Saturday, 12 November 2016

Stairway to....Well, The Top Floor of Course!

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It's hard to explain how bad these stairs really were. They are original, and I believed they could be beautiful again, but how in the world was I going to do it?
I tried sanding them, the sander got all gummed up, and it took forever to get four steps done.

Since I thought it couldn't get any worse, I neglected to cover them up when the drywall mudder came. BIG mistake.
One day I just tackled them. I probably broke all the rules of staining, but I'm a rebel like that.
I first stained them with Minwax stain, and then immediately stained them with Java Gel Stain, until I had a reasonably even finish. It worked! After fretting over what I was going to do with these stairs for 4 years, I finally did it!

You see? I wasn't kidding about how bad they were, but the floor upstairs looked great, and the floor downstairs looked great! So I had to try.

Here they are after the staining was finished. I also used Java Gel Stain on the hand rail and spindles.

I then varnished them two times.

Can you even believe these are the same stairs?

I cannot even tell you how much I love them!

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

While We Are On The Subject of Doors! A few other door makeovers.

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Do doors get any uglier than this? Really? This is a 36" door. There are two of them, in fact.  Budd and I wanted to get rid of them and replace them with smaller ones. Johnny wanted to leave them alone, he said we have enough work to do, on that point he is definitely correct.

Well, I couldn't leave them alone, so I figured it was worth a try to make them look better.

It's always a process, paint, antique, sand, design!

Settle on a plan, and forge ahead!

See what I mean? Paint, stain, sand. 1,2,3!

Then stand back and have a look...and look... and look!

And look again, close up, far away, upside and and inside out!

 Put it back in place.

And much later, finally begin painting to cover up that red wall!

I've had good reviews by people who have come to tour the stone house, so I'm taking this as a success!
Now on to the next one. This door was in the house when we bought it, but it is not original to the house when it was built. It doesn't show so much here, but it was very orange, and a little beat up.

Enter Java Gel Stain by General Finishes. This product is incredible! This is my own personal opinion and I am not compensated by General Finishes in any way, although, I wouldn't refuse, if you know what I'm saying.
Here is a picture of the door finished, and trimmed out.

These are original French doors that we removed, and later replaced. I just started working on these, but then sunshine and warmer temperatures called, so you will have to wait until Spring to see the finished product. 

Not really a cliff hanger, but I hope you will come back and check it out again.

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Saturday, 5 November 2016

This Is the Story of a Door. Ugly slab door makeover.

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In the stone house that we are renovating, we created a pantry, in that pantry is a window, we didn't want to lose the light that shines in there so we needed  pantry door with a window. I could probably have found a suitable door, but that just isn't my way is it?
I went looking through my stash, and I do have some very nice doors, but I didn't want to ruin any of them by taking out a lovely old panel and inserting glass.
When we found this door, and it was just the size we needed, I seriously didn't know if I could make this look good, but it was worth a try.

I found just the right window in my stash (this is just a little part of my stash), it's from my Grandmother's house, circa early 1930's.

I cut a hole in the door with a circular saw, and secured the window in by nailing and gluing cottage grade tongue and groove panelling over it. I cut the tongues and grooves off, and turn the paneling backward so that I have a rough surface to do the paint treatment on.

I outlined the edge of the door with paneling,

and then chose to do a couple of strips down the middle.

I painted the door white and then stained over it with black, rubbing most of it off I liked the window as it was so I didn't even have to paint it. Then I sanded the rough paneling with the sander. This picture is of the back of the door. I wasn't going to bother adding the extra embellishment in the middle, but later realized that I had the wrong swing going, so I eventually finished this side too and it became the outside after Johnny switched the hinges over for me.

Here it is in place, can you see the photo bomber?

I bet you can now!

I saved the original trim and we used it again on the main floor of the house, isn't it pretty?

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