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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Only kind of book related...

... in the sense that it's the room where my books live.


Some of you might know about our DIY project that would never end - the restoration of the french doors in my library - and I thought I'd do a post because:




(If home projects are not your thing, please pretend this post isn't here and sorry for the length.)


Quick recap:  while re-painting part of the outside of these doors back in February, MT commented that they'd look awesome if we stripped all the paint off and refinished them.  I should have knocked him out with the bucket of pain thinner and run for the hills, because I knew stripping off 120 years of paint would suck.  Instead we started this masochistic project over Easter weekend.


This is what they looked like before we started:



They didn't look bad but it was obvious the doors were layered in measurable amounts of paint.  You can see it here in the trim:


I honestly didn't think we'd ever, ever be finished because we'd get through one layer only to find another.  In all there were at least 8 different colours (including a gross dark brown and a yellow we referred to as "nicotine stained").


Once all the paint came off, it was a good news/bad news reveal.  The good news:  the doors are solid cedar and have held up against the elements perfectly.  The bad news:  the poor doors didn't stand up so well to the human elements or their pets:  the bottom of both doors were heavily gouged and scratched; likewise the upper parts of the doors had a lot of nail holes and scratches and all of it had been filled in with white spackle.  We thought after all that work we might have to paint over them anyway (the trim definitely had to be painted because the wood was very different and some of it just ugly).


Various stages of progress:



I removed all the spackle, filled the worst parts with color matched putty, and ultimately decided to leave the rest of the gouges and call it "rustic" - then I had to sand everything down until I wanted to weep.  I hate sanding.  I hated sanding before we started this and well, now I know: my personal hell would be an eternity of sanding (and mowing grass).


But finally, yesterday I'd reached the point where it was time to apply the wax, which was the easiest part of the whole business.  And after all the cleanup, the result:



I'm pleased with the results, and once the agony of the project fades from memory I'm going to love having done it.  A bonus surprise came last night when I was doing the final cleanup and trying to clean paint, etc. from the old-fashioned twirl doorbell.  You can see in the first picture it's been painted over (many times).  I wasn't expecting much, as under all the paint it was just a black metal bell dome, but as I was cleaning it, it started to shine and low and behold:



Solid brass!!  So pretty!


The outside of the doors still have to be finished, but that's MT's project (since he went MIA when it came time to start sanding).  Me, I'm looking forward to nothing more strenuous than re-arranging my books.