Monday, February 3, 2020

Antique millwork restoration

If you've been here long, you'll know I've been restoring and installing in our house the 100+ year old millwork that was stored from my great grandfather's house here. I'll link to some of those posts at the bottom.

This is a project I'm really passionate about, and I've certainly improved my woodworking skills in the process😊

Continuing in the living room, I worked on the baseboards and window trim last week. Oh what a difference millwork makes!! The rich texture of this old wood is just beautiful, and I'm so happy to give it new life in our home.

I had struggled to piece all this together with photos from the old house, but it all started to come together when I built the mantel and surround last fall. When I held up one of these boards to the rosette, I could clearly see the outline of the original stain, which matched perfectly. For me, that was the seal of approval from my grandfather.

I washed and lightly sanded all these pieces then stained with dark walnut stain to keep it all uniform. The color just brings out this beautiful grain.

I will add a cap to the baseboard, although I don't have to, I just like the thicker look, and that's how it was in the house.

Going around this wall that juts out was a challenge to my patience and my geometry skills, but I got it, and I'm super proud of it. Nothing was square, but somehow I kept sanding, planing and chiseling until I got it right. It's easy when you're using painted wood, and you can caulk any issues. You can't do that with wood. 

It just makes such a difference in this room.

I'm so proud of these projects because it means so much to me to save this beautiful wood that was carefully stacked and stored. How could I not do that? Seriously over here reclaiming the past - one board at a time😊😊

I'll be joining:



  1. That woodwork is simply stunning. I'm in awe of your hard work and endurance that are reflected in the beautiful results. The older I get, the less patience I have, especially with anything requiring cutting and fitting. You truly are blessed to have those skills and access to such memory-filled pieces.

  2. Hi Anita,

    You've done a great job with the baseboards and window trim in your living room! I also love the mantel you did -- just lovely. Yes, old-fashioned millwork is a joy to behold. It costs so much nowadays (I guess that's why we rarely see it) and it probably cost a lot, relatively speaking, back then too. Those touches really make a house feel like a home and a special home, at that.

    I hope you have a great week. Can you believe this N.C. weather we're having?



  3. You have a great home, beautiful furniture. I love reading your posts and looking to you. Regards.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous, it really grounds the room! Such a cozy home, I always love popping over here for a visit!

  5. The jewel colors in your home are enhanced by your millwork!

  6. Oh, Anita, you are a girl after my own heart. I actually showed your mantel post to my hubby---because that is the last thing missing in this home. We have a 1970s ranch which we have totally done like twice now---but the recurring thing that joins our house with the past is the bullseye trim and wood doors we added in the last 10 years. Cove moldings and corner stops on the floors...from the inside this house looks 100 years old, homey and warm. It's a great way to show off antiques! And, this has what you have accomplished...and so lucky to have the original woods! It can be done new---but the grains aren't as spirited or as rich on new moldings!
    Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!

  7. So beautiful! I love how you are able to make dark and moody also look cheerful!! Your home always looks so warm and inviting...

  8. Anita,
    Absolutely stunning!! Your home is so beautiful and filled with deep rich colors that just make everything look so elegant and rich!! And the wood trim is the perfect finishing touch!! Amazing!!