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Doors and More

December 14, 2011

The doors are finally in! Mr. B and I refinished and installed three doors at our old house, but they never really looked the way I hoped. The two doors we’ve done for the house are beautiful and give me hope for the nine doors and endless trim in our future.

We used gel stain (Antique Cherry) to stain the doors instead of regular wood stain. Gel stain looks like very thick paint in the can, but it gives the wood a really deep, uniform final color. Mr. B finished the doors by spraying on four coats of Spar Urethane and sanding with steel wool in between coats. In the past we have used both paint-on and rub on polyurethane (neither of which are OK for outside – oops). I really like the way this one came out – not very thick (unlike the paint on poly), matte, but still an obvious finish, which makes me feel confident about the doors standing up to the weather. Technically, even with a finished door you are supposed to provide about 5′ of overhang to protect the door from the weather and sun. Our front door faces north (no sun) and is under 7′ of porch, but our side door currently has no overhang. We’re planning to eventually add a patio with roof to the west side, but in the meantime the finish will take a beating, so we’ll likely have to refinish it at some point.

We ended up buying a paint sprayer from Harbor Freight Tools (so cheap!), and it is one of the best things we’ve bought so far. Rub on poly looks nice, but is very work intensive. Mr. B talked to a wood worker this summer who said that he finishes all interior work and furniture by spraying on wipe-on poly. The sprayer also makes finishing work go very quickly.

We also started putting up the exterior mesh this weekend! Mr. B has been working on it since Sunday night, and we have over half of the south side of the house done. We originally wanted to be finished by the time we leave for the holidays next week (including putting up Tyvek), but I think we’ll be lucky to get most of the mesh up. I suppose it doesn’t really matter – it’s not like we protect the bales from snow with our bodies, but it would have added some peace of mind.

House heat update: The heater is still working and doing a great job of heating the house. It was initially running frequently and seemed to have a hard time keeping the house at temperature. In the mornings (we check), the house was often down below 40 degrees. Once we put the doors in, finished insulating under the floor, put insulation over the crawl space vents, and filled some of the large holes around the doors and windows, the radiant heat started to have an easier time keeping the house heated and the boiler doesn’t run as much. So far, heating the house has added over $100 to our energy bill (compared to just the camper), but I think it will drop as we continue to seal the house with straw and plaster.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Gibson permalink
    December 14, 2011 7:48 am

    Beautiful. THe door in the picture is dynamite, and the exterior looks really nice. Hope poor ole’ Mr. B isn’t freezing his hiney off……..

    See you next week.

  2. Beth permalink
    December 14, 2011 9:49 am

    Beautiful door! Can’t wait to knock on it!

  3. sue permalink
    December 14, 2011 12:08 pm

    looking good!

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