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!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Sorry, short post today. I know you probably won't believe it, but I actually have a couple of home improvement projects in the works. If I hadn't run out of time yesterday, you'd have pictures and everything. Anyhow, I should have them up tomorrow (I hope).

One quick question while I have you here, have any of you used a paint-on masonary sealer/waterproofer? If so, what kind would you recommend? And, can you paint over it with a water-based paint?


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Blogger amanda said...

No, but I have used the Elastomeric Stucco Paint from Lowes with good results on our yucky old basement walls (they had been previously painted and the old stuff was falling off and gross). It seems to have helped the leaking and stopped the mortar from flaking off.

12:56 PM  
Blogger EGE said...

Johnny says: first of all, we need to know what it is that you're talking about sealing. Are you talking about the inside of your basement?

There's nothing that you're going to paint on the inside of your basement walls that's going to keep the water from coming in from outside -- not really. Johnny says "anybody who tells you that you can is a lie."

What we did was dig out the outside of the foundation and paint it with tar. We dug four feet, but it depends on your water level and rainfall and stuff how deep you have to dig.

Once you stop the leak from the outside, you wire-brush the walls, dust it down and sweep it up, wash it down with bleach to kill any mildew that's there. THEN you use a water-based masonry sealer (Johnny recommmends Benjamin Moore) to seal the wall.

After that, you can use any masonry paint you want (water-based or whatever) so long as it's mildew-resistant (because it's a basement and there's always going to be moisture).

Johnny says: maybe we should add an "Ask Johnny" feature to our own blog...

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Isabelle said...

Glad to see you've got energy for more projects.

Since you asked... We did a lot of concrete/waterproofing in this house.

We used Quikrete QUIKWALL Surface Bonding Cement over a concrete block foundation to provide a uniform surface after repointing the mortar both inside and outside. We then painted with two coats of Drylock latex waterproofing paint. This was mostly for appearance sake, but also for the very important "safety factor" (i.e., me not freaking out whenever it rains). We're two engineers so it's never too much safety.

However, we also improved drainage around the foundation and installed an interior perimeter drain. I think that's what really makes the difference for waterproofing.

We've had a dry basement for going on 2 years now... (touching wood) so we must have done something right.

Good luck. It's not 'sexy' work.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous isabelle said...

Just saw Johny's comment. I must add that we dug up around the outside of the foundation BY HAND (that's right) 3 feet below the ground surface all around the foundation to repoint the mortar and do the masonry work I described.

Jenny witnessed the moat around our 'castle'. It was pretty cool actually.

4:57 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks everyone! I'll post some pictures and show you what were working with on the Devil Queen.

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