Friday, October 24, 2008

Fun with refinishing

I have decided it is time to stop putting off working on the woodwork in the dining room. I started picking at the popcorn texture on the crown molding and was pleased that it did come off with hot water alone. Unfortunately, removing the popcorn texture just revealed about 4 layers of paint beneath it. The only good news is that I think the oak beneath that still has the original finish. I can't say the same for the rest of the woodwork in the dining and living rooms. It is all quartersawn oak as far as I can tell, but it was refinished in this weird scummy glaze who knows how long ago. At first I really couldn't tell if it was original or not since it was such a thorough refinishing job. Eventually I found a spot they missed though, the underside of the built in just above the mirror. You can see it was never an especially dark stain, which we saw in nearly all of the houses we toured when we moved to Minneapolis. My intention is simply to remove the scum and get the finish as close to original as possible. Any tips on how to gently remove this glaze without damaging what is underneath would be greatly appreciated. I was planning on attacking it with the silent paint remover, but I don't know if that will be too harsh.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finally done

The linen closet project took much longer than anticipated. I think I set a personal record for swearing on this one. Despite the frustration, I think it turned out well. The stain is original, touched up with a little bit of Watco Danish Oil in black walnut and finished with amber shellac. I am guessing that the wood itself is birch based on the grain pattern. In case anyone is wondering why the doors are stained but the trim is white, it turns out that was how it was originally. I started stripping the trim, only to realize there was just a coat of primer and many layers of white paint. Given my experience with the upstairs medicine cabinet, I decided that if it was originally white, than white it is. Here are the after pictures. Unfortunately, my camera was having some focusing issues.

My next project promises to be the project from hell. During the great popcorn ceiling craze in Minnesota, someone decided it was a great idea to popcorn over the crown molding in the dining room. We have matching (unpopcorned) molding in the living room, which is quartersawn oak. Also, we will be painting the room something other than the teal green shown in the picture.