a much lighter color.
After agreeing on the tonalities, the painting began. But shortly thereafter, the painter called me and said, “the paint is not sticking, what do you want me to do?” My reply was of course, “What?? What do you mean?” Apparently, it is very common for old walls that have been painted several times to start bubbling and flaking off the paint. To remedy this, the old layers must be scraped off by hand and resurfaced. This of course takes more time and costs more money.
But, a happy surprise occurred because of this phenomenon. On the bedroom ceiling, a faint remnant of an old fresco was revealed. I decided to leave it unpainted, in its raw, unrestored state and I love the contrast between the old and the new. Instead of a boring white ceiling, the room now has character and some faint decoration.
The details are coming together quickly as I plan to move in only a week, but not all the work will be 100% completed. I decided to spray paint one of the old brass chandeliers I found at a thrift store that only cost me 12 euro. This one became white and will hang in the white kitchen. I covered the crystal pendants with tissue paper because it was easier than unhooking them all. The structure is old, but the finish is new.