No Sweets for this Sweetheart

I didn’t come close to finishing my headboard, so I thought I’d share the progress reached by the end of the Valentine’s Day Weekend.  I got the side boxes stained and coated.  I had planned to use Zar Early American stain, as I did on the upstairs moulding, but 20200208_192240Sherwin Williams no longer carries it.  After trying Minwax’s Early American and General Finish Mahagony, neither were even close on the Aspen wood, I returned to Sherwin Williams to have them match the color of the doors I’ve converted to pull out tables.  They are now selling Minwax Performance Series Tintable Stain.

Per the can’s directions I sanded my surfaces with 120 grit sandpaper and applied one coat of stain, which I let sit for about 10 minutes per the clerks recommendation to get a darker finish.  I let it dry overnight and then applied three coats of Minwax Polycrylic.  I really like the ease of use for this product.  I sanded, lightly by hand, between each coat with 220 grit paper.

After one coat of poly:

After two coats of poly:

After the final coat of poly and letting them sit overnight, I returned with my parts to the Manufactory to put them back together:

With the side boxes finished it was time to tackle the oak top shelve.  I started by taking the pieces for the side to the WoodShop to use their joiner and biscuit cutter.  I brought the pieces back home to glue and clamp.  This was my first glue up and it was spot on!  Several guys at the Manufactory complimented me as the seam of the two pieces is barely noticeable.

Now it was time to tackle the top and bottom.  This headboard is going to be heavy.  The oak wood is dense and in hindsight I should have detoured from the original plans sooner and used 1/2″ plywood instead of 3/4″.  I can bet the designer didn’t think someone would use old wood, which weighs much more than the modern 2×4.  Anyway, to try and reduce a smidgen of the weight the bottom shelve is only 12″ deep.  Once the back piece is in place I’ll have a 10″ deep shelve, perfect for my bible.  The top has to be the same width as the sides, so it’s 17″ deep.  To reach the depth I needed I had to join two slabs together.  My boards weren’t the same thickness, so I had to run them through a planer.

The bottom, per Kendall’s suggestion I routed out a 1/2 groove, because I wanted the sides to cover the top of the side boxes.

I had my mind fixed on a mitered seam at the top and that posed a challenge because my top and sides were too wide for the miter saw.  After setting the back in place, I was able to mark my lines to locate the miter cut and use the table saw to cut the miter in the side panels.  I used my Kreg jig kit to make pocket holes for attaching the back to the bottom, sides, and top

The top was too long for the table saw, so my only option was a circular saw.  I should have called it a day and returned with my own circular saw, which has a much nicer blade, but with Kendall’s help I carried on and got the cuts made.  I’ll need to do a little sanding to smooth out the edges.  I made the first cut, but let Kendall make the second as there was only about an inch of waste.  I beat myself up too much when I fail and I wanted to end the Valentin’e weekend on a high note.  Kendall went for gold and cut right on the line to make it one and done.

The challenge now is how to screw the mitered edges together.  Glue may not be enough to hold the seams perfectly aligned.  In retrospect I should have routed out a groove like I did on the bottom.  A normal beginner woodworker would have taken that easier road.  But like Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict says, I’m not normal.

 

 

 

Like It Came With The House

My house is transformed.  To know where it started and to see it today is unbelievable.  That is why it may sound strange when I state hanging a salvage door to close off the 7527basement, laying tile on the landing, and refreshing the steps has made the biggest change to date.  It is going to be an extreme pleasure to use the back door as my entrance once the garage is built.

I found the door at Building Value, my favorite stop for reclaimed material.  It was just the door, no knob or jamb.  I paid Scotti from the Wood Shop to build the jamb out of extra jambs I had.  He had to reverse the swing and rip the width of the jamb to just 3″.  He finished it much faster than I needed, so the back entrance became a priority because I didn’t want to add to my pile of projects already in the basement.

