Well another little project chez moi was in the works. Since we have this really old and really messed up French house, our life is full of large and small projects that we try to get to when we can.
This spring has been a bit difficult. Not only do we want to get out and see the countryside during great weather times, we also need to complete some outdoorsy projects that have been put on hold during the winter. So far this spring the weather has not cooperated on most days for either of those things.
One fine day, we actually were able to get a project done that really needed to get done. That project was repairing and painting the garage doors.
Our garage doors are made of wood and they haven’t had any tender loving care for ages (like this rest of this house). The problem we were having is that all the rain was ruining the base of the door and the wood was rotting out in some areas. If we didn’t hurry up and fix and paint the garage, the wood would be no good and the doors would have to be replaced.
I did not like the idea of replacing the doors. All the exterior doors and volets on the house are made out of the exact same wood (exotic wood from Africa) and were very well made. Some one really took the time to do a nice job making them and I very much wanted to keep them. Plus, they all matched in style and it would be difficult and very expensive to try and have new ones made to match the others.
So began the project. The doors looked like this when we bought the house. As you can see, they were pretty dull and lifeless and in dire need of some work. In some areas the paint was chipping and cracked.
Dude started out with sanding the garage doors with a power sander. This took a good deal of time and he had to go over the doors several times.
While he was working on the individual boards, I took to using some sand paper to go in between the boards making sure everything was smooth. I also sanded around the nail holes to get rid of any loose or splintered paint.
Once all the sanding was done, Dude went about putting bondo on the doors to smooth out and help cover the nail holes and impurities. He also fixed one of the boards at the base of the door that was in really bad shape and had started to rot. After doing that, he went back and sanded the doors again.
Who knew he was such an artist? I believe it looks like we put a Christmas tree of bondo on the doors!
After all that, he got to work with repainting them. I had chosen a lavender color for the doors a few weeks prior to the work. Any color related to purple is my favorite color so that was a natural choice for me. I knew I didn’t want anything too dark or overpowering. I had known for a while that when it came time to paint the exterior doors and volets on the house, I wanted everything to be a nice Provencal lavender color. I am very pleased with the outcome and I think the doors turned out really well. They almost look like new doors. I really love the color and think that it suits the house nicely.
The doors are actually quite large and each step needed to be done several times in order to have the right outcome. Since it was basically Dude that did the whole job, it did take a while from start to finish.
Lucky for us, the rest of the doors and volets aren’t this big. We do, however, have one door that is in worse shape than the garage doors were and that is the side door to the apartment. The kitchen volet also needs a bit of work. Those will be a project for another day, though. For now, I will be content with my nice lavender garage doors. I really, really like the color.
When we bought our house, it came with some furniture, some of it great and some of it not so great. The not so great stuff either got chucked out the window and the bits and pieces taken to the dump or we put it out front for passer bys to take for free. The decent stuff we kept.
One of those pieces happened to be a nice, big, wooden, antique buffet. It has a really beautiful pattern etched in the doors and a gorgeous dark berry marble top. I loved this piece the minute I saw it. Of course I had to see beyond the junk the old owners had put on it, but never-the-less, one could tell it was a nice piece. They said they were leaving it because it was too big and too heavy to move. I consulted a few of my friends who confirmed that with old furniture, many French families have taken to selling it with the house because their new styled houses or apartments are too small for the stuff and all the French are now into the more modern look.
From the outside, it was a gem to us.
When we acquired the house we started to move things around and really check out the furniture. This is what we discovered inside my beautiful antique buffet.
What the heck were these guys thinking?? Do you see the wall paper in the background of the first two pictures? It’s exactly the same stuff! Why would anyone wall paper (and I mean these guys went all out on it) the inside of a beautiful piece such as this?
This is the same dang wallpaper that was like pulling teeth to get of the wall with the glue and left over residue and second layer and all that. I was so pissed that they would do this? Is there nothing in this house that doesn’t have glue and paper and crap on it that needs to be scrapped off?
Now we had another issue cuz there was no way I was gonna leave this ugly stuff in there. Dude was back to scraping because, as usual, when we tried to peel it off only the top layer came up and it left the bottom layer of paper with glue all stuck to the wood! This was going to be a more delicate situation that getting glue off of the walls. At least we could get the walls really wet so the paper and glue could be scrapped off easier. This was WOOD! Dude was wondering how to do this so that it would come off without warping the cabinet. Oh man, I was pissed! I should leave that in the present tense cuz I still am.
Ahhhhh! I’m so sick of stupidity when it comes to this house! It’s just as easy to do things right as it is to do things wrong when it comes to your house and furniture. So why don’t people just do it right??! I still can’t understand what would posses someone to go and mess up furniture like this especially in one of the most stupidest ways possible!
I keep trying to imagine what went through these people’s minds. Did they just start wallpapering their kitchen and have some extra left over and loved it so much they just had to use the rest? I just can’t come to a conclusion but it’s most likely because stupidity never makes sense.
I just can’t stop being mad because it took Dude around 2 to 3 hours to get this stuff off and it still looks terrible inside. He couldn’t get every last piece of glued on paper and he said he has to sand the rest. I just don’t want the piece to be wrecked beyond repair. That’s that part that makes me angry, not so much the work to fix it, but the fact that their lame brained idea could have potentially destroyed a nice piece of furniture. Now I don’t know about you, but I personally can’t go down to the local furniture store and pick up another identical piece. I don’t even know when this piece was made or where it was made for that matter.
So by that point Dude and I took to drinking. Yup, folks, we pulled out a bottle of wine and kicked back on the sauce. We had our not so fancy glasses (cuz those are still packed away), we drank in our not so fancy kitchen (cuz it’s still not finished) and we toasted to our not so fancy buffet (cuz the people that did this were idiots).
It seems like every time we turn around, we find something else crazy that these guys did with this place. I don’t even know why I’m surprised anymore. By now I guess I should be shocked if anything were done correctly, not the other way around!