September 9, 2016 by phicks2012
This has nothing to do with the Rock Band, Jim Morrison, or the Movie — though those pop culture references are obviously so dated that many of you will wrinkle your brows and ask “the WHO?” — which is another dated pop culture reference/rock band in itself.
The front doors here at the Castle are architectural antiques. At one time I had the paperwork on them stating that they came from a church in England (late 19th century) — and those papers might even show up again some day — but in any case, the doors are OLD. They’d also been repaired at various times in the distant past, and by the time I got them they’d been painted (white on the outside and brown on the inside).
The original contractor (NOT a favorite person for VARIOUS reasons) trimmed a bit off of the bottoms of the doors (withOUT my permission) to get them to fit, and to do this he removed the lower iron-work — which he then stupidly and carelessly tossed on the ground where the pieces were run over by a dump truck. One day I’d love to get the upper pieces copied so that the original look can be restored, but that’s expensive –unless some talented blacksmith/caster on-line arbitrarily decides to take on the challenge. However, the upper pieces remained, as did the pull-ring/knob, and the locking mechanisms. No “key”, but a locksmith friend (James) later made me one of those (see photo) that could double as offensive weaponry, and the doors (see other photos) are cool.
However, the contractor also didn’t seal the doors, sill and threshold as he claimed to have done, so over the years rain and sun faded out the lower portion of the doors, and the paint on the iron-work started curling and peeling, and the threshold started rotting out. As a result, I’ve been wanting for SOME TIME to refinish the doors. I’ve even gotten estimates.
You don’t want to KNOW how much those folks wanted for the job! Nope, you have no IDEA how expensive it is to do that if you hire a professional!! But recently Jason has fixated on refinishing the doors, frames, iron-work, etc., and that’s another matter. Having a handyman with just a touch of OCD means that when he decides something needs to be done he will work on it until it’s finished, and will simply refuse to do a poor job. Okay, so it may take him a WHILE to finish, and he may grumble and grouse when things (or materials) don’t work out exactly as envisioned, but he’ll get the work done and do it well.
The sill and threshold have now been replaced, damages to the arched frame (due mostly to weather and age) have been repaired, the old paint has been scraped off of the frame. The frame has been sanded primed and re-painted, and the sanding is nearly done on the outside of the doors themselves. They are solid oak, so seeing the wood grain again (and even the repairs and wooden pegs) is a definite plus. Character!
The doors are going to look spectacular when finished. This time we’ll be using a much lighter golden oak stain and a good clear sealer, and once the ironwork is cleaned and repainted the contrast is going to be amazing!!! Trust me on this one, and watch for more photos!!!
Sanding and repainting INSIDE of the doors will be another project for a later time, because those had multiple layers of paint on them even when I got them, so removing that is going to take a while. However we HAVE already added door sweeps to the inside bottoms of the doors to block drafts (and access to small animals), and eventually the insides WILL be done too! That’s a promise!
One other thing — for the doofuses who over the years have damaged the door itself by igoring the doorbell and using the pull-ring/door knob as a knocker — we’re getting a big brass plate engraved with the words “DOOR BELL” (and an arrow for the illiterate) to mount behind the doorbell, and a talented friend (Michael) has made iron guards to go around the keyholes and an iron protective plate to place behind the pull-ring. We’ll probably stop short of having “that” engraved with “NOT KNOCKER”, but we’ll see!!