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.
This 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 to 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 and 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!