Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Almost Perfect Door

A few months ago, I was inspired by a fellow crafter who refinished her kitchen table. It was GORGEOUS! I commented about how nice it turned out. She promised me that it was really, REALLY easy. That's all the encouragement that I needed. I have three boys. That should explain the reason why my house is FILLED with things that need to be refinished. The good news is that a couple of these same boys are desperate for some summer-time spending money. I offered each boy a 'job' of refinishing one of these TLC projects

Today's project (story) will focus on our front door.

My thirteen-year-old drew the short straw (er, I mean, was lucky enough to win the honor of refinishing the front door). His job entailed sanding away 5-6 years of brutal sun, rain and wind damage. It used to be a VERY pretty front door.

He's a slow worker. He's also easily sidetracked. Of course, sanding through the power cord cost us a day, too. He started on Tuesday. Finally, on Friday the door was ready for me to finish. Lovingly I rubbed not one, but two coats of Antique Walnut stain into the screamin clean wood grains. Keep in mind that all of this work is being done with the door laying flat, and the front of my house opened to the world.

First thing on my agenda today was to get the door finished and rehung. Coat one of the varnish was applied. Ooooh, it looked good. But since this door stares into the setting sun day after day, one coat wasn't good enough. I was going to do the job right...even if it took me the entire day to do it!

The winds started to pick up. I had been working in our garage but I didn't want to risk any dust or dirt blowing onto my pristine door. I took the extra time to clear out a spot in the kitchen where I could apply the second coat of varnish and the door could dry out of harms way.

What was I thinking?????

The second coat of varnish was applied. I stood back to admire my work. I made my husband come in and admire my work. We both agreed that the door was perfect.

Exactly ten minutes later, my hubby came out to find me relaxed in my garden. "I think the cat jumped onto your door."

"What?" OK, it was more like...."WHAT?!!!!!!!!!" I went to examine the damages. Funny thing. It didn't look like a cat print. It looked suspiciously like finger prints.

I called the boys in one at a time. The first two were clean. Third one... not so much. I will say that I was quite proud of him for telling the truth. He might have gotten away with letting the cat take the fall.

Did he think that I was just kidding when I said not to touch the door for four hours? Could he really have forgotten 10 minutes after I told him? He's 13. I'll never know what was going through his head. The real kicker is that this is the same kid who had just spent two days of his summer sanding that door!

My husband thinks he can fix the smudge. I don't know if I want him to. I'm content to have an ALMOST perfect front door. If he gets rid of the evidence, no one will believe my story.

Stay tuned. My other child is 1/2 way through his table refinishing project. Wonder what story we'll have to tell when he's done!


Jane said...

That's too funny! lol! I love the door, though! Stopping by from Sharing Time.

B's Mommy said...

Looks wonderful!! Great job C.!!! The finger print is his mark. Like when you put a hand or foot print in new cement. And when they grow up...you look at it and smile. I look forward to seeing the table.

Meg said...

I think it turned out great! Reminds me of when my mom bought a beautiful new front door and our neighbor boy came over and knocked on it by banging his bat on it. Left a lot of nice dings...but, it gave the door lots of character!

Beth Graham said...

I love how your family is so "helpful" to provide you with plenty of fun stories!

Megan said...

We have that very same door and I'm sorry to say that ours resembles your "before" photos. Is your helper for hire?

Stories by Me! said...

Too funny Megan. Yes, my helper is ready...did you want your smudge at the bottom or top of the door? LOL

You seriously need to attempt your own refinish project. I can't believe the difference a can of stain and varnish made (well, that and about 4 days of work!)

Eve said...

Great detective work! :D I think I would leave the finger mark there too, just for a laugh.

It looks great!

Beth said...

funny story... gorgeous door!

Cecily said...

Really beautiful door, great story!

Chase and McKell said...

that is gorgeous! i love front doors, especially your "almost perfect" door!! too funny :) the finger print gives it character right? ;)

*come check out my blog if you'd like :)

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

Stopping by from Trash to Treasure! Love the door. It turned out just beautiful and what a story to tell along with it!!

I have two boys and know exactly what you mean! Their attention span isn't very long!

Kaysi said...

The door looks great!!

brandi @ tales of a domestic goddess said...

good for him telling the truth! i love that you thought to check their fingers!! how many boys do you have?

Lanie Ree said...

Thank you so much- this made me laugh! Kids are so funny. I love that you are liking your "almost" perfect door. It gives it personality, and reminds me of that song "the house that built me".

Thank you for participating in the Creative Therapy Session at Life in the Pitts.

Becolorful said...

It looks lovely, really and you have to love kids that give us stories to tell at parties. :P

Dapoppins said...

I don't know which is more amazing, the beautifl door, or the finger prints...

"I was just testing to see if it was wet mom,"

"I told You 4 hours!"

"I know, but it looked done, I was testing it.."


I see a conversation like this in my future.

Its So Very Cheri said...

KUDOS TO THE 13 year old, even if it did take a few days.

Thanks for posting to the party.

Have a great week


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful door! What character, along with the fingerprint. I love the story.

Carrie @ Dittle Dattle said...

I am currently working on our solid wooden door. What a huge undertaking!!!! 3 cans of stripper and 2 boxes of sandpaper and I'm just now ready to apply stain :D

You door turned out lovely. I must get some "CAUTION" tape when I get ready to apply varish! Do you have any suggestions for me? I'm not sure what brush to use?

Stories by Me! said...

Hi Carrie, we didn’t try wood stripper (duh…that might have been easier.) but since our door was originally stained, I just hired out the muscle work to my thirteen-year-old. I supervised him pretty carefully since he’s known to take short cuts. It seemed pretty easy and other than numb fingers from the constant vibration of the electric sander, it wasn’t too taxing. We did go through a LOT of sandpaper. I made the mistake of using my very best paint brush for applying the stain. Since it was a two day project (and I’m really bad at cleaning brushes) I just wrapped it in a plastic bag and threw it in my freezer. Only problem was when I wanted to apply the varnish, my paint brush was ‘dirty’. I ran to the paint store (somehow that’s easier for me than cleaning a mucky brush) and bought a standard grade varnish brush. (I got one that had angled bristles because my door had so many pockets. ) I’m sure a better quality brush wouldn’t have dropped bristles on my door, but they were easy enough to pick out. Caution tape is a GREAT idea. Only problem is I doubt my thirteen-year-old would have read it! 

Wishing you good luck…or at least a good story!

Ann said...

wow I love it!!!!!! maybe I don;t have to paint mine....