I have always thought the little details are what make things special. When trying to achieve true vintage style, the details are really important.
When I found the stack of perfectly preserved solid wood doors from my great grandfather's old house, I knew I had to use them somehow.
I was beyond excited to find that there were enough large ones to replace most of the doors in our house. We had added two to the new closet in the master bathroom just before Luis got hurt.
I was determined to continue working on them by myself believing it would really make a difference in the house. And so I did. I knew this was something I could do...provided they were not too warped.
I had to haul 8 of them from the little house to our back yard to work on them. Some had mold, so I wet them down, then scrubbed with a solution of 20 parts water to one part bleach with dish detergent added, then let them dry.
I sanded them all and after trying a couple different finishes, I ended up applying Minwax oil-based stain in "Jacobean." I brushed it on, then rubbed it into the wood, wiping off most of the excess.
I was really lucky they were mostly square. I did have to use my electric hand planer to even up some edges, and I had to add 5" to one of the doors, but that is an entire post on how to do it the old fashioned way with hand tools, ha! (I'm still a little gun-shy since Luis cut his wrist.)
Somehow, I restored, squared and hung all 7 doors by myself. Oh yes I did:-) Honestly, I felt so good having accomplished that while Luis is recovering.
My plan was to use white porcelain door knobs and rim lock sets just like the doors had originally. They still had the holes from the original locks. However, I had some trouble finding antique rim lock sets. New ones run about $70 per, so that was way out of my budget, and I really didn't want new anyway.
Then, I ran across a seller on etsy who had four complete sets of rim locks with glass door knobs. They ended up being very affordable, so I ordered them and they finally arrived today. They were painted blue, pink and white, so I painted them black, as they would have been new.
I am fascinated with these locks and the ease with which they are attached. The rim lock goes on the back of the door, and a plate (keeper) attached to the door jam catches the latch.
For the front, I added antique brass plates and left them in their distressed state.
I actually had two doors with mortise locks. One had the lock in place, and the other just had the hole. I was able to find a perfectly matching mortise lock on ebay and just installed it right into the original hole.
I have several more doors to add knobs to but have enough pieces to put together with the porcelain knobs and rim lock sets I have found from the old house.
I cannot tell you the joy I have opening and closing these doors. They make such a HUGE difference in the house already. There is nothing that feels like closing a heavy antique door, and the feel of the antique locks when they catch, makes it feel like a really old house. The doors would not have the same effect if I had just put new door knobs on them. The rim locks and glass door knobs make all the difference.
It really is the detail that makes something special. And going from this...
...to this, is a big accomplishment for me.
People must think I am crazy to do all the work I had to do to get these doors in shape and hung. Honestly, I thought I was crazy for a while, but my patience paid off. When my dad first saw the doors outside, while I was working on them, he mentioned what a great job I had done. Then, to see him smile when he saw them in the house and remember these same doors from his childhood, was priceless. Price. Less. That made it worth all the work:-) And that's why I do what I do here.
All the projects are moving at a snail's pace, but I am determined to do what I can to get ready for the photographers next month. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I have to give my best for.
Luis is going to therapy three times a week and has regained some movement, but the wound is taking its time to heal. He is amazing and has faith like no one else. It is really hard for him to not be playing, but he is trusting God. His recovery is my first priority.
Thanks for stopping by and for all your encouraging comments, thoughts and prayers:-)
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