Before I could hang the door I needed to put the tile down on the landing.  Timing was perfect as I had just finished the master shower and knocking this out now meant I could retire my wet saw for a long time.  I like laying tile, but my two bathrooms wore me out.  I had a few pieces left from the tub area in the master bath and I thought it would be great in that area, but I didn’t have enough to cover the entire surface.  I most certainly was not going to order more, so I got the idea to border the sides and use the tile in the center.  I found the perfect match at the Tile Shop, Workshop Desert Wood Look Porcelain 4 x 47.  I only needed four pieces.

Before I could lay the tile I had to level out the surface.  No pics to show, but I used Mapei Novoplan Easy Plus self-leveling underlayment from Floor and Decor.  Mixed and poured in the low areas on top of the cement board I had installed.  Amazing how well it worked.  I also decided that a pretty landing would pale next to the worn out steps, so I decided to cover themwith RetroTreads I found at Lowe’s. I did the prep work for those as I knew it would generate a lot of saw dust.  I had to cut the overhang off each step.  I knew the tile would create a need for a reducer going do into the basement.  I bought one before I knew the width I needed to cover and it was way too narrow, so I bought a Stairparts 11.5×48 Stair Tread, which I was able to rip down to the right width.  It was the perfect height, butting up perfectly to the tile.

With a close enough level surface I started with the border tile.  I wanted it to meet on the corners with 45 degree angles and 3 of the 4 angles would be impacted by the door or steps.  This tile project would have been 100% perfection if I had not forgotten to account for the new riser I was putting on the steps.  The most complex corner ended up being off by 1/2″, so I ended with a much thicker grout line in that corner.

I used my triangle square to make show the box was aligned correctly and then I did a dry run with the center tile.  If all went well I would have two pieces to spare.  Key was finding the center as it would allow me to get two spaces from one tile once I got to the perimeter pieces.  I didn’t miss a cut until the last piece of tile, so I ended the project with one piece to spare.

Next day was grouting, followed by cutting the treads to the right width.  With the dry fit of the steps down, I stained them with the Early American stain I had to match the kitchen door and added two coats of Bona Floor sealing.

I’ve never hung a door by myself.  The entrance to the basement wasn’t close to being square.  I knew the door was not as wide as the original, but it was the right height and style.  I’ve been looking for that door (and office) for two years.  I needed to close up the opening, so I got a 2×4 and ran it down the hinge side of door.  I knew it was import to make that side level.  To do so I had to shim out the top while the bottom was flush to the wall.

I also needed to cut off some of the top of the entrance.  I used my 4′ level to strike a line.  To make it level I cut almost 2″ from the left side and only an 1″ from right.  No pics (down fall of working alone) I did a plunge cut with my circular saw and my job max tool to get the corners the circular saw could not reach.  I went old school and used 10d, 3″ finishing nails to set the door.  I drilled a hole for the door knob to catch, but need to find a strike plate to finish it off.  I amazed myself by how well that went in.  The door was in really good shape.  Dusty, like my other trim and doors, so I went back to my Howard’s Restor-A-Finish stand by.  One day when I’m bored because EVERYTHING else is finished I may paint the other side to match the walls.  For now the pale yellow will be just fine.

With the door hung, tonight I turned my sights on the steps, which was a piece of cake to install.  I kept the top step riser original as the nose of the top step feeds into the kitchen flooring.  I put new risers on the bottom two steps (bottom step I actually installed before the tile) and used denatured alcohol to clean up the stair strings.  I was out of the correct tint of Restor-A-Finish for the strings, so I rubbed them with the Early American stain.  I put down Liquid Nail first and then used the 10d nails for added measure.  Just beautiful.

 

 

 

 

That Section Looks Good

It’s going to look awesome when complete.  The wall tiles are 4×16 and I purchased them from the Tile Shop, Imperial Bone Gloss Ceramic.  The skirting around the tub also came from Tile Shop.  The grout is Superior Pro-Grout Excel in Dessert Sand.

