• October 9, 2006

Our Decision Making Process

Trying to balance historical accuracy and modern sensibility

Restoration Diary

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Comments { 11 }
  1. stephen

    you guys have far more stomach for this stuff than we do! we are in month 28 of our project, and even after a 6 month hiatus, we still find it hard to move ahead with much gusto. at least our house is now structurally sound and weatherproof even if we don’t have niceties like say, ceilings.

    looking at your french doors, and your other paint stripping pix, it looks like you have pretty good color uniformity post stripping. is that all due to the master strip formula a, or is there sanding involved? i’ve never used your stripper of choice, but i gotta admit, after using methylene chloride based stuff for years, i’m pretty done with chem strippers.

    in my experience, the silent paint remover doesn’t leave things as uniform as things look in your pix, but if your formula a does that, i might consider using it for some painted cabinets. while i’ve learned to love my niosh approved chem respirator, it’s that methylene chloride burning sensation through the thick rubber gloves that i can live without!

  2. heather

    Hey! I can’t think of a way to say this nicely – paint stripping just sucks doesn’t it?

    No, there was LOTS of sanding. Lots of mess as a result of the sanding. For the downstairs rooms the wood was also bleached to get a uniformity of color. Hopefully, the bleaching can be skipped upstairs because the wood was never stained. We’ll have to see how the wood takes the stain. We have done tests and it appears that the wood will take the stain color evenly but I’m still holding my breathe thinking we’ll end up needing to bleach the wood…

  3. stephen

    hmm, you know, i am currently stripping and staining a painted door where one side had been stained originally and the other side had not. on the recommendation of our expert finisher (who we can’t afford to actually hire) i’m trying an experiment on the stained and laquered side where i’ll use denatured alcohol to emulsify the lacquer (and stain), creating a slurry, and then work in the new stain. since i’m going dark, i think this may work out fine.

    as for the painted side (which by the way was much much easier to get “clean” via the silent paint remover than the stained side), it’s taking stain nice and even (even before it got darker) with not a hideous amount of sanding. so, there’s hope yet you’ll have a bleach free second floor!

  4. Allison

    As a lover of rooms, I fully support your decision to rebuild the wall. Well done!

    [And SO nice to have something to read from you guys on a regular basis again :) ]

  5. Laura

    I think the door is a good idea. For one thing, those doors are gorgeous! And they have a lot of glass, so you’ll still have light in your hallway. They’ll also provide insulation– both against temperature and sound. (The current windows in that room look like those glass slats, which are practically the same thing as an open window in cold weather.)

  6. Kay

    Hi. I looked for “low ceiling house” infomation for 2 hours and finally got here. I currently have no project going on. In fact, I don’t know much about repairing.
    Is it gonna be too hard to raise the ceilings?
    The house I am interested to buy is built in 1940s have very low ceilings ( even with ceiling fan that will cut off your head!!), which seems to be very common back in 40s… and some how built “not so straight” So I will eventually have to fix the floor, too… It’s about 960 sqft 50.000 dollars asked price.
    Is there anybody who can help me? I just need to know where to find those infomations….

  7. heather

    Hi Kay.

    I’m sorry you are having difficulty finding a good resource to answer your house questions.

    We have found that many times carpenters and/or contractors will give you free estimates regarding how much a project will cost. I would find a contractor in your area through word of mouth – either from friends, family, co-workers or better yet, from someone who has had work done on their house that you like. Have the contractor walk through the house with you and give you an estimate of what the work will cost, how long the work will take, etc.

    Remember this is just an estimate and the costs could (and probably will be) more. Mentally tack an extra 10-15% onto whatever price quote they give you.

    Material and labor costs can vary so much depending on where you live. It would be best to get a cost estimate from someone who has actually seen the house you are interested in to get a better idea of the way your house was built and an idea of what your particuliar project will entail. Make sure they are thorough and look in the attic, etc. Even if you end up paying them a couple of hundred dollars for their services, it will be the best money you ever spent considering the cost of purchasing a house and the repairs you are considering.

    Another place you can look for information is http://www.houseblogs.net.

  8. Ashley

    We live in a 1918 California Bungalow, and our living room has the original windows, which are beautiful. But, they were painted. Do you think if we strip the paint off, we could stain them? We would like to make this room have all stained wood, but don’t want to replace the windows. We also have our original front door in this room, which is basically like a giant window. This too was painted and we would love for the interior to be stained.

    Do you have any tips, tricks, instructions, etc. on a good way to do this and to make the stain look good? Thanks!!

  9. heather

    Hi Ashley.

    All of the woodwork in our home had been painted – numerous times! You can definately strip your window frames and door.

    Here is a link to some Before and After photos: http://www.1912bungalow.com/photogallery.html

    or click on the “Photos” tab at the top of the page. You can see pics of several of our rooms (including the living room) Before, During and After the paint stripping process.

    Go here for a detailed description of the paint stripping process: http://www.1912bungalow.com/archives/2004/02/removing_paint.php

    (You will need to copy and paste the urls into your browser. We have turned of the html linking in the comments area due to spam). Or select the “Projects” tab at the top of the page. Once you are on the projects page scroll down to “How To” – Removing Paint + Refinishing.


  10. Karen Meinert

    Our 1918 bungalow had been empty for 5 years before we bought it, and unbelievably is in pretty good shape. we did have to replace all windows, I am trying to strip the woodwork now, anybody have any help with this? There is a first coat of paint that is like glue to get off, the top two coats come off just fine. What kind of strippers has anyone used with luck. I am thinking harder about taking all of the woodwork somewhere to be dipped! Any help would be appreciated!

  11. Crystal Alexander

    Yey! That’s what I was leaning toward! Sorry, just came across a post I missed! Although, I guess I should have known the answer, since I’ve seen more recent posts with the doors up…

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