Interior Doors Galore

With the delay of the exterior door I have turned my focus on putting up interior doors. I have a boat load of them to hang and all of them had/have some degree of refurbishing needed before they can be hung.  Last winter (wow time flies) I restored two in the basement of my old house.  My father found a video on YouTube that showed an easy process for restoring old doors and it’s been my go to method (see Another Door Complete.) The door in that post has been sitting in the basement covered in plastic.  A quick wipe down with Murphy Oil Soap water and a rubbing of Watco Rejuvenating Oil and the office closet door was ready for hanging.

20190123_012253This was the first door I hung in an original door jamb that remained in place during demo and it does not close completely.  None of the original doors worked properly.  The hinges were all rusted, so they didn’t open or close without force.  I can only assume that the jamb shifted or the door is slightly warped, but it catches at the top.  I will need to use a hand planer to shave a bit off, something I’ve never done, so another new skill to my growing repertoire.  Outside of that the door looks fabulous, especially since it was so heavily graffiti-ed.

I’m so glad all, but two of the original doors were still in the house and that all but one was not painted.  You can’t recreate almost 100 years of patina.

My house has two different shades of stain.  The entire lower floor, except for the kitchen has dark stain.   The master suite and the kitchen has a lighter stain, so I was anxious to see if the Howard Restor-A-Finish Maple-Pine tint was the right choice for the lighter doors.  Home Depot/Lowes don’t carry the full line of tints, so I ordered this from Amazon.  Switching focus to the lighter shade also helps get the kitchen closer to20190120_191746 total completion, so I made the pantry and kitchen entry my next project.  I used the same steps in the video and the pantry door turned out gorgeous and functions properly. Original jam, but relocated and reset perfectly plumb thanks to my father’s diligence in framing.  I opted to not add a coat of oil before hanging it, but I think I will after seeing it next to the kitchen entry door that has oil.  That was the only door in house that didn’t have a glass knob.

The kitchen door had the most damage of all the doors I’ve restored thus far.  Clearly it had been kicked in during the break in as the exterior area around the lock was broken 20190125_165208and splintered.  Someone had put screws in it to keep it together.  Months ago I started  work on this door, so I used wood glue and my pin nailer to tack down any other areas that were still frayed.  It’s a visible scar, but a friendly reminder that she (my house) survived five years of neglect and abuse.

The other side also had a long crack, so again I filled the crack with wood glue, but this time instead of my nail gun (didn’t feel like pulling it out) I clamped it and let it dry over night.  Once dried I washed the whole door down with Murphy Oil Soap water (it was filthy) and repeated the steps of the video.  Like the office closet door this door did not close completely, INITIALLY.  After letting my dogs out the back I pushed it shut and to my surprise it closed.  My basement still has moisture so I bet being upstairs in the heat is reducing any swelling the doors may be experiencing.  The office door still catches at the top, but not as much.

I did add oil to this door as it still looked dry after the Restor-A-Finish.  I’ve almost completed the can of Watco Oil.  While it has worked well I’m going to try Howard’s Feed and Wax next given how well the Restor-A-Finish has performed.  They actually recommend the Feed and Wax as a follow-up.

Having the kitchen door installed and closed has made a huge difference in the temperature in the kitchen.  This process is so simple that I can literally restore a door a day.  I have an ambitious goal of getting all the stained doors and window trim hung before the front door arrives.  Wish me luck!

 

All I Wanted For My Birthday Was A New Front Door

When I received an offer on my childhood house and the buyer asked for a three-week close I realized I hadn’t dealt with my front door.  Several times over the course of the year it was front of mind, but each time got pushed aside for various reasons.  When I finally put in the order I was told it would take 8 weeks to manufacture.  Before installing it would need to be stained and painted, another 10 days.  I did not want to host an Open House with a boarded up door, so I cancelled my planned Holiday Open House and set my sights on a Birthday Open House.

The original door is wood and 40″ wide.  The side lights were built with 12 individual beveled pieces of glass on each side.  Only 50% of the panes were in place.  Early on I looked at having the side lights rebuilt, but one side was too far gone and the cost for just the glass would have been $1200.  Apparently due to their size they would need to be hand cut.  I was not stuck on wood for the door, but I was stuck on the 40″ width.  As I’ve shared many times, my goal is to restore the house, not just renovate.  She was built with a big door, so she needed to maintain her big door in my opinion.

I understand there are all sorts of maintenance issues with wood doors, but to my advantage my entry is covered preventing the door from getting direct exposure to sunlight and other weather elements.  I was willing to go with steel or fiberglass, but unfortunately 36″ is their standard width.  If I was going to need to go custom my preference was wood, which became my focus. I was also not willing to lose the arched, beveled glass transom above the door.  Several local door installers that looked at the door told me everything had to be replaced and I was not buying that.

