Wednesday, November 8, 2023

The Never Ending Door Project

This week, one of our painters accused me of being a masochist.  And he might not be wrong.  Sigh....

You see, I love old doors.  In Maine they're typically made of Douglas Fir and they're absolutely beautiful if they're not painted.  But every one of ours is painted.  All 15 of them.  Layers and layers of paint over many, many decades. 

I've stripped doors on some other houses and know it's a big job.  But I was up to the task!  I decided to make my life a bit easier and bought a Cobra Speedheater infrared stripper.  It heats the old paint up so you can easily scrape it in long pieces, eliminating lead dust and it doesn't heat hot enough to vaporize the lead paint.

But even with that advantage, it took me over 30 hours to do one side of one door.  And I still needed dental tools to dig out paint in some of the crevices.  Yikes!

The next door I used a combination of the Cobra and a non-toxic paint stripper and that took the time down to about 15 hours.  A huge improvement!  But I wasn't as happy with the finished product.  It's a bit blotchy (and the top rail is pine, which looks odd next to all the Douglas fir).  

And since I have bathrooms to tile and wallpaper to hang - I'm  not going to have time to do all those doors when we move in (or maybe never is what my husband is thinking! 😂). So for now, my painter and I have agreed he will paint the backs of the doors - but the fronts that we see all the time will not be painted and will just wait for me to get to them. 

It's a compromise and will look a bit odd - but it feels like a plan!


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1 comment:

  1. That first door is gorgeous! Can't wait to see this home when you're finished.


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