WORKING ON THE WOODWORM
First I treated the whole house with woodworm treatment, filling every hole I could find, every edge and all over the walls. I had every intention to keep the wallpaper, as it was all original. The problem I had, was that the treatment was spirit based and soaked into the wallpaper making the walls very patchy. My idea of filling the woodworm holes with PVA glue had failed. I used a syringe and the glue was popping up everywhere, following every little tunnel it could find. I decided therefore to remove the wallpaper, I could not believe what I found.
Once I had removed most of the wallpaper, which was stuck on with very strong glue. I decided to dismantle the house and treat each piece separately, it was much easier this way than doing the whole house. I removed the roof and gently separated it apart. There were no signs of woodworm, so I gave it a good soaking with woodworm treatment, especially as the roof itself is wood and not cardboard as in some of my other houses. The woodworm problem was much worse than I thought, especially the middle panel with the door openings.
The woodworm had eaten through the top layers of the plywood on both sides, and partly though the next layer leaving one thin piece of wood. I was about to give up and make a new middle panel. A simple restoration project has turned into a woodworm nightmare. So much of the house had been eaten, I had discovered more and more as I removed the wallpaper and paint. I dug at each little hole and followed the tunnels, I found nothing except what they had left behind.
The above panel is one of the sides, they had not tunneled very deep, so this would be able to be filled with wood filler, so would not be a problem. What was I to do with the other panel, it was too much to fill with wood filler. I then had a brain wave, I would make a paper mache with kitchen roll and PVA glue. [who knows where these ideas come from?] The kitchen roll sheets worked well as paper mache as it was easily moulded into the holes. It looks a bit squishy but should be a good sandwich filler for the new pieces of wood I will add to each side.
I have glued thin strips of wood on both sides, taped and clamped it all together, now I just have to wait for it to dry. It is still very cold in the shed so I will have to leave it at least a week, I think that it will take longer for the sandwich filler to dry.
The wood panels I repaired have now stuck, I have filled in the cracks and sanded it all down, I am very pleased with the result. Once the wallpaper is on, it should be a good smooth surface.
This picture shows the result of my woodworm repair, a complete transformation. When all the pieces of wood have been filled and sanded, I will treat them all once again with woodworm treatment. They are no longer welcome in my house! This house has caused me many problems, especially with the woodworm. Each piece of wood has been treated at least 3 times. Each panel has now been painted.