You’re about to remodel, renovate, fix up, DIY or call a pro, and you’ve got questions! Get answers from design-build expert Mason Hearn, owner of Central Virginia’s HomeMasons.
Category >> millwork

Jan 15

Old MacDonald Had Some Barnwood

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: safety, repairs, preservation, millwork, hardwood, exteriors


What are the pros and cons of pressure-washing old barn wood, versus using a scrub brush?




Good question.   The best method depends on the condition of the wood and your intent in regards its eventual use.

Pressure washing, in most instances, may seem the easiest, fastest way to clean the surface of old wood (whether you are trying to remove the aged patina, mildew, paint, etc).  If there is old paint on it, there may be concerns regarding the hazardous release of toxins from lead-based coatings (harmful to people and the environment).  Refer to the EPA RRP rule for handling

May 05

Let's Not Say Cheap; Rather...

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, renovation, remodeling, millwork, design

 In this economy, many of our remodeling-happy customers have a renewed interest in cost-sensitive improvements.  As usual, we ALL want to achieve the greatest impact; the most WOW factor for our investment.

Regardless the economic situation, some folks just cannot leave things alone, around their homes.  We refer to them as serial remodelers.  Bless their souls!

I'll be posting a series of great ideas along these lines in upcoming pieces.  Let's not think "cheap" (heaven forbid)....  Good design and creative / innovative use of durable materials is often the key to creating greater utility,

Sep 02

Barnwood Restoration

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: repairs, renovation, preservation, millwork, kitchens, DIY

Question for Mason:

We are finally after 4 years re insulating our kitchen walls. The drywall has been removed as well as a layer of old barnboards.  We have reinsulated and the vapor barrier is in place.  I like the idea of putting the barnboards back and having a rustic looking kitchen wall.  My question is how would you refinish barnboard? (this board is really old and has a rough dark colour to it).  And what would I use to fill the gaps between boards? 

-Tracy H



Wow!  This sounds like an exciting project with the prospect of adding a very unique finish to your kitchen walls.  I love

Apr 16

Is My Crack is Showing?

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: preservation, millwork, crown mold

Dear Mason:

I live in a 1960's home in the Richmond, VA area.  I seems to be of good quality construction, but I have had problems with the crown molding pulling away from the ceiling, which leaves an ugly crack.  We have tried caulking it, but it re-appears after a year or less.  Is there something wrong with my crown molding?  What can we do to fix it forever?

Lisa B



Ahhh, cursed crown.  It's ALIIIIIVE!

Indeed, in all likelihood, that is the problem.  Most crown molding is made of living (or once-alive) material - wood.  All wood has a tendency to expand and contract with swings in

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