Sunday, January 5, 2014

Door Renovations

I have been thinking a lot about our doors lately.  Yes, I know it's a funny thing to think about, but doors are serious business.  They keep people and pets out of places they shouldn't be.  They hide messes when we don't have time to clean.  They provide a sense of safety and security.

The doors in our 1930 home are in need of some love, particularly the upstairs doors.  In the upstairs we have doors for the bedroom, office, closet, and bathroom.  Of these, only the bathroom door knob works correctly, but doesn't lock.  I guess if I had to choose a room with a working door, it would be the bathroom.  :)

Above is a picture of the office door.  I know that it looks in great shape, but that's really the power of white paint.  This door and its hardware have both seen better days.  For example, when I took out the locking mechanism to figure out why it wasn't working I found the do-dad in two pieces.  The first step to restoring it was caulking all of the seams for the trim.  I've already done that for this door, which is why you can't see them.  Next, I'll use wood filler to take care of the dents, dings, and gouges in the trim.  Then I'll repaint.

The door itself is going to be a bit more involved.  All of the fixtures are caked in paint from who knows when.  Given the age of the house and the style of the fixtures, I'm guessing that they are brass.  I'll take off each key plate and the latch plate and heat them in a solution of hot, soapy water.  That should soften the paint enough to allow me to brush it off.  (I already tried this with one of the latch plates and it worked great.)

I am super excited about finding and buying the correct skeleton keys for our house.  There is something about the look of a skeleton key that just makes me a bit giddy.  Having them will add charm and functionality to the house, but I need to do a bit more research on where to get the keys from.  According to our home inspector, there is a shop downtown that will let us take a bucket of skeleton keys home to figure out which one works on our doors so we can buy the correct keys.

When all of the hardware is clean and working, I'll move on to patching and sanding the dings, gouges, and scrapes in the actual doors.  Finally, I'll repaint the doors.  Repainting is going to need to wait until the spring when I can take the doors down and paint them outside.  That way I can paint them horizontally on saw horses and not worry about getting drips.  Like most of my projects, this is going to take both time and patience.  But I think it's worth it.

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