Greetings to all --
My wife and I own an 1830-ish farm house, some say it's an "eyebrow colonial", but what ever it is, it has the original front door. This door has been badly in need of restoration since we purchased the house almost 6 years ago. We finally have the time to do it, and could use some advice.
With copious amounts of non-toxic paint stripper, we have stripped the interior side, and are now in the process of stripping the exterior, which is in much worse shape. I have attached several photos to illustrate before/after and problem areas.
The door has is frame and panel construction, with two lower and two upper panels. The panels all have cracks in them, and it looks as though prior owners have tried to remedy the situation with some type of (now very hard) caulk.
The bottom of the exterior side is the worst area of the door. I have a woodworking shop on site, and can repair the crack that runs parallel to the bottom of the door, in between the two stiles (vertical members on the left/right of the door). The stiles are attached to the rails with tongue and groove construction. I have included a photo of the very bottom of one corner of the door, where it's evident that there is separation or shrinkage between the stile and the rail. However, there is no soft wood and the stiles seem well connected to other door components. I don't think this can be repaired without taking the entire door apart, and don't want to go down that road.
We want to preserve as much of the original detail as possible, but the molding on the exterior side (around the panels) will have to be replaced. It's just too far gone, in my opinion.
There does not seem to be a way to easily repair or replace the panels. I have considered some specialized epoxy to fill the cracks, and the use of CPES (epoxy sealer) for at least the exterior. We will paint the exterior, but would like to have the wood visible on the interior.
Advice about any phase of this project is much appreciated.
- frontdoorlower2.jpg (73.27 KiB) Viewed 748 times
- top of exterior
- frontdoorupper.jpg (72.19 KiB) Viewed 748 times
- bottom of exterior
- frontdoorlower.jpg (74.69 KiB) Viewed 749 times