I found several wood door manufactures on the Internet, but became focused on Simpson Door Company.  I was told Simpson was the Chevy of wood doors.  Moderate in cost and reliable.  I started mocking up various door designs from their website  They did not offer the exact 6 panel design of my original door, but they had some close enough options.  Recreating the side lights with twelve individual pieces of beveled glass was not an option.Simpson Door Designs_Page_1Simpson only works with authorize dealers, so upon entering my zip code on their website I got a list of businesses that carries their brand.  I contacted several, most never called me back.  I had already started doing business with Hyde Park Lumber for my trim and they were on the list, so I ordered the door from them on October 23rd.  I selected the door and sidelight mock-up on the upper right.  Hyde Park Lumber doesn’t paint or install, but they referred me to Britt Sang of JM Painting.  The door will be stained on the inside to match my existing moulding and painted on the outside.  Sidelight Incredible White and door Harvester, both Sherwin William colors.

The door color is my only departure from the HGTV 2017 Urban Giveaway color scheme.  They had a pink door, which I just could not do. Harvester was not my first choice.  I wanted They Call It Mellow, but apparently yellow has fading issues and they do not offer that particular yellow in an exterior paint.  A very helpful store clerk helped me select Harvester.

20171222_141439When I purchased the house the right side of the door, where all but two of the 12 panes of glass were gone, just had a flimsy piece of particle board covering it.  The left side was not much better, but the all of the remaining glass was exposed.  I took some scrap plywood I had and covered both sides. I tested out my exterior paint color, Sea Serpent, and put house numbers on in yellow just to see if I was making the right move by departing from the HGTV design.

The house was more secure, but it was not weatherized.  Never could I have imagined that I would be living in the house, during winter, with the original door.  After the first week of really cold temps I had to break down and tape plastic over the sidelights in the inside because I could literally feel the cold air climbing up the stairs and reaching me in my master suite.  I also purchased a MAXTID double door draft stopper to plug the two-inch gap at the bottom of the door.  Tolerable solution for the 8-10 weeks I’d need to endure while waiting on the door.

The door was scheduled to arrive on December 17.  Britt was ready to receive.  I had delivered the paint and stain to him.  He had a family vacation already scheduled for Dec 27-30, but felt he could get at least one side done prior and have the door finished with time for curing by the week of Jan 7.  My installer, Doug with Sentry Doors and Windows, was cued up to install that week.  My Birthday Open House was going to happen or so I thought.

The door didn’t actually arrive until Dec 19, but due to late arrivals by Hyde Park Lumber delivery the door did not get to Britt until December 26th, a week lost.  Even with 20181226_105624that Britt said he could have the door completed by January 10th.  Needless to say I was PO’d with the delivery debacle, so I went to Britt’s shop on the day it was delivered to see it first hand.  To my disappointed the wrong side lights were on the door.  There was a single half panel instead of a two window half panel.

Fuming PO’d now, so I go to Hyde Park Lumber to find out what went wrong.  Apparently they entered the information right in their system, which was provided to the distributor.  The distributor, unfortunately sent the wrong information to Simpson.  At this point I had no choice but to live with the door as I was not going to live another 8 weeks without a proper door.  GREAT customer service can cure a bad situation.  They offered to pay Britt’s fee for painting/staining, which I accepted.  I leave and call Doug to schedule a January 11 install.  A few hours later I get a call from Tim at Hyde Park Lumber.

Not only were the wrong side lights entered, but they were also the wrong size.  It meant the door would be too small for the opening.  Now I had no choice, but to wait another 8 weeks.  I was told Simpson rushes for no one.

When I agreed to keep the wrong side lights, I explained to Tim the condition of the current door.  He listened and with this forced delay offered to order a temporary fiberglass door and pay to have it installed so I’d have a secure and sealed door during the wait.  While I accepted that offer initially, after sleeping on it I woke the next morning and called to stop that process.  I did not want to risk damage to my transom window with a temporary door.  Instead I asked if he could cut proper size pieces of wood, so that I could better seal the sidelights and pay for the install of the actual door.  He agreed and went a step further by offering to send a contractor to board them up.  Again, GREAT customer service can cure a worsening situation.

The contractor came that day to look at the situation, told me he’d bring insulation in addition to plywood the next day.  He called the next day and said he couldn’t make it but would come, Monday, Jan 31.  He never returned, but I took his idea, went to Home Depot and had them cut the proper size pieces and I put them up myself.  100% improvement.  As for the Open House it will have a spring theme.

 

We Make a Great Team

Tom returned to help me with more projects in the kitchen.  I’m trying to get the floors cleared in the living and dining rooms and a major pile in the way are the boxes with the cabinet crown moulding.  Tom will hang that for me, but the backsplash, which will go to up to the ceiling above window needed to be installed first.  I am about burnt out on tile projects (still need to finish first floor bathroom and haven’t started the master), so when he offered to install it for me I jumped.  At that time I told him I was doing a small subway on mesh tile and he said he could knock that out in a couple of hours. Well, I got the mesh part right.

