Completed 19th century wash house

After sitting unfinished in various places in my studio and dining room for the past few years, my Victorian wash house is finally complete. Well, sort of complete. I have to track down where I put the acrylic panel that slides down over the front to keep out the dust.

My inspiration for this project was a British book of cottage interiors. Bake houses also served as wash houses. On the left you'll see an old fashioned oven with an iron door. The big piece of masonry below it holds a boiler, or as it was also known, a copper. A large copper or iron kettle would be set in the masonry for boiling water. They were also used in America and were sometimes called set kettles. Fires would be set under the big copper or iron kettle and water would be heated for washing clothes.  In some places they were used for making large amounts of soup for organizations that had to feed a lot of people.
Next to the stove and boiler is a stone sink. The sink and boiler would have to be filled by the bucketful. The sink usually had a drain to let the waste water outside. Sometimes the boiler had a drain, sometimes it had to be emptied by the bucket.

OK, enough historical fact. If you want to know more check out my Victorian site, Victorian Interiors and More.

Here's a picture that shows more of the left hand side with the oven. By the way, all my pictures will open larger if you click on them.

And here's one that shows more of the right side.

The floor is made of drywall compound, I just spread it out and drew out stones. I admit, I could have done a neater job, but I hadn't worked on this in so long I was just wanted to get going and get something accomplished. I was afraid I'd get sidetracked again and wind up putting the wash house back in its corner.
I tried several different color washes for the stones. I was unhappy with my colors, one color would look good, then in another light it would look a little off. In the end, after deciding I had a pretty good color floor, I felt it still needed something, so I wiped some wood stain over it. Ta-ta! Much better.

I used a few things from my New England Miniatures stock, but I still needed a few things I couldn't get for New England Miniatures, so I had to make them. I wanted an all wood washboard like the one in my inspiration photo, so I made myself this one.
I also wanted a wooden peel for taking bread out of the bake oven, and a washing bat or paddle for the laundry. Sanding the edge of the peel was tricky, but if I had a working mini oven  I could slide this peel right in there and pull out my loaf.

A nice old antique dust pan would be nice too, I thought. I sold a tan one and a blue one on New England Miniatures, but they looked too clean and new. I wondered if I could antique them up.
Yes, I could. I sprayed a tan dust pan with primer, and dipped the brushy part of the brush in primer spray. Then I painted the dustpan with black acrylic paint that was mixed with just a little water. I also dabbed some of the black paint on the brush to make it look sooty.

That's when I remembered I could use some brushes. The long handled one would be for cleaning the ashes out of the oven, the small one for just regular scrubbing chores.

The brushy parts are made from black stick on Velcro. I just cut snips of Velcro, stuck them onto the brushes, then I snipped a bit of the loops off so they'd look more like brushes instead of little bits of Velcro.

If you'd like to see the previous posts that describe how I went about this project from the beginning, click HERE. It'll take you to the first post.