Happy New Year! Hard to believe a new year is here and the journey that started in 2017 of restoring my house has carried over into it. I spent the bulk of the day, including the strike of midnight working on the final four doors, but I did take a short break to join a friend at their family tradition. On a piece of paper they write down the negative things from 2019 they want to leave in the past and then burn them. Then they write down the positive things they want to have happen in 2020 and place them in a pot they pour water over to symbolize nourishment to help them grow. I had one significant one I needed to burn and one prayer I need to see manifest in 2020, so I thought this was worth taking a break.
The floor moulding clean up, specifically scraping to remove all the paint gave me a revelation for cleaning up the three guestroom and hall closet doors. I had cleaned/restored the previous eight doors using the method outlined in the video How To Restore a Wood Door. I have followed that video religiously, but one thing I did notice is that during the denatured alcohol stage the finish became slurry and goopy. I went through several pieces of steel wool with each door and had to work hard to make sure I had a uniform level of clean before applying the Restore-A-Finish.
Remembering that scraping the moulding did not lighten the color of the stain, I decided to scrap the surface of the doors before cleaning it with the denatured alcohol. Scraping just left a pile of dust, which I probably should have worn a mask as I had coughing spells for a few days following. Scrapping took maybe 15 minutes, far shorter time than trying to clean up the slurry mess I had with the other eight doors. Once scrapped, I used my shop vac to remove the dust and then cleaned with the alcohol, which seemed to be the first step in resurrecting life into the wood (see bottom right pic). Using this process I used only two pieces of steel wool for all four doors.
Once the alcohol dried I applied the Restore-A-Finish and here is a new tip, let it dry to a dull haze. I put the product on some pieces of moulding and had to leave before I wiped it off. When I returned the pieces had the haze, but like buffing a car that had been waxed, a firm wipe down revealed the shine. After the doors were hung I rubbed them down with the Howard’s Feed and Wax.
Hanging the doors brought out new stumbling blocks to deal with. The guestroom closet 1, hall closet, and hall safe doors had jambs that either recessed or extended to far, which would not allow the moulding to sit flush. I had to cut the jambs out, but that in turn made the doors easier to hang as at that point they became pre-hung doors as I attached the hinges and door before putting it back in place. The “safe” lock I’ve taken to a locksmith in hopes they can recreate a key for it. I also got the floor moulding inside the hall closet. Guestroom closet 1 I’m intentionally not installing the floor moulding as I may need to remove the drywall for a future project.
Closet 1 also needed a hole patched. I’d love to know what a prior owner was storing in that closet that caused the need for a padlock to be added. To fix the hole I used a piece of the wooden clothes rod from the original master closet. I drilled a hole in a scrap piece of wood first, which I clamped over the hole. I paddle bit, which I knew would jump around if I didn’t have a guide. I used a 1 3/8″ bit. I hoped that the old clothes rod was the same diameter as new because their diameter are 1 5/16″, which was just an 1/8″ smaller than my drill bit. That minimal gap would easily fill with glue and I rubbed saw dust on the excrement and immediately applied stain before the glue set up. I slightly over cut the plug, making sure the outside was flush by clamping a piece of scrap over it while it dried. I learned from the WoodShop that glue does not stick to wax paper, so I had no corner with the block sticking to the door. Not a bad patch if I must say so myself.
The two doors where the jambs were aligning with drywall turned out to be the more difficult doors to install. Both doors needed to be planed down due to tight fits. After stain was applied you’d never know they were shaved down. While I could have left it alone, I also decided to replace a chunk of the jamb for the entry door. That door had obviously been kicked in as the area for the lock strike plate was really compromised. I have extra jambs in the basement so I cut out a chunk from one of them and spliced it in. I removed the damaged area with my JobMax tool.
I am now the outer kitchen door moulding, office entry door and the top landing for upstairs moulding (lost what was originally there, so need to create something) from being complete with all the original scope of work listed in my building permit. Honestly I’m fearful about having so much time on my hands.
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