Sunday, January 29, 2006

Door 3: Day 1

I started work today on the third and final door for the kitchen. This is also an original door for the house and I will be putting it back in to it’s original spot, although it has spent the last 80 years not in it’s original spot.

In 1926 when they added a bathroom to the back third of the kitchen, which I removed, they took the door off the entryway that lead from the kitchen to the butler’s pantry and used it in the bathroom. This door ended up being part of the wall in the bathroom and not the door to the bathroom. Instead of being mounted like a real door in the middle of an entry, they set it all the back and built shelves in front of it. They puttied over the two small holes for the doorknob and skeleton key, so I will need to remove that.

When they put it in place they drove in about 8 or 10 big framing nails, 2 or 3 per side, to nail it in place. They then trimmed it out so there were another dozen or so small finishing nails driven in to the edges. All in all it’s not too bad. These small nail holes are all around the edges and are easily filled with putty.

One side of the door faced the outside and because the house was only painted once in 80 years it has very little paint on it. I can probably just clean that up a little and repaint it. The bathroom side of the door is another story.

If you’ve ever painted the inside of shelves you’ll now that you really have to be aggressive to get the paint in all the crevices around the shelves. Now imagine that you’re a bad painter and don’t care about drips and runs. Now imagine that this is a bathroom shelf for 80 years and you’ll have some idea of what I’m dealing with. It’s not pretty.

I’ve decided to strip all the paint off. It is going to be a p.i.t.a. but not a major p.i.t.a. The side of the door I’m stripping is the side that faced the kitchen back in 1895. In 1895 the original finish was a faux grained oak. The base for that was tinted shellac. It’s not as easy as stripping a pure shellacked finish but it is a heck of a lot easier than an original painted surface. Hopefully I can get it done in a week if I work on it a little bit every day.

Here’s where I’m starting.

This is the first door I did. Complete with hardware. This leads from the kitchen to the dining room.

This is door number 2 sans hardware. It needs another coat of paint, which I'll do tomorrow. Immediately beyond this door is the back stairwell.


Trissa said...

I like the design of the panels on the doors. They look great- nice work!

Greg said...

Thanks. The doors are called an Eastlake door. You see a lot of them around here. I wonder how popular this style is in the rest of the country.

Kristin said...

I've never seen that style in the South. I love that you're restoring the door back to where it originally was. Doesn't stuff like that just give you a little thrill?