First off, grouting's done. Yay.
Second though requires a back story. The first condemned house we had permission to plunder was an incredible Italianate duplex. It was in better condition than our house, and had the most incredible porch which would have provided us with all the columns we needed for our own restoration.
The porch was so rotted it disintegrated on impact, but in the 18 hours we had in the house we were able to save a smorgasbord of goodies. Among these were all the newels and spindles from both staircases. These were used when we rebuilt our back porches. We never thought much about them as they were slathered in paint, but when we had to trim a couple of spindles down to size we realized they were solid mahogany. I literally cried at the thought that we had used them on our porches where they'd be painted and unappreciated - at least mahogany does well outside.
|rebuilding in progress|
From that point on one of my rules is that anything I plan on painting doesn't get stripped. Sanded and cleaned, not stripped. Needless to say, I almost broke my rule today.
you can see some of the gildingon the lower right of the white