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Monday, December 8, 2014

It's SO DISTRESSING....but I've never been SO HAPPY!!!




Remember this little detail of the Money Pit?!?



Every single door that led in and out of anywhere in this house was scratched profusely by the dog that used to live here.

I imagine the dog looked something like this:


But instead of being a Harry Potter 3-headed dog---I imagine the dog having 3 times as many front paws and claws to scratch the doors to shreds!


The insides were scratched.  


The outsides were scratched.  

The bedroom doors were scratched.  The bathroom doors were scratched.  The laundry room and even the office door were scratched.  Inside.  Outside.  Down low.  Up high.


And to make matters worse---someone had tried to fix the scratches.  Not with scratch cover.  Not with stain.  It looks like they tried to fix the scratches with red fingernail polish.  What?!  Huh?!



With winter upon us--we set up shop in the basement again.  Lucky we haven't fixed it all up down there yet!  Two water barrels served as saw horses.

And we got busy with the task of redeeming these old scratched doors!


We took turns sanding.  Then got smart and went and bought a second sander!

These are solid hardwood doors.  They are heavy and well-made and worth the effort of redemption!


But besides all the dog scratching, they had dings and cracks and all manner of abuse.  This one looks like it's been hammered on numerous times.  Even after a lot of sanding.

We knew we wouldn't be able to sand them perfectly smooth again.  So I read up on the internet on how to DISTRESS wood!  And I really like the look of distressed wood.  It makes the wood look old and ancient and really rather inviting!


So instead of trying to remove all the dings and hammer marks---we decided to ADD SOME MORE!


With various tools we dinged and banged and scratched and messed up the doors all over!


I read about how to simulate worm holes---like the wood was SO OLD that worms had been crawling in and out of it!  I pounded little organic-shaped groupings of holes in the corners of the various panels on the door.


Here a few worm holes.  There a few worm holes.


We didn't sand all of the old stain and varnish off.  We thought leaving some would make the doors look even more old and beat up.  And it was also too hard to sand in all those little corners!



We found a stain that was almost a perfect match for the old stain.  Rubbed it on---making sure to get in all the little dings and nooks and crannies.  It brought out the grain of the wood beautifully!  This picture doesn't do justice to how warm and wonderful the wood looked when it first came back to life with the new stain!


The stain settled into the little holes and dings and gave the door an all over feel of being abused for several centuries!  Just what we wanted! (Color is off in this photo.)


At first, we tried spraying some polyurethane on, but that proved silly and wasteful.  It was just too light of a coverage for such a big door.  So we ended up painting on some "soap and water washable" polyurethane from a one quart can.  It dried in 2 hours and took only 2 coats to get the look we wanted.

But how would it look once we hung it up?  Next to the original oak trim?  We carried it upstairs to see....


It was one beautifully distressed bedroom door!  It matched with the trim perfectly!  And when we re-installed the original antiqued brass doorknob it seemed like a match made in heaven!  Antiqued brass doorknobs OUGHT to have distressed heavy wooden doors to open and shut!

You can still see the hammer marks left by the previous owners---but your attention isn't drawn to that spot because there are dings and hammer marks all over!  It is just an old weathered and beaten door!  That is somehow also very new and alive and wonderful!


A few worm holes.  A few hammer marks.  Rich deep stain.  Nice clean satin polyurethane coating.



It looks so nice!


And compared to the neighboring bedroom door that is still covered with scratches---it's positively wonderful!

So here you have it, again!

BEFORE:


AFTER:



It's makes me SO HAPPY!!!

(Now only 10 more doors to go!)

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