MSI Bianco Arabesque 9.84 in. x 10.63 in. x 6mm Glazed Ceramic Mesh-Mounted Mosaic Tile (10.95 sq. ft. / case)After going to the Tile Shop, Floor and Decor, and Lowes I found exactly what I had in my mind at Home Depot, MSI Bianco Arabesque mesh tile.  It was only $7.89 per sheet in the store (higher price online), but I had to go to 3 different stores to get enough for the project.  TIP: unless you go to a place like the Tile Shop, that will get you multiple cases from the same “lot”, always open the boxes and check the coloring of your tile.  The first Home Depot had the full quantity I needed, but despite all stating they were Bianco different boxes had different tints forcing me to go to multiple stores in hopes I’d find enough of the one I liked.  The tile I selected looked to have a tint of blue around edges, while the other looked brown like this image.

I decided on a charcoal grout due to the dark gray, marble-like, streaks that run through my quartz counters.  I got the grout from the Tile Shop.  They carry Superior Pro-Grout Excel, which is fast setting, color consistent, stain-resistant, and features excellent crack and shrink resistance.  I also thought it would compliment my blue cabinets.  The first thing tackled was putting the knobs on the cabinet doors.  Tom had the perfect measuring gadget for that.  We still need to do the pulls, but mine are longer than standard, so his gadget didn’t work on those.  I was much more concerned with the tile.

I left Tom to work on his own, but after a couple of hours saw that my choice of tile was posing more challenges than the subway he thought I was getting.  I decided to jump in and basically from the stove right I laid the tile and from the stove left, including working around the window he handled.  He has measuring and eye balling and precision cuts down to a science.  It took about 6 hours and we actually worked together on the section above the window.  I handled all the grouting the next day.  The end results are pretty fabulous I think.  Exactly what I envisioned.

Tom also connected me with the best painter EVER!!!!!  I met Teresa Ferrari last year and she will be running a new coffee shop opening in the Camp (Camp Washington for those not intimate) very close to my house.  I had no idea she has a painting business.  She came dressed in what I would consider “good jeans”, a nice sweater, and suede boots and when she left you wouldn’t have known she spent 3 hours painting.  Not a drop on her, not a drop on the floor.  20190104_170626.jpgWell not until Milo, my dog, decided to step in the paint and track it around the 1st floor.  She didn’t tape down dozens of plastic drop clothes.  She got all the closets, the guest bedroom, the hall, touched up all the bad spots left by the other two I paid to paint, and painted the trim in the kitchen.  I am so sorry I didn’t know about her sooner.

There is a saying that God my not be there when you want him, but he’s always right on time.  After the devastating set back with my floors, Tom and Theresa have been an absolute delight and I feel brought into my life just at the right time.  I truly feel our paths were meant to cross in order for us to do something even greater together.  I think Theresa and I should apply for the First Time Flippers show.  Just throwing that out into the universe to see where it lands.

Wallpaper

I am not a fan of wallpaper.  One of the first DIY projects I tackled by myself was stripping wallpaper out of the entry foyer of my Inner Circle house.  Amazingly in the opening description in that Facebook post I called it my most ambitious DIY project ever; that was in 2012.  I think I’ve beat that now.  Anyway stripping wallpaper has to be one of my least favorite projects to do.  I definitely had no intentions to hang any at my Henshaw home, until…………………….

Follow your DreamsMy friend Joan shared that in her first apartment she hung wallpaper in her closets, so guest got a pleasant surprise when they opened them.  I loved that idea, so I started combing the Internet.  I was hoping to find something uplifting, positive, motivational, so a search for motivational wallpaper led me to a site called Murals Your Way.  That is where I found the perfect covering for inside my entry foyer closet (the only one I’m going to cover).  The artist is Valentina Ramos and her piece is called Follow Your Dreams.  It was perfect.

Since my closet wasn’t one of the standard sizes offered I placed a call to their help desk and spoke with Cheryl Alarcon.  She was an absolute delight to work with.  I ended up ordering a custom size and she provided me with this mock-up to show me the white space that would be at the top and bottom.  I ordered their SmartStick – peel and stick for smooth surfaces, but they also offer pre-pasted wallpaper and two commercial grade products.  Despite it’s size and thickness, it was easy to hang.

That closet is very narrow, not wide enough for a rod with hangers, it just had a shelf and a board with hooks that I did salvage during demo.  Using my same three-step process (denatured alcohol, Restor-a-Finish and Watco Rejuvenation Oil) I got the hook board and shelf cleaned up and installed.  Once the hooks and shelf were installed I dug out a door knob and put it in place.  That closet is for guest coats only, so I hope they’ll leave inspired.  Of course in the summer, when coats aren’t worn,  I’ll just have to show it off.

 

The only other wall to receive wallpaper is the master bath water closet.  When my parents built Inner Circle, they put wallpaper in most of the house.  When I was cleaning out the basement in preparation for the move I came across two boxes filled with remnants of all the original wallpaper.  The paper you see in the featured image was hung in the basement bathroom at Inner Circle.  There was just enough to cover the walls in front and behind the toilet, so my father hung it for me when he was here at Thanksgiving.  It fits in perfectly.