Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Jim Morrison and the Doors

Okay, I lied about the Jim Morrison part. This is all about the doors.
We have all of the original doors and Eastlake hardware, including the black marble doorknobs. If you are in the rennovation know, that is a VERY BIG DEAL.

And since all of these doors were hand made, the designs are unique to this area. The routing and rosettes belonged to one guy...and you can see the progression of his work, since as his tools wore down, the details became less sharp. Then when he got a new blade or sharpened the old one, the detailing changed slightly.

The original doors were all faux finished, since
A) this was a high class hotel (otherwise the doors would have been painted and had flat molding
and B) they were using available wood. Douglas fir for the hardness on the outside and clear redwood for the inside BECAUSE this was all done before electricityk so the wood had to be soft so it could be milled. The two different species of wood made for a real flung together look, and wouldn't take the stain equally so they wood grained it. And really....people weren't much different in 1890 than they are right now. They get sloppy, bored, and just plain old tired of doing all of this wood graining. It's all done by hand .

You have to find the exact right kind of person to do it or it looks like you let monkeys loose with paintbrushes . It's not HARD but I think you have to be hard-wired a certain way to like it, much less DO it. It is meticulous work and like any thing, you have to have an eye for detail AND an incredible amount of patience to tackle it, because there is so much of it to do. We've been extrememly lucky in finding a few guys over the last ten years who have that kind of talent. Mike trained them and some of them took to it and a couple of them walked off the job by 8 am.

So first, all of this stuff had to be stripped. Very time consuming.
And when that was done, we had a whole bunch of really ugly doors.
All the dings and dents had to be patched and all the repairs had to be made to both the door and the frame.

Then I took one of the original doors to Eric's Paint here in town and had Eric's dad figure out the layers of colors to use to replicate the original.
He is, frankly, a color genius. They both are. I'm sorta an 8 crayon gal myself. There's red, orange, green and blue. Yellow, brown and black. And plain old white. The end.
But here is what Mr. Eric picked for the primer/base coat. Hang on to your hat.

Yuck-ola mauve. And as much as I respect his color sense, I thought he had lost his cotton pickin' mind. Because I certainly couldn't see mauve ANYWHERE.

He also had picked the graining colors and surprise....his black wasn't just a plain old black. It had shots of navy blue in it. (I know because I watched him mix it )

So here is my mauve door with the graining. Can"t see the mauve?
There are about 13 steps from the mauve to the graining to the flogging and the finish coat before it's done. But boy oh boy, do those doors look great. Barbara Streisand great.
Perfect to the very last detail.


Paulie said...

Wasn't there a song about the Green door? lol This is beautiful work!

Paulie . . . who finally remembered to check for typos before sending

Paulie said...

Anything worthwhile is worth doing well. Fantastic job!