Restoring a Carpenter Gothic Style Church in Maryland

October 3, 2018 | Posted by Lexie Bragg

Gunther and Anastasiia  had been looking for the perfect historic home to live in and renovate for two years when they finally found The All Saints Church.  “It was love at first sight,” Anastasiia  explains.  Gunther and Anastasiia live on the eastern shore of Maryland in a small white steepled church.  The All Saints’ Church is a historic landmark built in the Carpenter Gothic Style.  Constructed in 1900, the church features imported stained glass windows from Munich, Germany, along with decorative tile floors, a darkly stained exposed timber roof structure, and intricately carved church furniture.

When asked why they decided to renovate this church, Anastasiia happily told us the story. 

“We used to live down the road from the church, and we had driven past it for the past 5 years and had always thought the building was very neat. One day we drove past it and saw an open house sign and pulled in, it was an open house for real estate agents and not for the public, but they let us in any way. We were the only people interested, and it was love at first sight.  We were specifically looking for an older home that needed some TLC.   We were okay with doing renovation, and we were prepared for lead paint, asbestos and everything else that comes with an old, truly unique home.”

Anastasiia and Gunther have only been living in the All Saints’ House for one year, and their first priority was making it a functioning house.  “The house was updated back in the 1980s by a refugee from Lebanon who made it into his studio,”  Anastasiia explained.  “But there was still a lot of work to make it livable.”

Their most recent project has been stripping the lead paint from three sets of entrances and approximately 20 windows.  One of their biggest concerns is for the health of themselves and the environment.  “Gunther did a lot of research to find a stripper for lead paint.   The majority of things were not eco-friendly, and we didn’t want to use a dangerous chemical to strip another dangerous chemical.  Gunther usually takes a long time to pick a product, and finally found Blue Bear.   We were very impressed, to be honest.  It was very easy to work with, we left it on the front door, and you could almost immediately see the paint bubbling up.  There were several layers of lead paint, and Blue Bear was able to strip all the way down to the wood without damaging it.  Which is within itself quite impressive.  We let it sit for 24, and we just used a scraper, and it all came off.  We wanted to share how excited we were to use a product that worked so well!”  

You can watch Gunther and Anastasiia’s progress on their home by following them on Instagram.