Al's Ice Creamery

What a mess!

The problem with this project was the fact that we had no clue what terrible shape the metal façade was in when we were contracted for the job. The original pink lead paint was so thick (over 20 layers), that it was literally holding the entire thing together.

It was a very ugly surprise when we got up there, half way into the project and started stripping off the old paint and discovered nothing but Swiss cheese to work with. Least we forget to mention, the reaction of our building owner when she was given the news of the additional costs associated with reconstruction the elaborate structure!

Every owner of an historical building must face the realization that there are going to be unexpected “wrenches” flying everywhere when dealing with the restoration of these old ladies. It is just a fact of life. As good as we are, we just can’t know everything that is going to happen, we can suspect, we can assume, and we can warn you about…. but we just can’t know for sure.

We always have people ask us for the worst case scenario, and they get a proposal for say…. $30,000.00 and end up with a final bill of $14,850.00…but there is also the homeowner who ends up spending $8,000.00 more than they had planned because half their clapboards were rotted and they did not believe us when we told them they would fall apart when we stripped them.

The doors were stripped, oiled and stained using a beautifully deep hand mixed color and a linseed UV varnish for durability against the salt and car exhaust.

The ceiling was originally painted with over 20 layers of ugly pink paint and we never knew what beautiful wood was underneath until we stripped it down. We were going to paint it, but once we saw the results of the staining Holly has done, it was decided the hand painted heirloom flowers were just the thing. Only noticeable to those who are sitting at the outside café in the summertime, they are for those guests who notice the “little” things that Al’s is so famous for.

This color scheme was as usual chosen by us and was the first place winner in the Chicago lands Finest Painted Ladies contest. We have been in the color consulting business for over 20 years and always do our best when we are allowed to “do our thing”.

We chose the colors with some basic guidance for the building owner, such as …I hate this color and like this color….and we choose where every color goes, we decide when to tweak a color and if it just isn’t working. We have a pretty good track record.

We also provided the color consulting
for this project.