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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

After 120 Years, Another First!

For the first time in what must have been 120 years (since the 1888-90 remodel), all the doors in the master bedroom actually close AND latch! When we bought this place, none of the doors would close. The assumption was that the layers of paint were way too thick to permit the doors to close. After stripping and finishing the doors, using the original hinges in their original locations and hanging the doors, they still would not close.
I had to plane and sand a little off the top just to get them all to close. I then rubbed bar soap on the top of the doors to prevent sticking and on these two shellacked doors I had to raise the strike plates slightly in order to get the doors to latch shut. I can't believe these doors never closed properly. I guess the Volkenand family didn't mind the doors not closing and after 1954 this was the front room of a second floor apartment adjoining the hall and a kitchen so closing doors wasn't important either.

This is the closet door. It wasn't worth the time it was taking to get the paint stripped off it. The top three coats came off easily with a heat gun so I left the original layer intact and sanded the surface before painting it. This is the same closet that took me 5 hours to wire in a switch and a light so that no cable is visible. I hate to think what an electrician would have charged to put a light in this closet. Of course it would likely have required the use of exterior metal track to put the wires in and not having to pull up any floor boards which is no fun at all!.


At 2/11/2008 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my projects to do on my new old house is to strip and refinish all the doors (and knobs which have sadly been painted too). I will want to keep my closet doors white like the one you have here. My worry is that I'll strip them and then have to put on several new layers of paint to get good coverage. Did you use normal latex paint on the closet door? How mnay coats did that need?


At 2/11/2008 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm amazed frankly. If the doors never closed properly or latched it's a miracle the doors weren't removed to forever be lost. I love natural woodwork but white painted woodwork really makes paint colors pop. It's looks great and congrats on all working/latching doors!


At 2/11/2008 8:27 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Great applause coming from the peanut gallery.

Someday I hope to have more working doors in the upstairs of my house. Right now only 2 of the 10 doors upstairs are hung and working properly. (4 are hung, but only 2 work properly)

At 2/11/2008 8:41 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

They must have had ME hang their doors 100 years ago!!! Or, an old, old relative of mine.

I'm glad they close... the white painted door looks good!

At 2/11/2008 11:31 PM, Blogger Gary said...

That white door got two coats of Bin primer and three watered down coats of acrylic gloss. I watered down the paint to reduce brush marks and even sanded every two coats with 220 grit paper. It really needs a going over with the furniture wax and superfine steel wool to make it super smooth but hey, it's a closet door. The inside only got one coat of gloss because I'm the only one looking at it and if I put a coat hook on it the it will be covered up most of the time!

At 2/12/2008 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks great and I love the color of the walls.

At 2/12/2008 1:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks, Gary. You just taught me of like 5 different things in that response :)

At 2/13/2008 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The house is really coming along. You amaze me with your endless talent!

That purple is dreamy....love it.


At 2/14/2008 1:04 AM, Blogger pedalpower said...

They close and latch. *sigh* That's a dream of mine.

With ours the problems is probably with the latches themselves.


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