In the beginning...
After looking at these pictures taken the first day we saw the house, I now wonder what were we thinking? Actually the debris was due to near competion of a new roof. If not for an interior that was solid and in good shape, for a 105 year old home, I think we would have walked away. These pictures were taken in late March of '08 and since then then the front half of the house has been painted and detailed and, thanks to my Dad, porch railings built and installed and rotten wood torn out and replaced. The ancient wiring to the porch light has been redone (it was originally gas and electric) and awaits us to purchase a new light fixture.
These photos of the front hall were taken early on in the renovation process. Since then we gave up on trying to fix or repair the very damaged plaster and Dad has put up thin wallboard on both the east wall and the ceiling (which suffered badly from a 1970s artistic plastering experiment). The ceiling electric has been moved to the center of the room and the floors will receive their final sanding and finish late next week.
The staircase is another example of wondering why the heck someone would paint such a treasure. Unfortunately, life is too short to even contemplate stripping, so it will be cleaned, filled, and repainted. It is, however, solid as a rock and will still be a beauty when all is complete.
At this point, I would love to have suggestions of what has worked for others as a sandable, paintable filler for the dents and gouges in the woodwork.