Friday, May 9, 2014

moldings of mystery

We generally have a mile long to do list of things we think we're going to get done during any given period of time. Naturally, any belief that these things will be finished is completely delusional, but I guess you have to be somewhat delusional to undertake a project like this. On this list for the summer is finishing the woodwork in the kitchen - baseboard, four windows, built-in, two doors, a transom and the chair rail. I've nearly finished the heat-gunning part of the project (the easy part), what's left is scraping, liquid stripper and sanding, then touching up any remaining paint, staining and shellacking. I need a nice glass of (long island) iced tea just thinking about it...

What we've checked off this list now includes two windows, and the frame and moldings of the original pantry built-in. The pantry has left us scratching our heads on more than one occasion, but we think we've solved the mystery. Stripping the inside edge of the moldings revealed ghost marks where another piece of trim had butted up to them.

It was only when we removed the hinges and finished stripping the woodwork that we figured out the outlines were from the chair rail that used to run around the perimeter of the room. Now of course that begs the question why were there marks from chair rail on the high inside edge of the trim overlaying the hinges???

enormous three part chair rail

After much head-scratching and unintelligible muttering we figured out that these pieces of trim originally belonged to the built-in that had been next to the chimney on the other side of the kitchen. When we bought the house all but the uppermost shelf and soffit had already been chopped out, but when we started stripping the 14 layers of paint and vinyl shelf liner from the walls and chimney we found more ghost marks showing the dimensions and shelf placement. Since there wasn't much to save we removed what was left to make better use of our salvaged cabinets (not without much guilt though).

the remains of the cabinet above the fridge
some of the ghost marks

that corner today

As best we can tell, when the house was split up they removed nearly every piece of trim as they rearranged rooms, even on doors and windows that weren't changed. When they put the trim back up they did it without rhyme or reason, cutting down and butting up lengths, mixing up wood species, or just replacing it with nice, but inappropriate, flat pine craftsman trim. In the case of the kitchen, the addition of modern cabinetry and a horrendous drop ceiling meant that much of the trim never made it back into the room.

removed drop ceiling to reveal
missing moldings
drop ceilings above sink

missing chair rail (don't mind butterfly)
With one more house mystery solved, we continued the tedious work, and now the pantry is nearly ready for finishing (doors notwithstanding).

before pic, complete with odd
"inspiration" photo taped to the door
as of now... stripped and
sanded built-in

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