I am currently working on restoring an eighty -year -old door, which is working on kicking my butt. (believe it or not, as I was reading this first sentence, I realized that I had written "Working on kicking an eighty-year-old", which would have made this post REALLY interesting.)
The trouble with old doors is that they often have delicate, intricate raised panel designs with applied moldings which are, to say the least, a carver's nightmare. Such is this old door, which serves as the entrance door to an old hospital we are remodeling into an assisted living facility.
Several times today, I let fly four letter outbursts the likes of which hadn't been heard around here in ages. I also threatened to burn the door, more than once. Yet here I am, sore fingers and all, looking forward to another day of scraping, sanding, sanding, and scraping.
I am hoping that the effort will be worth it. I believe it will, and I'll tell you why. This door is, if I am correct, the only original part of the existing hospital to have survived the demolition. Sure, the terazzo floor adjacent to it in the entryway is original, but really, who cares about concrete? I am hoping that one of the ancients, if not many of them, will recognize the door upon entering, and recall fond memories of younger days.
Yes, we could just install one of the new "factory-made" characterless wood-like fiberglass doors at a cost of around seven thousand dollars (this door is huge), but why bother when you can spend eighty-five hours restoring a REAL door with REAL wood casing and trim? Why bother, I ask you? Did I mention that the new doors are characterless?
So that is how I am spending my hours the last few days. The door will be finished soon, and then the new finish will be applied. Even though I complain about restoring it, I do love the actual process, as well as the results.
I guess that's why this door isn't burning yet. I know the door cannot fix itself, and it cannot even choose to be fixed. But I also know that I am more than able to restore it to the way it is supposed to be. There will NEVER be a need for the fire.