09 October 2011

Trim Makes It All Better

The trim has been a long time coming.  It was the first thing ripped off in each room--I didn't want to try and drywall or paint around it and I definitely didn't want to sand and refinish it when it was still stuck on the wall.  Most of that poor baseboard, trim and window framing has been patiently waiting in the shed.  Until now.

Though most pieces are relatively small in size, they command a great deal of work.  The nails used to put most of it up have rusted and therefore require strenuous effort to get them out.  Next comes the planing.  My trusty little hand planer did a pretty good job.  The blades leave a smooth, bare surface in their wake.

My ambitious nature eventually made me think bigger and better and it wasn't long before I was sending the flat wood pieces through the table planer.  In about fifteen seconds, they were 95% ready for sanding and staining.  Man, I love that machine.


I adore the quality craftsmanship that went into the beautiful woodwork.  It may have been neglected for years but under all of that gunk, there are fabulous pieces of wood that have very interesting grains.  Part of the charm is also the intricate detailing in the boards.  Unfortunately, it's a pain to try and sand them out.  Using a piece of sandpaper by hand quickly got old--my triceps could only take so much punishment.  Jack suggested using the rotary tool with a little roll of sandpaper.  That thing is miraculous!

Can you imagine sanding those grooves by hand?  I tried.  Not fun.  Trust me.
After sanding it all over (it helps the stain absorb more evenly and makes the surface as smooth as glass) . . .
. . . it was ready to be stained!  Almost.


I got a little rough when removing some of the baseboard.  Not to worry.  Wood glue and clamps can fix just about anything.


A little more sanding to get off the dried glue and then it was ready to be stained.

As far as I'm concerned, staining wood is as good as any magic trick.  One minute it's plain old wood . .
. . . and Presto Chango!  It looks new and improved with a rich, natural color.  Then it's just brushing on a couple coats of polyurethane and it's ready to go back inside.
Probably the best of all is the sharp definition it brings to the rooms.  The house already looks a hundred times better but the trim just adds those last few touches that make it look finished.  See?







Since the trim is one of the last projects for each room, it shouts to me that I'm getting close to the home stretch.  I know that no homeowner is ever actually done "fixing" the problems with their property, but after all of the struggles we've been through with our humble home, trim makes it all better.

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