The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Gary - This One Is For You

That’s right; I’m calling down the thunder.

Here are some pictures of the woodwork in the Devil Queen’s foyer.

From what I can tell, the door trim and wainscoting are shellacked; rubbing it with alcohol and steel wool strips through the finish [the spot above is where I conducted my little experiement].

As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of the wood isn’t in the greatest shape. We will probably end up painting all of it. Blasphemy, I know.

Now, if I’ve read your excellent series of shellac posts (thank you by the way) correctly, I don’t necessarily have to strip all of the shellac off in order to paint over it. I should be able to scrape off the bits that are flaking off, rub the remainder down with alcohol to smooth the surface, sand, and paint over it. Or, am I wrong?

Please let me know. I sick of looking at this. It must go. Soon.


Blogger Taka said...


I came from Japan,

Your site was interesting,

See you again,

6:55 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

That looks like dyed shellac over paint and the shellac has come off where there was water damage! Rub it with coarse steel wool and alcohol wipe up the goop. Let dry and then sand with 150 or 80 grit sand paper. You can always paint it brown and put three coats of shellac over it to make it look like wood again!

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Why is it so white? My woodwork had a lot of gouges and scratches. I mixed up some some different stains and went over it with one of those sponge paint brushes with the stain then shallacked. The new shallac melted and blended with the old. Maybe you could do the same with the scratched parts. On those big white areas clean them up with the denatured on a rag and just re-shallac. If you sand it first it might lighten up the un shallacked spots too much. Then again if they are still white when you clean them you could always use the stain. IF you want I will look up the combination of the 3 stains I used and post them here for you. I usually check your blog every day so just let me know.

7:57 AM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks everyone!


I'm not sure why it's white. Gary may be right and it was painted at some point and then shellaced over. Or, my second guess would be that the wood has aged poorly (these areas were slowly soaked with over a 10 year period by a leaky roof). In any case, I'd love to know what stains you used for your wood work.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Here is that stain combination that I mentioned. It is a mixture of three Minwax stains (2 parts red mahogany, 2parts colonial maple, 3parts natural)This will give you an aged wood tone that the wood would have had from aging orange shellac. Let the stain dry 48 hours and then shallac. Try it on a small area and let us all know if it works for you.

9:37 AM  
Blogger John said...

Karen, thanks!

8:48 AM  
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