This was a rule breaker for me. We needed to put a door where a window once stood because there was only one way to get to our tiny little yard and that was out the back door and around the side of the garage. It made the little yard useless. We hired someone to install the deck and the door because I was in over my head with stripping, removing and re-puttying all the windows (except the kitchen which I haven’t gotten to yet) and replacing the sash cords before fall set in. The deck isn’t huge but it took up about half our tiny yard (I told you we hardly had a yard.)
Here are inside and outside views of the dining room window before we put the door in. I told the contractor that I just wanted the door put in with the side lights we picked out but to leave the rest as I would use the old oak trim from the window to trim around the door on the inside. If I was going to majorly change something at least I would reuse the good old wood.
They built the deck and pergola before they installed the door.
I watched intently as they took off the aluminum siding around the door opening. I was surprised the clapboards underneath were in great shape. That makes me want to remove the siding and have the original wood show. It would be a very long time before we could get to that project. It would look so much better. I love the look of painted wood. I don’t like the look of siding, any kind. It loses the details of the design of old houses. But I know why people do it, it just easier maintenance and it covers up bad wood. I think most people love siding.
The photo below shows the beginning process. They put cardboard in the opening while they were away. The deck and pergola are already installed.
Yes, we finished just in time to grill out one time before it was just too cold.
The snow was right behind it and I was left to dream about what spring and summer would bring. But I was also left with the inside to deal with. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t going to be the easy “just put trim around the door” that I thought it was going to be. This is what I was left with. The plaster all broke when they sawed out the opening. I had to strip the wallpaper off and the plaster back to the next closest 2×4. I was going to have to replace all around the door. See photo below. This was one of those projects that kept getting bigger and bigger…….
I wasn’t sure how I would fix it. I had decided to leave the lathing in place and see if I could find some drywall that would fit exactly flush with the rest of the wall when placed on top of the lathing. I did find some odd size that was very thin. I had to drive all over town to some specialty places to find that thin of drywall.
Since the wallpaper was pulled off back to the nearest 2×4 I needed to strip it off the whole room as I couldn’t match it. I would paint it a light green color. I had such a mess that I decided, what the heck, and pulled up the ugly green shag carpet, too. Underneath it was not beautiful hardwood floors like you see in those home shows on TV, but instead white oak with a medium dark shellac finish with ground-in foam backing. I should have left it alone but it was so ugly.
It would be beautiful if I could get that all off. I used a scraper and got a lot of it up. Thank goodness for my mp3 player and knee pads.
I got more off using ammonia and doing some hand sanding after that photo above was taken. We bought a large area rug that covers a lot of it. We have decided to rent a sander and finish it off this summer.
I did use the “safe” strippers (Peel Away) on the baseboards and that turned out pretty good. I haven’t finished them yet.
I thought I could just use garnet shellac on the new unfinished door and with enough coats get it to match the existing woodwork in the house. It didn’t go well, not well at all. It was like trying to spread on thin honey and keep it smooth which I didn’t do well as you can see by the photo. It was so blotchy I just wanted to cry. I didn’t know what I was doing and wanted to give up but knew I couldn’t.
I got online and started checking out wood finishing websites and forums. After spending quite a bit of time learning all about shellac, I was able to get it on pretty nice after stripping the original attempt off. Do you know how much work that is?
I used the old trim from the old window that was taken off and made the cuts to trim-out the door. I needed more as the door was quite a bit larger than the window was and I was putting extra details on it. I had to buy some extra matching oak wood to finish the trim. I got it cut and shaped in craftsman style and finished in garnet shellac. I am happy with the way it turned out. No, the baseboards are not back up yet. Things get in the way, like fishing and watching the Pittsburgh Penguins and bird watching and……..
I’m still working on the trim around the windows and other door in the room. I went on to other projects around the house and unfortunately this room is still not finished. It is easy to tire of something so you start something else and intend on coming back to it. That should be a New Years resolution. Never start another project until I finish the previous.