Monday, August 13, 2007

Today Was My Lucky Day!

After working on the "Old Crack House" for a few hours on Sunday afternoon vacuuming dust from the bathroom and giving a fireplace mantle a renewed finish with a bit of shellac I decided that I needed to walk home and get my bag of polypropylene fibers so I could patch some plaster so I can get some walls smoothed out in the next few days. After walking about one and a half blocks (just down the street really) I noticed a door in the alley with a pile of wood around it that was being thrown out at one of our neighborhood rental units. I don't need doors unless they are tall and wide. This was neither but it had hardware! So I took the entire door, it was heavy, too and walked back to the "Old Crack House" where I removed the hardware that I had an immediate interest in. I put the hardware in a bag and took it home where I immediately proceeded to strip the paint from it after showing my scoop to the missus, of course! Within a couple of hours the paint was off and I had oiled the movable parts and was ready to return to add the finishing touches so I could see if I could put the new hardware to use. I still have the three complete hinges to remove and the door knob plates which I probably won't use, but I wanted these;

By 11:00 PM the bell was finished and installed

and the letter opening looked like this

These were sprayed gold and then given three coats of amber shellac to amplify the detail. I then spray clear enamel gloss varnish on them to protect the shellac but didn't get the letter opening sprayed yet. We may not use it anyway. That bell just got two coats of clear shellac to make it shine nicely.
I also got my plaster work done between sprays and coats of shellac. So I guess you could say I was plastered and shellacked on the job!


John said...

Very nice find. We traded for a door-bell just like that and it was worth $75 as-is (need to be cleaned, oiled, etc). You got quite the steal.

Anonymous said...

That letter opener rocks! We have a similar one right by our front door but it's all covered with paint. Making a mental note of the gold/shellac process so I can get mine all gorgeous too.h

Jean Martha said...

total score!!!! we have a similar doorbell on our house, it confuses anyone under the age of 40...and it's LOUD LOUD LOUD

Anonymous said...

Here's a tip. Remove paint from metal surfaces easily. Put some straight Lestoil in a can, immerse your piece to be stripped for a bit and the paint comes off without a hitch. Good luck

Christy ~ Central Air said...

Gary, which did you use and how did you use it to remove the paint from the hardware?

Mostly a newbie (with fear of chemicals),

Gary said...

To strip these I threw them in an old electric wok filled with water and boiled them for an hour. The paint peeled right off. You might want to get a set of wire brushes for the awkward bits though.