The floor tile is the mosaic tile that matches the hexagon tile I put in the tub area.  I fell in love with the Isla King Wood tile when I stumbled across it on Pinterest.  It’s an Italian tile and it was a splurge that I justified because I put in the labor.  I was fortunate to find the tub floor tile online at Mission Stone and Tile.  With shipping it was several hundred dollars cheaper than JP Flooring, a local vendor.  I had selected a 2×2 hexagon tile from the Tile Shop that would compliment the tub area, but Mike Tanner’s installer suggested that I go with a square shape tile, less waste and time to install.  The Tile Shop had a 2×2 square mosaic, but it was only a couple of dollars less than the King Wood mosaic, which is what I really wanted.  I only needed 23 sf.  Even though I had to pay for installation, it was less than $100 in material cost increase, so I went for it.  Unfortunately Mission Stone and Tile did not carry the mosaic, so I ordered it from JP Flooring.

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Two Happy Places

After a three year absence, Saturday I returned to my favorite Cincinnati event, the Ohio River Paddlefest  the nation’s largest paddling celebration.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day for kayaking.  I have not kayaked since the 2015 event, so I was hopeful it would be like riding a bike and it was.  Since the last time I participated the route changed and the course made longer, 9-miles.  They were expecting over 2,000 paddlers.  I dropped my kayak at the launch site on Friday, so I didn’t have to get up extra early on Saturday.

20190803_075340.jpgLaunch time was between 7 – 8:30a, so I was definitely towards the end of the pack when I started.  I packed PB&J sandwiches, a 32 oz bottle of Mango Gatorade, and a frozen solid Vitamin Water, Energy flavor to keep myself nourished, since I didn’t have time for breakfast.

I like to paddle to the beat of the music I’m listening to.  I had my Pandora station shuffling between about a dozen artist and I was crossing my fingers there would be a good mix of slow and fast songs.  It balanced out, but I did use each commercial break (about every 4 songs) to take a drink and bite.  Fatigue started kicking in at what I’m guessing was about mile 6 and then the most perfect song came on, Natalie Merchant’s, Where I Go.  It was all about letting your mind go while at/on the river.  I abandoned 20190623_181456paddling to the beat and just enjoyed a leisure pace to the finish line where I was greeted with a giant happy face.  I most certainly was.  After grabbing a combo meal from the Red Sesame food truck, I loaded my kayak and headed home.

One would think I’d be too tired to do anything else, but once I got my kayak back in its perch in my basement, I changed into my work clothes and headed to the Wave Pool Wood Shop to continue working on my headboard.  Being at the Wood Shop is as peaceful to me as paddling down the Ohio River in my kayak.  I have truly been bit by the wood shop bug.  This Saturday was particularly busy with, mostly females, working on projects.  Smell of wood filled the air as it seemed everyone had something to sand.

I was bound and determined to get the back portion of the headboard done that day.  Wood Shop open shop is Wednesday and Saturday.  I thought I’d have this portion done in one week (two 20190803_171432.jpgdays).  This Saturday marked the third week, but man was it worth it.  I’m not going to go into too much detail as I’ll do a dedicated post, but I’m so proud of how the back turned out I actually posed with it.  Folks that know me, know I don’t do photos.  I’m torn on leaving it natural, allowing the poly I’ll apply to pull out the colors or staining all or some of the slats.  I’d love to get some feedback from anybody readying this post.

Shopped closed at 5p.  I was showered and in the bed ripping ZZzzzz by 7:30.   I was sore, tired, but oh so happy.  Enjoy the additional photos of Paddlefest and put it on your calendar for next year.  I’ve always done this event by myself (kayaking is a great single person activity), but I’d love to have someone join me next year.

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Master Bedroom Complete

The Magnolia Market sign that was my “sign” to move forward with purchasing my house has finally been removed from its box and hung on the wall of my completed master bedroom.  Yes you can stand and applaud.  Unfortunately the Silos doesn’t carry the sign anymore, so no link if you were interested in purchasing.

