Restoring the Brownstone Facade and Working on the Wrought Iron

Project: Manhattan Remodel and Cape Cod Affordable, Episode 16, Part 1



The facade of the Manhattan Brownstone has its wrought iron work, carvings, and Brownstone paint stripped and refurbished by Erik Nadoban of Nadoban Painting. Inside, a huge kitchen is outfitted with floor-to-ceiling custom cabinets designed to replicate the painted finishes and panel design of a Victorian kitchen. Thomas Bump of Fine Custom Cabinetry shows Bob the Maple veneer interiors, paint-grade mixed hardwood face frames, doors, and panels on these cabinets and drawers. The tinted, sprayed catalyzed finish is so durable and easy-to-clean that it is epoxy-like. On the doors, concealed hinges can be tightened three ways for proper hanging. On the drawers, concealed hardware supports self-closing drawers. In the front of this floor-through apartment, grand one-over-one windows replace 1940s conversion casements. These windows have a box casing on the interior that is the depth of the masonry wall. Victorian profile moldings surround the windows and soar to period-style, custom fiberglass cove moldings at the ceiling. Landmarks Commission approval for these windows may have delayed construction on the Brownstone for nearly a month, but Bob and Chris Vila agree it was worth it as they look at boarded openings on a neighboring building where custom windows were removed for lack of approval.
Part 1: Restoring the Brownstone Facade and Working on the Wrought Iron
Bob focuses on the exterior of the Manhattan Brownstone, where paint has built up over the last 100 years and now obscures the details and carvings on the facade. Erik Nadoban of Nadoban Painting joins Bob to talk about stripping the paint and restoring the facade to its original appearance. Nadoban used an alkaline-based product and paper to peel away the layers of paint on the Brownstone and carvings. This method removes up to 30 layers of paint. On the wrought iron he used a methane chloride product. The intricate detailing and iron flowers required five or six applications of stripper to dig out the paint. Once stripped, he applied an oil-base rust inhibitor followed by a single, light coat of oil-base paint. He uses a technique that prevents drips and buildup, first dabbing around the details with an angled ox-hair brush, then using a light-hand coat to sweep across the dabs and give a smooth finish.
Part 2: Custom Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers
Part 3: Custom Moldings, Window Casings, and Coves
This project deals with two very different notions of home. Bob begins on New York City's Upper West Side, where an 1890s Brownstone is revitalized through high-quality craftsmanship and sensitive design. New York's past meets its present, as the entire floor is recaptured and refurbished to create a spacious urban apartment on the doorstep of Central Park.

At the same time, Bob works with a Cape Cod developer to apply Massachusetts land use statute 40B to create affordable housing, and a neighborhood of homes in Mashpee, MA. These Energy Star certified homes show how quality building practices and reasonable asking prices can work together to provide livable, affordable homes and neighborhoods to those who work in our communities.

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