Project Info

Historic Door Restoration

Before receiving a fresh coat of paint, older walls, ceilings, trim and doorways generally require a greater amount of prep than newer surfaces. Often they are in need of repair or have aged coatings, now brittle, that must be removed. Here’s a peek at the “make over” Catchlight Painting gave a door from the 1860s. Learn more about our historic and restorative painting services here.

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Seasonal temperature and humidity fluctuation characterize life here in New England; our houses are in a constant state of motion, expanding and contracting as conditions change. Over time such fluctuation had gotten the better of this old door.
We began by removing old caulk and glue, working to extricate these materials without marring the wood. This kind of work requires a patient, careful hand. When caring for older components, the process calls for coaxing rather than force.
The old caulk had split and grown brittle with ages, so deep and complete excavation was needed.
Next we sanded the door top to bottom. By attaching HEPA-filtration directly to our sanding tools, we are able to keep the air and work area dust-free and clean.
Since the door’s panels no longer fit tightly together there were gaps that needed to be filled. Using caulk alone to fill deep spaces looks great initially but is not an effective long term solution. We wedged a flexible sponge-like material into the deeper openings.
With filler in place and door well sanded, we applied fresh caulk. Because this door will continue to expand and contract, we chose a durable caulk specifically designed to flex and stretch without cracking.
The new caulk was worked into place by hand creating smooth seamless durable panel joints.
Before applying putty to bring the door edge back to square, we coated the wood with adhesion primer to insure a strong bond.
The putty we use is more resilient than wood and enables us to recreate a ding-proof edge.
Using the same putty, we filled the scare left when a previous owner chose to remove the door’s original keyhole hardware.
Once cured, the hardened putty is sanded to achieve a straight flawless edge and blemish free panel.
Freshly painted this stately old door is ready for another 150 years of service. Isn’t it a beauty?

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Meetinghouse Enterprises      189 Bridge St      Northampton, MA 01060      Email:

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