After completing my Pinterest dresser project and putting the trim up around the small storage does I became obsessed with putting the trim up around the rest of the room.  Amazingly most of it was on the same two pallets in the basement and as with the door trim it, for the most part, just needed Murphy Oil Soap wipe down and the Howard’s Feed and Wax.  There were a few pieces that I felt needed the Restore-A-Finish product, but I managed to knock the can over and wasted almost all of it.  Not wanting to run to a store, I started using the end of a pint of Minwax, Early American, stain I had bought for the kitchen floor.  I used steel wool, in the same fashion as the Restore-A-Finish.  It worked as well and maybe even better.   Every original piece was numbered, so putting them back in the right place was no problem.

The only challenge to the floor moulding was one section in the front dormer.  All of the electrical outlets in the house were original cut into the moulding.  That is no longer to code, so I knew those sections would be problematic.  Over a year ago, I stumbled across a YouTube segment from This Old House that showed how to patch wood trim.  I had recessed that in the Rolodex in my brain, knowing that I’d need to put that knowledge to use.  Amazingly my Master bedroom only had one outlet in it.  Per today’s code I now have 12.  Using the video as my guide, I did a pretty darn good job with the patch.  Their moulding was painted, so they were able to hide the patch completely.  I didn’t have that luxury, but I still think it’s pretty negligible.

With the floor complete I turned my sites on the windows.  I sent the front dormer window as a tease on the last blog.  It was the easiest of the 5 to restore.  My new window seals are thicker than the originals, so I knew I would need to cut the bottom off every vertical piece throughout the house.  Again, I thought I’d need to hire my finish carpenter, Tom, to do this for me, but my confidence and comfort level for using my miter and table saws has soared since working with him and taking the Wave Pool Wood Shop class.

From the front window, I moved onto the side trio of windows.  The two smaller windows proved to be a challenge because the replacement windows had a gap greater than the window stop trim.  I always felt that these windows were ordered too small.  It’s hard to describe and show in pictures, but I needed to close the gap on the sides of the small windows and to do it I took an old door jamb to give me the “L” shape I needed to lay on top of the existing house framing.  To date this is my finest table saw work.

With that obstacle conquered the rest was easy.  Clean, Wax, trim a little of the bottom and nail in place.

The rear dormer window I intentionally saved for last.  Even my window installer was perplexed with how the trim would go back around this window.  During demo this window completely fell out and apparently we tore out, or it never existed, the framing.  With the drywall install there was no exposed framing to nail into, just the edge of the drywall.  To make matters even more complicated the drywall came about 1/2″ more at the bottom. I basically needed to frame out the window before I could frame it with the original moulding.

I devised a plan in my mind that involved using the original moulding from the trio of windows in the bathroom that mirrored the trio in the bedroom.  I saved this window for last because I had to make sure the bathroom wood would not be needed to correct a cut mistake in the bedroom.  Since that install went flawlessly, I was ready to put plan into action.  The two vertical pieces that went around the large window of the trio was slightly wider than the moulding.  I created the perfect 1/4-1/2″ reveal and it was thick enough that it gave me something for the window stop trim to nail to. Since the bottom drywall protruded out further than the top, I used shims to build out the top.

With the build out complete I was able to proceed with installing the seal and apron.  The seal had to be in place before I could install the vertical pieces.  I put the top piece on first, but when I went to dry fit the first vertical piece I discovered the piece was too short.  The replacement window was longer than the original.  The first window installer put in the new framing for this window and he must have made the opening larger than the original.

I had plenty of extra door frame moulding left, but I had already cleaned up the original and I was only a couple of inches short on each side, so I decided to splice two pieces together using scrap pieces for the built-in dresser.  I’ve learned to throw nothing away.  The trim around the dresser was slightly lighter than the window around the window, but I didn’t care.  I was impressed with my thought process and splicing technique.  Most people will never see it anyway given it leads to a private area of my home.

With the patched moulding installed, my master was complete.  I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to add a light on the outside of the closet.  In the two weeks of working to the moulding, Mr. McGhee made that happen.  I took the original light fixture from the 1st hall, which matched the ones already in the bedroom, but installed an LED Edison bulb to keep the heat discharge from impacting the paint.  I also bought a rug and for my seating area from Overstock.com.  It fits in perfectly and is made from recycled jeans and jute.  I bought a 9×12, same fabric, different color and design for under my bed, but it’s on back order.

