All the windows are complete.  I finished the last two in my office in time for the final inspection.  I caulked the hell out of the window frames before putting on the moulding.  I know air was seeping in around the edges and through a seam in the middle of the frames.  I could see the curtains blow.  Granted we haven’t had any arctic cold temperatures, but I’m seeing a market difference in temps on the first floor now that all the window moulding is in place.

Upstairs floor moulding was a piece of cake/walk in the park as compared to downstairs.  The top edges are caked with paint, caulk, and tape.  They are extra filthy, smelling of animal urine, caked in roach waste, cracked, or junks missing.  I found the living room pieces first, but once unwrapped I thought no way they were usable.  Howard’s Restor-A-Finish is a miracle product.  The end result, is truly amazing.

The first piece I treated per the instructions from the video that first introduced me to the Restor-A-Finish product.  I washed off the dirt, attempted to clean with the denatured alcohol, before applying the product.  Unfortunately the paint was so thick on the edges that I was scrubbing hard with the steel wool and it wasn’t budging even though it was slurring the stain.  I took a paint scrapper to it.  I noticed that the areas that were still moist from the alcohol did not scrap as well as untouched areas where it seemed to pop off.  I decided to change my game plan, scrape first, even before washing off the dirt.  Scraping removed the top layer of stain, but that turned out to be advantageous as it made the denatured alcohol step faster.

Every piece needs to be fully scrapped and the majority of the pieces also need some type of mending.  The easy mends were gluing pieces that were cracked or completely broken off.  Amazing how many broken pieces I was able to not loose as the piles were jockeyed around.  I pin nailed were I could and clamped until glue dried.

The harder mends were those where the broken off piece was missing.  Only one so far and for that I made a splice out of moulding left over from upstairs.  I had to sand the patch piece down to the wood, to remove the wrong color stain.  I lined it up with the damaged piece and clamped them together along with my straight edge set at the angle I needed to capture all of the broken area.  I used my mini circular saw to make the cut.  I impressed myself with how this mend turned out.  I used the custom colored Zar stain on the patch piece.

The other difficult mend was filling the holes from where the electric outlets were located.  The living room only had two outlets (today’s code I have 8), so I employed some of the technique I learned from the This Old House video I found.  I did not make a jig or use a router since my pieces weren’t attached to the wall.  Instead I used my jig saw and traced the shape of my patch piece onto the piece I was cutting.  I did sand after gluing, so the dust would fill in the slight gaps.  Again I impressed myself although moving forward I will be mindful of the grain of wood used for the patch.  The second one didn’t match as well as the first.

With the pieces mended, cleaned, and restored installing was a breeze.  I used my Walabot stud finder to make sure I was hitting studs and I used 16 gauge, 2″ nails loaded in my nail gun.  Finding studs was key because the pieces were warped and bowed from not being stored flat.  This was corrected by the force of the nail pulling the board into the wall.  Hitting drywall only would not correct this.  The only wall that I had to treat differently was the exposed brick wall.  The moulding originally went into plaster, now it had to attach to brick.  For that I marked the mortar area in 4 spots and drilled a countersink hole in the wood.  I used masonry nails to attach to wall.  With the nails being black they blended perfectly.

I’m about 50% done with the floor moulding that must be restored.  The guest bedroom will be the only room to get new moulding because fire destroyed the original on one wall.  The moulding for the other three walls I’ll need to ensure the other rooms are complete.  In some areas the original pieces will be too short due to doors that were permanently removed or I’ll need to place it where it didn’t previously exist.

Next post will be pictures only when all restored floor moulding is complete.  I have an ambitious goal of having the entire inside complete by my birthday in January, which includes making my dining room table.  If the doors go well it will be completely possible.

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