Thursday, February 9, 2012

Privacy in the privvy

It's about time!

Almost nine months after the partial remodel on the master bathroom, THERE'S A DOOR.  Privacy at last!

Aside from being cheap, I refuse to buy anything new for the house unless I absolutely have to because, well, it's new.  New looks new.  It lacks the wear and love from years of use.  Therefore, it lacks character.  If my goal is to change back to authentic the few things around the house that were added or replaced over the years, then new is not the way to go.

I've often laughed and said that "death, divorce and the ReStore" is serving me well.  Most of my furniture came from the estates of family members who have passed on.  A few other pieces were bought quite reasonably from people who were divorcing.  Anyone who knows me or has at least been keeping up with this blog knows how much I love the ReStores or any good bargain resource, such as eBay or craigslist.

The bathroom door was a difficult find because it's 28" wide.  About three months ago, I got lucky with craigslist and found two 32" and one 28" two-panel doors for $6 each.  I bought all three, as I'll need every one.  Both 32s are under the house for now.  Getting the door ready to paint was quite the ordeal.  There were multiple layers of paint to be stripped but the new heat gun proved to be extremely helpful.  The previous owner had used Bondo (yes; BONDO, for cars!  Who knew?!) to fill in the old lock mortise and drill-outs for the antique knobs, then they had drilled out for a modern lockset.  I needed that reversed!  I needed the antique lockset set-up!  I got a quart of Bondo, which I had never used before, read the directions, and patched up all the holes and hinge mortises, essentially making it a slab door again.  It took three applications, but it's surprisingly easy to work with and cures in twenty to thirty minutes, ready to sand.  Much better than waiting days for layers of wood filler to cure, or trying to cut and patch in wood blocks.  I decided to turn what was previously the lock side of the door to make it the hinge side, so I could mortise out into wood where the antique lockset would go.  The lock mortising was tricky, as I'd never done that before for an antique set.  Using a spade bit for the depth worked very well but next time I will most definitely use a Forstner bit.  A chisel was used to shape up the sides, top and bottom. 

I found two pairs of 3" ball top hinges on eBay for about $4 and was elated to discover they're NOS (new old stock) still in the original boxes!  Due to the weight of this solid wood door, I was afraid two 3" hinges wouldn't be enough so I swapped them out with 4" hinges off the pantry door since it's much narrower and shorter.  To remove the layers of paint from the pantry hinges, I put the hinges, pins, and screws into an aluminum pie pan with enough water to adequately cover them, added about a tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent, and left them in a 350deg toaster oven for two hours.  The paint peeled right off, and a wire brush got into the nooks, but they still didn't look like shiny new brass so that made me happy.  When it's time to hang one of the other $6 doors, I'll swap out the spare pair of 3" hinges with the hall closet door.

The antique glass knob lockset came from eBay, also, and I was fortunate to have gotten two locksets just alike!  It was $34 for both and they're in perfect condition and all complete. 

The existing door trim was 3" colonial, so that was all removed, discarded, and replaced with 4.5" to match the rest of the house.  My concern was finding adequate backband (the fluted 90deg edging that goes around the outside of the wide trim) but following the advice of several people, I checked at Queen City Lumber and they had a perfect match for only $1.25/ft.  The parting stop was also a concern; there was none because the bathroom used to have bi-fold doors.  I discovered what I needed right in my own kitchen, as one of the original kitchen doors was removed when extra cabinets were installed near the opening. There could never again be a door there because it would have to be an outswing and that would be intrusive and look odd.  I stole the parting stop from there, stripped it, and used it for the bathroom. 

I'm very proud of the way this whole look turned out.  It's funny; I've definitely done much more expensive jobs, but how this all came together has come as a great surprise.  All the searching, stripping, painting, etc. was terribly time consuming and tedious but well worth it.  Everything inside the bathroom is painted but what remains outside in the bedroom will stay primed until it's time to paint that room, but that doesn't bother me.  It was my best compliment when Other Half took a look at the completed door, trim and lockset and said, "Dang.  That looks good.  It looks like it's always been there."  Now that made it all worthwhile.

Best picture I could get, considering there's maybe 5' of floor space.

Backband detail

Beautiful lockset

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