Remodeling help from wood workers/hobbyists...
by Rudy36 (2012-12-10 14:53:49)
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We recently purchased a home built in 1975 from the original owners and it's not really been updated. I'm starting that project now that it's getting cold out. I really don't want to just paint all of the trim white because they used a good deal of very nice wood in the home. I'd like to sand and refinish the doors and trim, however it took me about 2.5 hours to sand one side of one door this weekend and I still wasn't really happy with it.

Do I have other options besides sanding all of this trim and refinishing it in a red oak/mahogany color? All of the wood is a dark walnut right now. Are there places that like sand-blast this stuff for a decent price? I'd really like to avoid buying all new doors and trim.

Here's an example of what I'm dealing with. "Just paint it white" is something my wife and I would not prefer.





I'd leave the woodwork alone and paint the walls. *
by yooper  (2012-12-11 10:21:45)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Well, of course the walls are being painted. *
by Rudy36  (2012-12-11 19:31:15)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


If you need some help getting some fresh trim
by TAR  (2012-12-10 23:53:46)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Let me know. I'll be your wingman any day.


I know the perfect bar..... *
by Rudy36  (2012-12-11 09:23:33)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Paint the trim white -- here's why:
by Maroon_DBQer  (2012-12-10 18:48:38)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I'm only looking on my phone, but none of the wood looks intricately detailed or substantial.

If you don't replace with more substantial, wider trim, I'd paint it -- white trim, IMO, always looks crisper, cleaner and fresher. EDIT: I like stained wood trim when it is much wider than what is pictured and matches the floors seamlessly. My home growing up is all stained wood trim, but the baseboards are at least 8" high and the trim around doorways are probably about 6".

I'm simply of the mind that, in the home, there's no reason to keep something a certain way because of principle rather than preference. If you prefer the unpainted wood trim, then by all means figure out a way to make the process of refinishing less painful/time-consuming. But if you prefer the look of white trim, paint that beautiful wood.

The doors I'd spend the time sanding and staining to your liking, again, if that's your preference.


I appreciate you saying that. You have me thinking. *
by Rudy36  (2012-12-11 09:22:58)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Another option: replace all the trim with more substantial
by Maroon_DBQer  (2012-12-11 15:03:49)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

paint grade wood. Then, use the salvaged wood for frames, a headboard, a wood accent wall (can sand and stain to make it look like old barn wood), an art piece (rustic Christmas tree representation, giraffe or car or plane for kids room, etc.), veneer for an ikea-like hacked built-in bookcase (any cheap bookcases that you raise up on a pallet or 2x4s and then add baseboards and crown molding to and possibly even different front separators to make it look like a built-in for 1/10th of the price), or any number of other things.

That way you get some more substantial trim and you don't have to paint the nice wood.


Paint it white, buy new as you can and replace it.
by GailStanwyck  (2012-12-10 16:20:50)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Priority #1 is the disco bathroom, my friend.


Priority #1 is the BatCave Room.
by Rudy36  (2012-12-10 16:25:59)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

It begins in earnest when we return from Louisville.


If you paint walnut, i will do something bad. *
by Nitschke  (2012-12-10 15:57:58)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


I would wait it out
by Verde  (2012-12-10 15:55:23)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

That is really nice looking wood. Dark wood seems to be "in" for kitchen and dining room tables, so it is a matter of time before it will come back in style for doors and trim.

You could go through all that work, but in 10 or 20 years you will sell your house to some young whippersnappers who will want to stain or strip the red oak and make it darker/lighter.


Remove and take to a "stripper" (hanging curve).
by subjkb  (2012-12-10 15:50:12)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

This is a serious project for a DIYer. (I have done enough home restoration, where this made me cringe.)

I would take all of the doors, hardwear (if need be), trim, railings, etc. to a professional, let them strip it in a vat. You can then stain/finish prior to reinstalling, and then just some touch up.

This will be more money likely, but if your time is worth more just about anything, it is likely worth it. Either way, good luck (I am finally finishing a 4 year full renovation so I am jaded).


Not an easy project...
by trekker  (2012-12-10 15:49:29)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

This is not an easy project...

It's easier to strip the topcoat(lacquer/varnish) rather than sand it off. I'd use an N-Methyl Pyrrolidone (NMP) stripper and let it work for a day rather than use a Methylene Chloride stripper.

Before stripping, you should clean everything off with Naptha or Mineral Spirits to try and get off any silicone that might have been used (e.g., Pledge). If you skip this, you might end up with "fisheyes" when you go to refinish.

If you're lucky, the original finish carpenters just used stain in the topcoat and it'll come off when stripping. If not, then you'll either have to resort to bleaching the stain or sanding it off (still easier than needing to sand off the topcoat as well).

Personally, I can't imagine that changing the color of the woodwork throughout your house is worthwhile. If you value your time whatsoever, it's just easier to purchase new trim and doors.


Liquid sandpaper + darker stain / replace balusters w iron
by flapjack  (2012-12-10 15:39:51)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Of course start with a test area for the overstain.

I think the verticle posts between the main wood posts would look cool in iron. Keep the wood rail and support posts.


I agree with this concept
by jmac95  (2012-12-10 16:48:55)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I happen to think that iron ballusters would look more current.

The reason the front room looks dated is because of wallpaper, and shag carpeting that hangs over. The tile work in the entryway looks nice.

I think you'd get more bang from your buck with removing the wallpaper, a paint job, removing the shag from the stairs and putting a runner down the stairway. After making those changes, I'd wonder about your opinion of the woodwork.


The wallpaper is gone already, and the carpet isn't shag.
by Rudy36  (2012-12-10 16:56:03)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

It's actually one of the things that has been updated and is in pretty good shape. That said, it's possible the carpet on the stairs will go missing in short order.

