Monday, April 9, 2012

Bungalow Woodwork as It was Intended

First things first: My other house is finally under contract! Yippee! We close at the end of the month. It will be so nice to live with furniture again, not to mention not having to pay two mortgages. On the downside, it means that I have to finish the baseboards in the new (old) house before the end of the month. With P's help, I got the last piece of the kitchen scraped, sanded, primed and painted. P painted the baseboards in the guest room, which means I can set up bookshelves and move the boxes of books out of the sewing room and tackle the baseboards in there. The dining room looked like this Thursday morning:

Behind a phone jack, I noticed a patch of unpainted wood.

On further testing, I discovered that there appeared to be only one coat of white paint over the baseboards in this room. Baseboards in other rooms have had 5-6 coats of paint and 2 coats of wood putty on them. Could it be that I could actually bring the woodwork in this room back to its former glory? I scraped a little paint from the door trim, window trim and french doors and was rewarded with wood below all surfaces.

I got out the wood stripper and got to work.

After scraping the paint, I was left with this.

The remaining stain was really dark. The stain on the built-ins in the living room are also really dark. From research I've done, it doesn't appear that such dark stains were popular when bungalows were first built. The stain in my house was probably darkened at some point later. Some stain has dripped on the glass of the built-ins and the bricks appear to have been stained too. The bricks are actually sand colored which you can see by looking at the chimney from the outside of the house. Maybe I'm wrong and the dark stain is original, but I think it's just too dark, especially against the lighter floors.

After sanding (and sanding, and sanding, and sanding some more) and then digging white caulk out of all the dimples and cracks, I got down to this:

Isn't it pretty?!? I tested a couple stains.

On the left is Provincial, on the right is Dark Maple, both from Minwax. I think they are both too dark. I went back and got a couple lighter stains.

On the left is Cherry, on the right is Golden Pecan. The Golden Pecan matches the floor really well, so that is what I am going with. I'll probably do two coats and then a semi-glass clear coat.I like that you can see the wood grain through it.

Yesterday I refilled the dimples and cracks with Minwax stainable wood putty. Next, I'll sand it down, put on a coat of wood conditioner and the first coat of stain.

This is the piece after sanding off the rejected stain samples.

I just hope it comes out half as nice as the cabinets stained by A and G of Is It a House Yet?

At some point, I'll need to take down and strip the french doors (as well as the window and door trim). I hope the original door plates still look decent once all that paint is gone.


  1. You have the patients of a saint! I think even with a minimal budget I would have lasted about 15 minutes with the sanding and then I would have given up and hired someone!

    It is looking beautiful and I check often for the updates! Congrats on the house being in escrow (ours is too)! I did not know that. Not sure if Corey didn't tell Jason or Jason did not tell me (boys and poor communication, you know how it is).

    Looking forward to seeing the house someday soon and looking forward to having you out here to our new place soon as well!

    Miss you!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Wow, looks like a lot of work ahead of you! It's looking great.