Check out these before and afters, followed by a video tour.  I have truly created an oasis.  I’m writing this blog while listening to vinyl jazz LPs.  LOVING EVERY MOMENT!

 

It’s A Wrap – Another Space Complete

20 months in (I can’t believe that) and I now have TWO spaces completed in my house, minus a missing strike plate. My first floor bathroom is complete with accessories and doors. This project has truly been an emotional roller coaster with highs and lows, twist and bends. I was in another low and I got a newsletter email from Chip and Joanna and decided to click through the latest offerings at the Magnolia Silos. I’ve been thinking about placing something in the blank space above the toilet and I found it, a JDH Iron Design sign stating: The World Needs Who You Were Made To Be.

There is one vision for my house that I have not been able to have manifest and even though I know it is out of my control, I can’t help but feel that I’m lacking something that is blocking it from happening. This sign will be a reminder, every time I see it, that perhaps I’m not lacking anything. What made it even better is I got to pick it up in person thanks to a business trip to Houston that started a day early with a quick overnight in Waco. I needed that trip. Three hours, each way, in a rental car with my Yolanda Adams Pandora station blaring; two hours in the most positive place on earth, Magnolia Silos; dinner at the best Mexican restaurant I’ve eaten at, Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant; and breakfast before heading back at Magnolia Table. Yeah, I’m riding another high. I had the spring menu Lemon Blueberry Pancakes with Lemon Butter (heaven) and pepper bacon (not too peppery) and Pecan coffee (brought a bag home it was so good).

Back to the bathroom. With the mirror project complete, the only thing left were the doors and floor moulding. I got the entry door hung before my father came to visit, but I had not installed the lock. My Dremel tool broke, so I couldn’t get the plates recessed fully (that’s a tweak I can do when I’m bored after the whole house is a wrap), but the lock functions. This door is painted on the inside and stained on the outside. I wanted the locks to match the setting, so I purchased two of the same locks: Dynasty Hardware Round Bed / Bath Privacy Pocket Door Latch Satin Nickel and Dynasty Hardware Round Bed / Bath Privacy Pocket Door Latch Aged Oil Rub Bronze from Amazon. I even took the extra step of splitting the colors on the door jamb by staining the outside half and painting the inside half.

The linen closet door took some effort. It had to be stripped as it was already weighted down with previous layers of paint (I saw yellow, mint green, and two shades of white). I started with the outside, thinking if I got tired of the project I could shortcut the inside. I used CitriStrip Stripping Gel (see Battle of the Strippers post), which I let sit overnight. I had a thick nylon brush with steel bristle on the end that I used to remove the paint from the decorative grooves. I wasn’t sure I had enough stripper for the other side, so I decided to try out my new Ridgid belt sander. It didn’t make a dent as the paint, despite its age, was gummy and it gummed up the sand belt. Fortunately I had just enough stripper to get the majority of the paint removed. Since I didn’t get it all removed I put a coat of Kilz primer on the inside before the actual Sherwin Williams ProClassic in Incredible White. I should have probably primed the outside also, but I just put two coats of the ProClassic.

I bought new hinges from Amazon because the originals were too rusty and added a robe hook that matches the sink and tub faucets, also found on Amazon. The linen closet had a white glass knob on both sides, but the entry door had white on inside and clear on outside. I loved the level of detail by the original builder. Unfortunately I’ve misplaced the strike plate, so the linen door doesn’t catch and close completely. I’m sure it’s around the house somewhere, so I’m not going to rush to buy a new one. I did that with the pocket door hardware and found the original packs in a box marked paperwork about two weeks after they were hung.

