Repairing Historic Moulding + Trim: An ORC Week 7 Update
I’m back in the game with a big update to show you how far we’ve come the past two weeks! I’ll admit: We’re not as far along as I’d hoped we’d be at this point but we’re making steady progress towards the finish line! Here’s how I’ve spent my week (spoiler: a scraper, a sander, and a lot of elbow grease included) and here’s how my ORC Bedroom is looking as of today!
You’re going to want to save this one for later, so click that little red P button to add this to your Pinterest Home Improvement board. You can thank me this winter when you notice a lot less drafts in your home.
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BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER, PLEASE REMEMBER TO TAKE PROPER PRECAUTIONS WHEN WORKING WITH OLD PAINT. LEAD PAINT IS HAZARDOUS TO CHILDREN AND THE DUST CAN DESTROY LUNG TISSUE. WEAR PROPER PROTECTION WHILE WORKING WITH OLD PAINT AND REFER TO EPA GUIDELINES FOR PROPER DISPOSAL.
I’ve spent the bulk of the last two weeks with a sander and scraper in hand, restoring the original trim work and moulding that came out of our historic home. It’s not the most fun DIY project but you can save a ton of money - and maintain your home’s original charm - if you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease.
For us, restoring the original trim was a no-brainer. When we bought the house last year, we were enamored with the fact that this trim still existed in the house! It was one of the only historic details that was left after years of really unfortunate renovations. The trim that was left behind in the home included the door trim, window trim, baseboards, and picture rail in the living room and dining room. Unlike a lot of California Bungalows and Craftsman homes from the 1920s, there was no fancy moulding or cute little bookcases in this house.
The really cute historic detail that was left in our home was the old fireplace and mantel. Since that was lost in the tornado, we were determined to keep most of the historic details we could.
We did manage to keep a lot of our original, historic doors throughout the house. I’m elated to see how these are going to turn out back in the house. While a lot of the designs for the rebuild are ultra-modern, I’m determined to mix in the old with the new to make it work.
In order to give the doors a quirky vibe, I’m sanding them all back to the raw wood (or as close as I can get them) and am planning to seal them with a clear coat of polyurethane to make them last for another century.
THE FIRST STEP TO REMOVING PAINT
For most of us, repairing and refinishing old trim and doors will require a lot of paint removal. If you have old trim that’s been stained and finished, you’re still going to need to remove the varnish before you can patch or fill holes in the wood to restain it.
Paint removal is key and very frequently, you’ll run into chippy and stubborn old paint that will require a combination of solutions to remove.
For me, I was particularly lucky that our trim was house outdoors without a care in the world from our contractors, Months of rain and general weather, mixed with a last-ditch effort to preserve the wood that was getting warped by covering it in a plastic tarp that actually just sealed in the moisture.
It was a mess. But that actually worked to my advantage because the paint began to chip away from the wood. So my first step was to use a paint scraper (I bought this one with a long handle to make it easier) to gently remove all the loose paint.
That left behind a lot of big chunks of paint which needed to be cleaned up immediately with a shop vac since it undoubtedly contains at least one layer of lead paint.
Once the loose paint has been removed, I’ve tackled the more stubborn paint in the intricate corners of the trim with a small, stiff scraper like this one. Then, I’ll go over the edges and corners with a wire brush to remove all the tiny scraps of paint that might chip away.
USING A STRIPPING AGENT TO REMOVE PAINT
After chipping off all the loose paint, I decided I needed something with a little more oomph than a blade. That’s when I decided to call in the big guns and purchased a gallon of paint stripping gel.
After applying a thick coat over the entire door, I allowed it to sit for a couple hours and came back to find minimal stripping had occurred. So then I tried a second coat over the entire door and left it overnight. That seemed to work slightly better but only the top two layers of paint came off. The remaining beige-brown layer stayed put entirely.
THAT’S WHEN I BROUGHT OUT THE SANDER
The stripping agent did a nice job of removing the top layers of paint but the coarse chipped edges would still have shown through the new paint job. So I grabbed the sander, attached it to the shop vac, and decided to be happy with sanding down as much of the gunky paint and chipped edges as I could.
You can see in the photo above that the chips along the trim details are still present. I know this will be covered by caulk and we can fill the holes with wood filler or caulk once they’re installed. Just knowing that I’ve sanded everything down to a smooth finish makes me feel a little better about adding these trim caps back into the house.
ORC BEDROOM SUITE UPDATE: WE HAVE DRYWALL!!!
Come upstairs and let me show you how our bedroom is coming along!
I’ve realized I’ve not really shown you all a view of the hallway leading into the bedroom and, since it’s my favorite view, I am so ashamed of myself! So here’s the view from the far end of the hallway, at the front of the house, facing towards the very back of the house.
The finished drywall makes all the difference up here! Now you can actually see the vision for this large addition coming to life!
Here’s the view from inside the bedroom, looking down the hall towards the front of the house -
To the right of the doorway, you can see the opening for our new closet. I’m pretty excited about the size of this closet. Though it’s nowhere near as large as most new homes’ walk-in closets, it’s still a good size and should house most of our clothing just fine!
Aside from the drywall installation, we’ve also managed to check the bathroom flooring off our to-do list. This week, I installed a peel and stick flooring that will look great with our wallpaper plans.
The pattern is quite modern - a real contrast to our downstairs bathroom which will house a much more traditional look.
Here’s the overall design concept for this bathroom:
See how beautifully the floor pattern plays off the wallpaper? I love it. Now, keep in mind that we do plan to renovate this bathroom in five years or so. Since we weren’t planning to add a second bathroom right now, we didn’t really have the budget for our dream bathroom at this moment.
So I took caution when I planned the space to insure I have plenty of space to rearrange the plumbing down the line in order to have a soaker tub and separate shower stall. For now, the bathroom will function as our family bathroom. So I’m content with relatively inexpensive finishes that I can easily remove when the time is right.
Now let’s turn our attention back to the bedroom. Here’s one last view. This time, you’re seeing the bedroom from the bathroom doorway.
You can see the full design concept for this bedroom here: Planning A Modern Bedroom In A Historic Home: ORC Spring 2020 Week Three.
Most of the guest participants are finishing up there spaces, so head over the the ORC blog to see the rest of the rooms as they get transformed: One Room Challenge Blog
DID YOU MISS SOMETHING? SEE EVERY SPRING 2020 ORC UPDATE HERE:
DECORATING ON A BUDGET ISN’T ALWAYS EASY
BUT I’M HERE TO HELP.
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