Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Good Door of the North

For weeks the front doors have had a thin coat of ragged black paint left over from 1895. This was what was left after I stripped off a few layers of old and new paint paint. The new paint was the worst. It was a thick, gooey layer of latex paint that was slopped on by a Starving Student painting company about 10 years ago.

But now, just in time for Halloween, I give you Galinda, The Good Door of the North. It's like these doors are just begging to be hit with eggs tonight.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dotting Is and Crossing Ts

Six months later I can say I am officially done with the foyer. Whew! Never thought I'd write that! I was waiting for the little table to arrive via FedEx and it arrived today. While it is true I still need to work on the front doors and the pocket doors leading in to the parlor, those are big enough projects that I can consider them projects in and of themselves, so they don’t really count. It is all about compartmentalizing, people. That is how I keep from going insane.

The "before" pictures are really a retrospective of before and during the project. Anyone interested in the entire project, start to finish can select the “foyer” label from the drop down list on the left. The “after” photos at the end are all new shots taken today. I think they come closer than a lot I’ve taken at capturing the real color of walls, wood, carpet and rugs. You can thank the late evening, overcast sky for that. Between the front doors and the window in the stairs, a lot of my shots tend to get washed out.

After, finished, done, ready to move on!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ready for Halloween

How's that for a scary looking pair of front doors. Depending on how much I get done this week, they may still look like that a week from now.

I stripped off the paint and what you are seeing are the remnants of the original paint job from 1895. I think it was black with gray or maybe black, gray and red. There is some red on the trim around the panels that is very early. There was also the brown paint from the 20s and then finally the green from a decade ago. Once again the green paint that was applied over the other, failing paint jobs was what caused much of the work. Sometimes doing nothing really is better.

I did the panel on the interior to finish off the mail slow. This hides the wood I had to add when I went from the wider, modern mail slot to the narrower, antique slot.

This is the other side. Next up sand and paint, which would be easy except I need to decide on the color scheme. It will most likely end up being the 3 shades of green I used on most of the rest of the house. That would be Basil, Clarey Sage, and Livable Green. The question is, do I highlight with the fired brick that I used on the water table, crown molding, and window sash.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Front Door

I decided to try and get in one more project before I succumb to a long winter of football, red wine, and bad Saturday afternoon movies. I've put off the front door long enough and now that the foyer is 99% finished, it might as well have a revitalized front door to go along with it.

The foyer is waiting on the delivery of a small table to go just inside the front door and then I can stick a fork in this bad boy and call it a day. I shied away from the Ethan Allen table for a few reasons. First, it was the hand painting on it. I loved the design of the table, but the painted flowers just didn't sit well with me. If I'm going to get something with hand painted detail on it I need to see it in person.

Even with that, I came close to purchasing it, mainly because I really couldn't find anything else I liked. I looked at so many tables, I got the point where I just didn't care anymore. I just wanted to be finished with the foyer and this purchase was the one thing holding me up. When I got to the last page of the order form on the Ethan Allen web site the shipping and taxes nearly doubled the price of the table. It felt like the old bait and switch, so I backed out.

I then found another table on another site. It was almost the same price of the Ethan Allen table, but shipping was free. I ordered it and then got and email saying I could expect delivery on 2/11/2011. I'm not joking. I went back to the site, canceled the order, and bought a nearly identical table – honestly, other than this one being in stock and costing $10 more, there is no difference – that should arrive on Friday. If it does, there will be a nice selection of before and after pictures of the long, drawn-out foyer project. I estimate I have 120 hours of labor in the stairs alone.

Anyway, this post was supposed to be about my pour front doors. You can read the back story about the interior here, but this is about in the outside. The 2 big issues about the outside are 1, the plywood nailed to the bottom of each door, and 2, the modern mail slot.

It turns out the plywood was hiding something. These are double doors and the one on the left is stationary and held in place with 2 slide bolts, one at the top and one at the bottom. The bottom one had a blow out at some point. Somebody either ran in to the door or something and ripped out the wood around the bolt. This is right where the bottom mortise and tenon is, so it was good they did something, but that ratty old plywood had to go.

I stripped the paint off and then glued and tacked in some pieces of wood to sort of hold things together. I can't fill with epoxy because I want to replace the mortised slide bolt.

After that I put a beveled panel over the hole and added a bottom rail. After I did this, I came up with a better idea. I could apply a brass kick-plate to the bottom. I'm not sure if I'll undo what I've done.

The mail slot that was there was a modern brass plated steel number that looked pretty crappy. The plating was already flaking off even though it had not been there that long. I put on this nice antique cast bronze number. The main issue was that the new one I took off was wider than the vintage one I put on, so I had to add wood to the slot that was cut in the door.

Not an issue on the outside because I will be painting. The inside is another story. More on that later.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

This is the last of my Philadelphia posts. This actually represents the part of the trip I regret the most because I didn't spend near enough time here. It is a reason to go back. Not all of these photos are taken on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, but about 90% are.

{Sigh} I want to go back now.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway runs from City Hall to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It slices diagonally across the grid pattern of the city and runs through the cities museum district. The parkway is roughly a mile long and is lined with great art, buildings, museums, and fountains. It is the reason I will go back.

Some may "Heart" other cities, but I love Philadelphia...