• December 17, 2006

Hallway & Stairwell (almost) Finito!

Walls patched and painted, wood stripped and stained

Restoration Diary

Our little hallway and stairwell project has come to an end. The paint on the woodwork has been stripped away to reveal beautiful Douglas fir wood. The wood has been stained and varnished (twice). The walls have been re-plastered and painted (twice). Antique leaded glass doors have been installed between the back hallway and the sleeping porch to let in more light. The reproduction light fixture and switch plates have been installed.

The only thing left to do is sand and refinish the little back hallway floor. I’ll start on that after the holidays.

Photo taken from the dining room. We selected a blue green color from Benjamin Moore’s Historical collection called Wythe Blue HC-143. It’s a darker version of our first paint color attempt. Our bedroom plaster was originally tinted a similiar color to Wythe Blue and served as inspiration.

Top of the stairwell. Light fixture is from Rejuvenation.

Taken at the top of the stairway landing, looking down.

Taken at the top of the stairway landing, looking towards the sleeping porch.

Photo of the antique leaded glass doors, taken from the upstairs bathroom. It is difficult to adequately photograph these beautiful doors due to the narrowness of the back hallway.

Photo of the back hallway taken from our bedroom.

This project somehow doesn’t seem as exciting as some of our past projects but it was just as much work!

Comments { 9 }
  1. Martha

    It looks BEAUTIFUL! Congrats on another job well done!

  2. parker

    Happy Birthday Heather! You are an inspiration!

  3. RPF

    HGF, I know how old you are! Lets see it was the best year for the Camero Z-28, that you were born.

  4. Scott

    I love the woodwork! A couple of years ago, when my wife and I started stripping the wood in our 1924 craftsman, we tried to restain to the original color and saw that even after all the stripping, then enormous amounts of sanding, we still could not bring the wood to stain to a single consistent color. -the old stain was deep in the wood and would leave random streaks and spots of darker color. That drove me to paint the doors white. Now looking at your house, I wonder if I could have made it work. hmm. With only the living room and kitchen left, I’m quite committed to finishing in white. Of course, as the years have gone by, I have become more of a originalist which was not my plan from the start. At the beginning all I wanted was to fix up a few things. But, I can hardly tell you how this experience has changed my life. I have an entirely different outlook on watching TV (I don’t do it anymore), I don’t agree with the way homes in my area are priced (mostly by the square footage and number of bed/baths.), and I totally believe people forego the niceties of a beautiful home today for larger one and the ownership of bulk amounts of worthless junk. (compare the closet sizes of your craftsman home to a modern one.)

    I have a couple of questions on your work. Did you do the stripping with the wood in place? I find it easier to sand with the wood off the walls, but it requires more effort in replacing and filling nail holes.

    This weekend I spent 12 hours total stripping and sanding the front door. Each step simply takes me forever. Right now I am working on replacing all of the cedar shake on the exterior. (the house was down to the 2×4 framing so I could put in insulation). Do you spend nearly every waking moment on your projects as I often feel?

    It’s good to see that your parents are also inspired by your work. Ours all think I’m absolutely crazy along with the neighbors, friends, etc.

  5. scott

    Another comment. I saw how nicely you did the pocket pull and the other door hardware. Did you do all of that while the hardware was still on the doors? I had a real problem getting ALL of the paint out of the little grooves. Perhaps I was not using the right brand stripper? How did you get all the little bits of paint out?

  6. heather

    Hi Scott!

    It is amazing how going through a restoration makes you appreciate quality and craftsmanship. I used to get a good feeling in certain houses but had no idea why I liked them. Now I know. It’s in all the little details, the proportions of a room, certain shapes and design elements subtly repeated through out a house, etc.

    The doors were taken off their hinges and stripped outside but the rest of the woodwork was left in place. We learned the secret to getting a consistent finish on woodwork that was originally stained is wood bleach. We picked up the wood bleach from a local paint store.

    After the wood has been stripped and sanded, apply a coat of wood bleach according to the manufacture’s directions. Ours was left on overnight and then rinsed off numerous times with a wet cloth rag. Once the wood is thoroughly dried, one or two days, apply the stain. It should take the color evenly.

    But, since you are almost completely done with the white trim, I agree that sticking with white makes the most sense. We have a neighbor that kept their trim painted white and I always think how bright and fresh her house looks. We have been debating about staining the upstairs bedrooms but have decided to paint the woodwork white instead.

    We removed the door hardware and soaked it in a bucket of paint stripper for a few days.

    We used to have a project going on the house all the time but ended up getting really burnt out after a few years. We ended up taking a year off from working on the house and went out to dinner, to the movies, hung out with friends – just tried to have a life outside the house. Now we are trying to find a balance between trying to get the house “done” and having a life! We have decided to do 1 or 2 house projects a year.

    Best of luck with your house!

  7. Amy

    Hi Heather! I have been lurking on this site for about a year now and love love love it!

    Curious about your paint colors? I am a Benjamin Moore junkie and would love to know what colors you have used in your house. Do you know them all?

    THanks! Amy

  8. Kathy Cutforth

    I know you are busy with baby and all, but there are a lot of broken picture links with your blog. If you have moved your photo folder or renamed it, that might be the reason. I was looking at the stain is too light pages, but maybe you can do a diagnostic to find all the broken links. I love your blog for its “I’ve learned the hard way” and historical research.

    • Heather

      Thanks for letting me know! We’ll try to get that fixed as soon as possible. Best -h

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