Thursday, January 12, 2012

el año de las puertas

Every year there's something else, or so it seems. One year it was all the windows. Another it was painting. Still another it was the floors and kitchen. This year has turned out to be, so far, the year of the doors. We decided to have all the exterior doors refinished to get rid of 20 years of accumulated salt, dust, rain and sun damage, all the pleasures that our little village by the sea has to offer. This means five wooden doors will be removed, sanded, stained, resanded, varnished, rehung, with new door handles. Then the front door and garage doors will be sanded, primed and repainted. The estimate, without hardware, about $500. Time to completion? One week, mas o menos.


Ennrique, his father and his younger brother arrived this afternoon to begin work. The first priority was to get the door to the door frame on the downstairs bedroom repaired. Raul, the window guy, is coming to install a new screen door on Thursday so all the woodwork has to be finished by then. They removed the door and frame and started to work.


Today the workmen took all the wooden door off their hinges, removed the hardware, lined them up in the back and started the great sanding effort. Fortunately, for them, they have electric sanders, but still do a great deal of the work by hand. This is what a door looked like before sanding.

And after.


Seven PM and Ennrique, Horacio (his life long buddy and partner in this enterprise) and the other workmen are just about to finish up day three of the great door project. All the doors have been sanded, stained, sanded again, and varnished. They have a finish like glass. They are lined up in the back like so many one-eyed sentinels.

Tomorrow they will start early so as to finish everything, or hope to. What's left? The front door and the garage door and a small louvered door that belongs in the front street shower. Actually, it's right inside the front door and is meant for beach users to wash off the salt and sand before trekking through the house. Since the door fell off its hinges we use it as a mini-bodega for water bottles and cases of beer. With a new door we'll undoubtedly use it for the same thing but at least it will be hidden from sight.


Unlike the 8 o'clock mentioned yesterday, the crew arrived at 9:30. Half of them started in on the sanding job of the front and garage doors. The other half got busy hanging the now silky-smooth interior doors. The biggest push is to get the small bedroom frame and door hung so the new screen door can be installed when Raul shows up, although that probably won't be until this afternoon.

In the night I had a terrible feeling I had purchased the wrong color for the front door. I want an oxblood color to compliment the new darker brown exterior color but I feared the color I had chosen was too orange. Talk about trivia that keeps one awake! So first thing this morning Mr. C opened a can of the paint and I daubed some on the door, stood back and gave it a good look. Still not sure. So I daubed on some of the new exterior color and, together, they look just fine. Because of my 10-year bout of laser treatments on my eyes I have become quite color blind. Actually, it's more of a "shade" problem; I can see blue but I'm not always sure of the shade of the blue and if asked to match two shades of blue, frequently I can't tell the difference. All of this by way of saying I think I did ok on this effort but we shall see. Ennrique said this morning that they are going to be finished by 1 PM today which means everything will have been painted by the end of their work today and I'll take some photos. You can be the judge of how close I got to the preferred color.


mary ann said...


Anonymous said...

Liz says:

The doors look lovely, and I'm sure your new color combo for the walls will be, as well.

The only thing possibly more maintenance-intensive than a sea-side house is an old one, like mine (+/-150 years). You're right: it's always something!

Sometimes I'd kill for a brand new 1 level condo...