The carpet on the upstairs landing will be replaced once all of the remodeling is done.

Focus people. I'm talking about wood here.


Tips from a DIYer
by icon  (2012-12-10 15:37:38)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

1. You have to strip the varnish. This can be done with a varnish remover and painter's scrapers.
2. The stain you want (mahogany) is lighter than dark walnut. If you just apply mahogany stain over the current stain, you won't get the result you want. But if you sand the stain, you risk wearing away some of the wood details/edges. You might trying bleaching the wood to lighten the stain (using vinegar to stop the chemical process when you get the color you want). Remember, you don't need to bleach/sand the wood back to white, just to a light enough shade to get the mahogany stain to look right. The key here is trial and error.
3. I would consider taking the trim apart and doors off the hinges. It's considerably easier and less frustrating to do all of this work on a bench in the garage than having to squat or work around stairs and nooks.
4. Is it worth the effort? Take a look at how much similar doors and trim would cost new. A project like this might take a long time and in the end, it might not be worth the savings you envision now. A successful DIYer knows when to pick his battles.


What kind of stain are you going to use?
by treisele  (2012-12-10 15:27:17)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

If you're not looking to make the wood lighter, you might be able to use something like Minwax Polyshades to get to the Red Mahogany color you'd like.


I may give this a shot on my test door.
by Rudy36  (2012-12-10 15:39:01)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I did a few different things this weekend to try and "cheat" but none seemed to be worth it.

Thank you.


There is no easy answer.
by grnd  (2012-12-10 16:43:05)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Even painting all the trim white is a tremendous amount of work. If you want to stick with stain and want to change the color and want to see the grain through the stain clearly, you really have no choice but to remove the existing finish, either chemically or mechanically (by sanding).

One slightly-easier option (as noted) is to put on a finish that itself contains stain (like Polyshades). Polyshades is polyurethane with stain in it. The stain does not penetrate the wood but reside on the surface. That is good for woods that don't take stain well (particularly ones that get blotchy like pine) as you get a more even coat. The trade off is that you do not see the wood grain as much (because you are covering up with some pigment). Along similar lines, they make semi-transparent glazes that reside on the surface of the wood that can alter the color while still looking like stain. I've used General Finishes glazes before with pretty good results. Either of these options will let you change the color of the existing wood while still having the finish look like stain (but it will be dark and while you will be able to see the wood grain, it will not pop out at you).

Under any scenario, it is a huge project. I am presently replacing all of the trim in our house and it's going on over a year.


Yeah, I've decided to go room by room with this project.
by Rudy36  (2012-12-10 16:54:03)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

With an approximate 2 year completion date.

So I'm willing to do it correctly, but I want to do it efficiently.

I'm also going to try this Minwax Antique Furniture Refinisher product to see what exactly I'm dealing with on the existing doors and trim.

I simply sanded half of the back of the test door this weekend to bare wood. Then 1/4 of it I hit with 220 sandpaper and the remaining 1/4 I didn't sand at all. I did a combination of regular stain, gel stain, and just poly on the door in various applications.

The best looking was the sand to bar wood and restain.

I'm going to give the other side a shot with the furniture refinisher and a Polyshades Natural Cherry finish. That may give me what I'm looking for.


As an erstwhile DIYer, that looks like a lot...
by Kbyrnes  (2012-12-10 15:22:29)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

...lot lot lot of work. Maybe check out the local Lowe's/Home Depot and see if they know anyone who does that kind of stripping, or check with local firms that install windows, since they should be familiar with woodsy type people. For that matter, I seem to recall (when we had a new front picture window installed) that the type of wood (hardwood/softwood) might suggest what type of stain you could use.

Couldn't you wait about 8 years and have #1 son do it for you?


I know. I know. I know.
by Rudy36  (2012-12-10 16:25:11)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I think I may just end up refinishing the banisters/staircase area with a new stain color and painting everything else white.

I'm going to give the Polyshades thing a try first though I think.

I hate getting old.


Red alert...
by Kbyrnes  (2012-12-10 17:43:00)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

..You ain't old, old man!! I know having little kids can make you feel that way, but enjoy being young enough that you weren't ANYwhere when JFK was shot.


For the doors & large pieces
by treisele  (2012-12-10 15:29:10)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

you could possibly take them to an autobody repair/paint shop and they could sandblast them for you. We've done that with steel case front doors and an old aluminum swing set before.


Dark walnut? I'm an oak man myself. *
by zahmnd  (2012-12-10 15:13:13)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


replace the trim, strip the doors.
by ThreeD  (2012-12-10 15:06:43)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

It's probably not worth the time & effort to strip or sand (yikes) the trim.


is this more of that "hobbyist" lingo? *
by Irishlawyer  (2012-12-10 16:56:06)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


OT: Apparently, "hobbyist" is now code for "whoremonger"
by Austin316  (2012-12-10 15:04:08)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

You learn something new every day.


I'm not sure what you mean. *
by Rudy36  (2012-12-10 15:17:11)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


I thought he was talking about sanding trim. *
by NDBass  (2012-12-10 21:07:08)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Heh. *
by Rudy36  (2012-12-10 21:45:34)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


You used the term "hobbyist" in your subject line.
by Austin316  (2012-12-10 15:33:38)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

That reminded me of my trip to New Orleans last week during which I learned that the term "hobbyist" is now used as a code word among potential working girls and johns to arrange encounters.

It was OT, I know.


He means "hobbyists" are guys who pick up girls with $$$. *
by TJK1998  (2012-12-10 15:31:39)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Strip it
by ndtnguy  (2012-12-10 15:03:22)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

But that involves probably as much or more time than sanding, plus toxic chemicals. You'll probably get better results though.

I got nothing in terms of "easier."


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