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Refinishing Our 100 Year Old Front Door- Personal

April 18, 2016

Some of you may know that Devin and I bought a 100 year old Victorian house in July 2014.  If you've been to my office, then you've seen part of it!  Since it's located in downtown Lafayette and is right on Main Street, it was the perfect location for my office.  

 

The house has certainly been a labor of love.  When we bought it, it was in pretty bad shape.  The then-current owners didn't keep up with it as they should have and used it as a rental.  The house had so much potential that we could pass it up!  Before the previous owners, it used to be an antique shop so they took care of it and kept all of the original woodwork and victorian fixtures.  There's a "Edison Electric Light" plate in my office, oil lamps throughout upstairs, Victorian hinges and door knobs on all the doors, and the staircase is to DIE for!!!! 

 

Before we moved in, we re-did all the floors, painted, and had a kitchen remodel!  There is still so much to do, like remodel our upstairs bathroom (it is currently still gutted), re-siding, and so much more!  After all of the work we put in the house before we moved in to make it livable, I think we just kind of needed a break for awhile.  

 

One of the main things I wanted to do was re-finish our front doors.  They are so beautiful and over 100 years old, but they were badly worn and it looked like a tire hit the bottom of one door (when we first moved in I tried to wash it off with no avail).  This was something easy that we could do, but it is definitely time consuming.  We FINALLY decided to give it a go a couple of weeks ago.  We went and bought all of the supplies and went to work.  Well we picked a bad weekend to start.  As we were sanding and conditioning the doors it started to hail, yes HAIL!  We pushed through and got it conditioned but had to wait on the stain since it needs to be so warm for a proper finish.  The next week was super cold with frost advisories.  AHHHHHHH......

 

Last week though was PERFECT weather so we finally got to finish them!  It took us a couple of hours each night of the week with putting on each coat of stain and polyurethane, but we finally got everything complete on Friday!

 

We've ordered a replica vintage mail slot to replace our old one and we still need to polish up the vintage door knob, but other than that it's complete!  

 

Enjoy our journey with refinishing our 100 year old door in picture form below!

 

I didn't get a before photo before Devin started sanding, but this is right when we started sanding.  Look how horrible and worn it looked!  :(

 

The sanding process took about 5 hours total.  It was a pain!  Since there is so much detail work on our doors we had to do a lot of the sanding by hand.  My the end of the sanding process, the gloves I was wearing no longer had fingertips! haha  The sanding process also was so dusty, I'm still cleaning up dust from our foyer.  

 

 This is what we used.  We used a Pre-Stain which was a wood conditioner first.  Since our doors were 100 years old and neglected we figured it needed it.  We then used a Wood Finish Stain in Honey and then followed up with a Spar Urethane.  It took 1 coat of Pre-Stain, 2 coats of Stain, and 3 coats of Spar Urethane for our doors.  (Next we obviously need to stain our floorboards... haha)

 First photo is after the sanding was complete (and yes that's Devin in the window!) and second photo was after the Pre-Stain.

 

The Pre-Stain was pretty easy and straightforward and it seemed to really give the old wood some new life.

 1st photo is after the first coat of stain and second photo is after the 2nd coat of stain.

 

The staining process wasn't too hard either.  The first coat took a lot more time that the second just because we were trying to make sure it was applied correctly.  We also used a stain brush for the first coat and then switched to a rag for the second coat, the rag was much easier!  You have to let them dry for 6 hours in-between coats.  After both coats of stain I was still kind of bummed out since the doors didn't look even in color but once we got the poly on them, they evened out!

After 3 coats of poly and all the hardware re-attached, this is what it looks like now!!!!!  The doors are back to life and happy! :)  Each coat of poly takes 6 hours to cure so that was a long waiting process as well!

 The door knob and key hole are original Victorian pieces and the rabbit door knocker I got from Anthropologie.  

 Some of the detail in the door!

Lastly, Devin and I after all of our hard work.  Please ignore my sock clad feet! haha :) 

 

 

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I'm Jasmine and I am a wedding photographer based in Indiana but I serve clients worldwide!
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