Thursday, May 4, 2017


We are still sitting with out thumbs up our rears waiting on our plumbing inspection. Paperwork was lost by the DOB, filed incorrectly by our previous expediter, refiled correctly by our new expeditor then lost AGAIN by the DOB. It has been 4 months. Ahem, 6 months. I have been sitting on this post for two months in the desperate hope that something would change.

As there is no good news yet, I am turning to other projects. Alas, piecemeal is the word of the day, nay, year. I did end up buying a compound miter saw for myself, that sort of helps with the sting. I'll start putting in baseboards and trim work where I can and simply wait on the walls that are still open to fashionably show off our plumbing runs. Perhaps I'll just leave it, start a new craze in residential deconstructionism, start my own renovation company in NY, cry sad tears every night because my soul is bleeding. On second thought, perhaps I'll stick to my upcoming gigs. I've got a Sondheim concert coming up, which is always so upbeat and sure to chase away the ... damn. (Don't get me wrong, I do love it, gritty realism and all.)


Doors. We have apartment doors.

The glass is covered in a protective film and they still need door hardware, paint, and to be hung. But it is a step forward. And yes, do not be deceived, those paint swatches are indeed pink. I have recently been informed by a new friend that the color I am aiming for is called millennial pink. Not to be deterred by the name, I am still planning on painting the inside if our apartment front door in... cough... a millennial pink tone. Both of the outsides and the interior of the rental until get a semi-gloss black, Benjamin Moore's Onyx, same black I used on our kitchen island. Here are some reference shots of where our kitchen and island are today. I can't remember if I've shared these yet. There are still trim pieces and toe kick that need to go in but so far, so good.

I have also spent some time figuring out final trim and shelving for the kitchen. After a great deal of obsessive behavior, which included building mock shelves from cardboard boxes to determine depth and placement, I pulled the trigger on some very pretty iron brackets. They had been lingering in my online shopping cart for several days while I researched how to install floating walnut shelves in lieu of using brackets. I serendipitously ran across a photo of some one's pantry sporting the brackets and made an impulse buy. 

When in doubt, build a completely unstable mock up of shelves
using boxes and the wrong size lumber. 

Inspiration photo from Instagram @mrslaurenash

Oh yes, and I can't forget the hours of paint stripping, sanding, patching, sanding and refinishing that have gone into our interior doors. I am pleasantly surprised by some of the doors' transformation. I am particularly enamored with the basement door which had a pale green haze on it post stripping. On a whim I decided to follow through with staining it. The tint has simply warmed up the dark walnut stain (Minwax Dark Walnut). I am embracing the age of the doors and letting them dictate how they will be ultimately restored. The wood is old and each door will have its own character. 

Basement door transformation.
Note the red and green cast to various panels of the door in the lower left photo.

For instance, the hall bathroom door had me temporarily stumped. It stripped and sanded down seemingly perfectly. (There she is on the right, sanded and patched up.)

Until I went to stain her. Whomp whomp. Seems the interior of the door was painted originally and said pain, sealed off some grain in sections of the oak, even after removing the paint.  I took a look back at the in progress photos and was reminded of the goopy white paint that was indeed the undermost layer on one side of this door. It is a veneer door and sanding it down further is not in the cards. Oh well, the door wants what the door wants. She returns to her natural state of sanitary white, which I'm ultimately pleased with.

The photo that reminded me of what she looked like mid project.
Yup, there is the white goo.

First pass at staining - nope

Close up of ugly stain job and my 'ah ha' moment

First primer coat. (Apply thin layers for smooth results.)
The side of the door facing the hallway took the stain like a champ.

Similarly, the door that will now be our pantry door (door to the left of the photo above), turns out is a pine door that was painted, and painted, and painted. It was a replacement door when the original pocket doors between the dining room and bedroom were removed and the space closed in. I suspect from old hardware marks and holes, that the two matching doors with Florentine glass that are now going into our master bedroom, were originally there. Anywhoo... that door gets paint too. It got sanded down all nice and smooth, primed and will be painted to match our kitchen cabinets as it is going into the old space where the blueprints show a dumbwaiter originally lived. I have some glass panes to replace in both this door and the hall bath door. I am hoping to find some old glass for the bathroom and will use basic clear glass for the pantry as I want to obscure all the glass in the same fashion later. 

Pantry door evolution

And then there were the two super skinny doors that were of various finishes and paint colors. One was on an upstairs closet that was all of 9" deep. I took the door off and will either put shelves in it or leave it as an open nook. The other door was an access door to our roof. They are exactly the same size, and serendipitously a perfect fit for our new laundry closet on the 1st floor.

One door loosing it's covering of poo orange paint

Faux stained finish on the door underneath, stripped door on top. 

Freshly stripped, repaired and sanded.
There were a mind boggling number of large holes in these doors

Here is the first coat of stain, I ended up doing a second round
to get a better match in tone to the other doors. 

I'm excited to have them in a more visible spot in the house.  I am spending my free time while working for Natchez Festival of Music hunting for missing door hardware and knobs. Maybe I'll find some other goodies to bring back to the house too.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kristin. I recently bought a rowhouse and have to trip at least 6 doors. Can you tell me what stripper you used and how you did your patch work please?!?