The last project was the moulding and this was my first venture into a coping saw cut. I have not installed my vice grip on my work bench yet and coping without something holding your wood is hard. One of my favorite YouTube video people is SeeJaneDrill.com, so I watched her coping video several times to learn what to do. I did the first cut by hand, but did the second one on the scrolling saw at the Wood Shop. Can you tell the difference? Both worked fine and the reality is the corners won’t be seen. I used traditional miter cuts for the shoe molding and painted it black, Tricorn, same as mirror.

The final touch was the addition of a oil diffuser for the left side of the sink. I’ve been looking for awhile and I found the perfect bottle at the Magnolia Silos. It was adorned with a white wax stamp, perfect for my decor. The scent is Linen: Lemon, lime cotton, jasmine, orange flower, lavender, clean musk, and amber.

So with Joanna’s (@JoannaStevensGaines) favorite scents filling my air, that bathroom is a wrap.

Click on links below to see all the post related to the 1st Floor bathroom.  As an amateur (albeit advanced) DIYer and newbie interior designer, I’m pretty proud of what I accomplished on this project:

September 28, 2018 – February 9, 2019

The Rest of the Story

As Seen In My Mind’s Eye

 

Dead Space to Closet Space

There is one TOTALLY complete area in my house, the master bathroom linen closet.  I’ve been psyching myself out.  The piles of trim and moulding in my basement has had me overwhelmed, so I’ve been avoiding it until this week.  If all the trim reinstall goes this smoothly I’ll be the happiest DIYer on the planet.

For those that have not been following the entire journey or if you need a refresher, the linen closet in my master bath was dead space behind walls that was revealed during demo.  Thanks to Pinterest I got the brilliant idea to replace this crawl space closet (I have two others that are even bigger) by inserting a dresser into the wall, see inspiration, in my master bedroom.  This meant I was able to relocate the door and moulding  and use it to create the linen closet in the bathroom.  I had to patch the missing floor and frame out a wall to create the space.  Check out the picture slideshow at the bottom of Have I Said Lately How Much I LOVE Restoring This House post.

The moulding and shelve brackets from that closet have been sitting in my master floor, with nails still in them waiting to puncture my foot, since December.  I thought it would be quick pull them out, use my tried and true Restor-A-Finish clean-up method, and nail them up in new closet.  Unfortunately I learned that the new closet was actually wider by 6.5″, so the shelve and moulding would be too short.  What to do?????

20190319_200734Three weeks ago I started taking a Beginner’s Woodworking Class at Wavepool located in my neighborhood.  I joined the wood shop too, so I’ll have access to tools I don’t have and an expert to help me with my ambitious future woodworking projects (a desk,  dining table, headboard, and refreshment stand).  In the first two weeks we covered tools I’ve used regularly, but thanks to Scotti, our instructor, I learned better or proper techniques and I got inspired to start tackling my moulding projects.

20190401_213830I started by hanging the shelve brackets.  I didn’t concern myself about the gaps on the end of each center bracket because there was still more than enough support for the shelve.

To clean up the brackets, I just used Murphy Oil Soap and water.  The moulding I cleaned with the denatured alcohol in preparation for the Restor-A-Finish, but they didn’t look like they needed it.  Instead I wiped them down with Howard’s (same company for the Restor-A-Finish) Feed-N-Wax.  This company makes an awesome line of products.  The Feed-N-Wax worked GREAT, so much so that I used it on the door too as it was in far better condition than other doors I’ve restored.  I will most likely do this process (Oil Soap to remove dust and Feed-N-Wax) on more doors in similar condition.

The closet is wider, so I needed to extend the floor moulding center piece and for that I used a piece of the moulding that was on the opening (door) side.  I decided to not trim out the inside of the door, which freed up some extra moulding.

To extend the moulding I cut one end of the long piece to a 45 degree angle and glued the 6.5″ extension, also cut at a 45 degree angle to it.  I used a product called Insta-Bond, that my carpenter, Tom Milfeld, told me about.  I’m not 100% sold on this product; I’m batting 50/50 on it holding, but it held on this and you can barely tell where the splice meets.

