Redoing woodwork and new skylights in 1920's bungalow

nursekathleenFebruary 19, 2009

I am eyeing redoing the woodwork in my little cottage - while unpainted, the previous owners (of whom there were many) globbed paint on all surfaces. The cottage has the original doors, which I love, and some of ok, others not in great condition at all! I haven't a clue what to do to finish them. The doors have the original knobs which apparently locked, however there is no key for any of them. I've included pics, any idea (a) what type of wood this is (b) What finish this is (it's a matt almost type), and (c) how do I go about cleaning these up? Do I have to strip all the woodwork? Big job, but I want it to look nice. Some of the paint is EVERYWHERE lol.

Here is the baseboard - they drilled a HOLE through it to run a phone cable (which then ran all through the heating ducts!!!!)


Just a sample of the paint jobs of years gone by:


More damaged trim:


You can see the paint splashed on the edges here. This door is pretty good shape, not all are as lucky:


We had new skylights put in (old ones were leaking). These are in the upstairs attic, which was gutted and redone in the '80's. The trim is unfinished wood. Should I stain it, or paint it? Trim will be white in this room.


Another view of room:


Thanks in advance!

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Ok, I have no idea why my pics are not working :(

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 12:19PM
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I think if you go to photobucket and click on the html img, it will copy the image. Then when you create you message here just right click and paste it into the body of your post. When you preview, you should be able to see it.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 1:33PM
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I can't see your pictures, but if the wood has it's original finish, this is what I'd do - and do it when you can open a window because the alcohol stinks.

1. Get some denatured alcohol (Lowe's, Home Depot) and in an inconspicuous place, dab some on the wood with steel wool and rub. If the finish gets sticky and comes off, the finish is shellac. The alcohol won't take off the stain but with rubbing, the paint spots will also come off. If it doesn't come off, the finish is some sort of polyurethane.

2. If it's shellac, keep going along with the denatured alcohol and steel wool, using gobs of paper towel to wipe off the surface of the wood until the shellac and paint gobs are gone.

3. If you need to touch up stain, do it now after all shellac is off.

4. Shellac can be purchased at most paint stores and it comes in clear or amber or garnet. Most old wood was originally finished with it and around me, most was done in amber (orangish tint).

5. Once stain touch up is complete, just brush on new shellac. It is a bit glossy. I'd so multiple coats. Each new coat sort of melts the prior coat and the two coats adhere together. I'd do 3-4 coats, depending on the wear and tear the wood will get.

If your finish is poly, you'll need to use a different remover but I'm guessing you have shellac. This process isn't hard at all.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 2:26PM
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I "renewed" the beautiful woodwork in my bungalow, slowly and painfully, but the end result was beautiful. The original shellac had "aligatored," and was daubed with paint splatters. Inch by inch, I sanded it down lightly and/or used a very small (eye glasses) flat head screw driver to "pick" away the paint dots. Then I restained it and put on a finish coat. Very tedious work (took some years to work all around the house) but beautiful end!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 3:23PM
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Ok, here's some of the pics using the html link:

AHA! Worked! Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 4:21PM
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Looks like your trim has a shellac finish. As Patser suggested, you can test with denatured alcohol. I had to strip paint off of my originally shellaced trim. That left most of the shellac. I used alcohol to clean it up and then I restained it. It turned out beautifully and really didn't take me that long. The alcohol leaves the wood looking very dull, but once you either re-shellac it or stain it, it will be beautiful again. I would finish one piece completely using the method of your choice - particularly if you have an inconspicuous piece of trim some where. Then once you have your test piece to your liking, you can complete the rest of your trim.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 5:59PM
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Thanks! What kind of wood do you think it is? I haven't got a clue :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 6:53PM
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We had keys made for all the doors in our 1910 house. There's a key and lock company here that will do that if you bring them one of the locksets. They make the lovely old skeleton looking keys. Now we can lock every door. It does come in handy sometimes.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 12:29AM
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Wow, I LOVE that door! Why can't they make doors like that anymore?

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 4:49PM
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