Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Front Door! (Staircase & Hallway - Part II)

The front door leads to the staircase, which leads to the hallway... so this counts right?

I don't care if it counts. I am way too excited not to share this with you.

After owning the house for 2 years, we have finally made the front door functional.

AKA there is actually working hardware on it! WHAT?!

As a reminder: The Before

When we bought the house

Before we bought the house

After installing a porch light in December of last year. 

Before we bought the house.

When we bought the house. 
I started working on this during the May 2-4 week.

For those of you who are not Canadian, we have a holiday Monday in May called Victoria Day. We generally refer to it as May 2-4. History Lesson: We do NOT call it May 2-4 because of a case of beer as someone recently tried to tell me. The truth is that May 24th was Queen Victoria's birthday. And Victoria Day always falls on the Monday on or before the 24th. I am actually appalled that anyone would think it had anything to do with a case of beer... uncultured swine... 

I took that week off of work with the initial intention of working on rebuilding our shed. 

That plan fell through, though now I cannot remember our rationale... 

Either way, I didn't want to waste the time off work and got down to business on the front door!

If you remember, for our anniversary in 2016 we purchased an antique doorbell. I had been waiting patiently since that day for the opportunity to install it in the front door. 

This was that day!

I marked out the location of where I wanted it (in between the windows) and meticulously measured out the center. Then it came time to drill through the door. 

Of course this could have been done prettier, but honestly, once installed the doorbell should never be removed again. I was more concerned that the doorbell would be able to function correctly. 

After some testing, I was satisfied that the lever would be able to move enough that the bell would work. 

I then turned my attention to the finish on the front door. Someone else had previously stripped the paint so all I needed to do was sand it down and make it smooth. 

Then wood conditioner: 

Already, the richness of the wood was beginning to make the house look better. 

The imperfections in the door were starting to show more too. Surprisingly, I was okay with this. 

If there is one thing working on this house has taught me, it's to fall in love with original features and their imperfections. To Jake, this door required further sanding and maybe even paint instead of stain. To me, this door showed her age and therefore her beauty. 

It was at this point that I took a little break from working on the door and instead opted to work on the transom window while I waited the required 30 minutes after applying the wood conditioner. 

Back when I bought the vinyl decal for the mailbox (yes... 2 years ago), I also purchased a new number with the intention of replacing the hand-painted one on the transom window. 

Image taken from inside the house. 

Ultimately we will need to replace the transom because there is a large crack in it that is currently being held together with packing tape... Seen in the above image. 

Anyway, I've had this decal sitting in a box in the basement since buying it. It was time to brush the dust off and get it installed!

I used regular old nail polish remover to get rid of the paint and then gave the window its first cleaning since belonging to us. I was in awe how amazing it looked just being CLEAN! (which then sent me on a window cleaning rampage throughout the interior of the house). 

Just focus on the window... not on the chipping paint everywhere else.... please.... please?

I followed the same process as with the mailbox to install the vinyl decal and because I knew what I was doing this time around, it went really smoothly (and quickly!)

Looking at that image, I clearly used packing tape... which is weird because I don't know where the heck I got the packing tape from...

And here is the final result of the decal. I'm showing you a lot of images of pretty much the same thing because it makes me happy. 

It looks SO elegant. I love it dearly. 


Stain came next. I love putting stain on. It is like paint; instant gratification. 

First coat: 

and second coat:

I love the fact that the door and the porch light match now. It's the little things. 😊

Satisfied, I added the clear coat (four coats of exterior grade gloss), scraped the window, and called the front of the door ready for hardware. 

The back of the door required more prep work however. 

First, I had to remove the remaining hardware, strip it, and paint it black. 

So satisfying.

Then I filled the cracks and holes in the door, including filling the hardware screw holes. 

They had been re-used too many times and couldn't grip the screws anymore. So I filled the holes with a combination of toothpicks and wood glue to make them functional once again. 

Large crack. 

I hammered the toothpicks in as far as they would go to ensure I'd get a solid fill.

Once completely dry, I used a saw to cut the extensions and sanded it all down. 

The door was also primed. 

And finally painted just last week. I put the final coat on before dinner one evening and by the time we had cleaned up after eating, the paint was dry enough for me to start working on the hardware. 

We ran into a few hiccups when installing the handle (the faceplate we bought is the wrong size, couldn't find some screws, etc.) but we adjusted and got it all in place and working for now. 

We still need to buy new or stain a number of the screws so that they blend in better, but I am BEYOND excited to have a properly functioning and GORGEOUS front door for the first time since owning the house. 

I will now leave you with a million "after" pictures of our front door 😁

The hardware makes me so happy. 

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