There are certain things where it’s hard to stop after starting with them: eating chips, spring cleaning or making jokes about Justin Bieber. For me it’s the same with renovating. Once I start at one corner, I also want do everything else. This way I change my focus from the walls to the ceilings, to the heaters, to the baseboards, to the door frames and then one day last year, I started with my apartment doors. The first few were not a problem, because I just had to grind and paint them but the last two doors turned out to be a real challenge. Anyone who has ever lived in an old apartment knows the obligatory cracks that occur in old doors with time. The older the door, the more paint spalls and these cracks do not go away by simply painting over them. For my doors I wanted to remodel the relief ornaments again and not just fill in the cracks.
A year ago I didn´t photo-document all my crafts and DIY and that is why the before-door is actually another door that I have not restored yet and that looks exactly like my refurbished door before.
After some back and forth I borrowed an electric wood plane and set up two sawing trestles. This was followed by an interesting half hour I spent buried under my door after I had tried to lift it by myself. To unhinge it was actually surprisingly easy; to lift the door by myself on the wooden trestles was the hard part. After I proved to myself again that anything is possible with enough stubbornness, my door was positioned horizontally and I was able to start to plane. With a small attachment I first planed down all the wood around the cracks and then sanded the entire surface by hand since my belt sander did not fit in the space between the reliefs. What followed now were two days of cursing in which I reshaped the reliefs with wood paste and the smallest of my putty knives. After I was finished, I was so proud that I immediately grinded my new relief again after the first superficial drying of the wood paste and also already painted it.
What you cannot see in this photo is that this was unfortunately a mistake. Upon drying, the wood paste further contracted and thus small cracks in the new paint occurred: Nothing bad that really stands out but annoying because it could have been avoided. At this point one week had past, in which I only worked on this one side of a door and so I just could not find it in me to grind the paint down again and repaint the door. Even though it took me quite some time, I was very amazed at what you can do as a layman, if you just inform yourself a little bit and have the right tools. “I can´t!” is simply no argument.
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