Next up the shelves.  Only one of the two were still in the house and unlike the brackets I could not use the original due to the bracket design.  Instead I went to Home Depot and bought a 4′ x 8′ sheet of pine ply-wood and had them cut it in half and down to 64″ in length (only way to get it in my car, otherwise I would have taken it to Wavepool to cut).  To make the front edge look finished, I also purchased 1/4″ x 3/4″ pine moulding that I glued and pin nailed to the plywood.  I thought I wanted extra wide shelves, given I will only have two, but once I saw the first in the space I decided to rip it down to 18″.  Still 2″ wider than original.  After a dry fit they were ready for staining.  Tip (I did not do and should have): sand the pine moulding after it’s installed.  1) to get rid of any glue residue and 2) that brand seems to have a waxy film on it that does not absorb stain well, which I knew from past projects.  I was just eager to get this done and didn’t take the extra time.

I used Zar wood stain in Early American that I bought from Sherwin Williams for the kitchen built-in.  This was a great way to see if I had been recommended the right color and I believe it is, so I’m anxious to start working on the built-in again.  Britt Sang, door painter/stainer, used Minwax Polyacrylic on the inside of my front door and gave me the leftovers.  I decided to use it on the shelves, just to protect them a bit. I had never used this product, but will use it again on the built-in.  It was very easy to use and, unlike oil-based polyurethane products I’ve used, did not smell and dried fast.  I applied three coats, sanding lightly with 220 grit sandpaper between each coat.  It only needed 2 hours of drying time between coats, so this part was done in a day.

They recommend allowing 24 hours before actual use, but I placed in the closet and throw in two sachets of lavender to hopefully nix the faint chemical smell.  I did wait before placing my contents.  Thrilled with the end results and re-energized to tackle more.

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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.

She’s Going To Be GORGEOUS

Tom is THE MAN!  I prefer to write post that show certain projects from start to finish, but in this case I was too excited to wait.  The built-in that I saved is going to be absolutely gorgeous when it’s all finished.  Tom has made my vision for restoring this piece come to life.

For those that remember my Armed with 2 PB&Js, Vitamin Water and Gatorade post you know my house had a built-in that stood in the way of my open concept kitchen/dining room.  I loved the piece; it was one of the many cool elements that made me fall instantly in love with my house, so without question it was going to be saved and relocated.

Once freed the cabinet was going to be located next to the refrigerator, which means that the left side of it will be exposed.  The sides weren’t meant to be shown (hence the word built-in), so they were not pretty.  For months I stewed over what to do until I furniture-18022-2received an email from the Wooden Nickel, which showed a picture of a pine hutch they had for sale (now sold).  I went to see it in person and the idea was born.  I decided to take strips of wood and frame the sides, like you see on the hutch.

Now a normal person (I’m not normal) would just nail on four strips of wood.  I wanted it to look original, intentional, so I wanted the inside edge to have the same profile as the doors.  This is the same profile I put on my kitchen cabinets20180405_194421.jpg and master vanity.  This built-in was really the inspiration behind many of my design choices, so I had to make her right.

Before I moved I got my former neighbor to help me rip down in thickness and width new pieces of pine I bought from Home Depot.  I purchased a router bit that would give me the rounded affected from the doors and he used his router to add the profile.  I bought a router last year and it’s still in the box.  Now was not the time for a crash course.  One thing I learned through my floor restoration is that new wood will not stain the same as old wood.  Then I remembered I had a supply of old pine planks given to me by my friend Joan.

Her wood was covered in a thick, shellac like, coating, but Tom, the Man, Milfeld was able to run it through his planer (my next tool investment) and use my router bit to create the same strips, but with old pine.  My friend’s building is about 50 years older than my house.  He completely understood what I was going for, so while I unpacked more boxes, he got to work attaching the strips to the sides of the cabinet.

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Now it’s up to me to get her across the finish line.  I’ve got to get the tile work finished on the first floor bathroom, but I’m biting at the bit to get her finished.  I still have a few more surprises to share in the final reveal, so stay tuned.