One of the more ambitious decorative projects inside the house was stripping and staining the front hallway surround. The pine wood surround features two sidelights, a wooden front door (not original, but nice enough), and a built-in coat closet with a hinged box at the base for storing shoes or whatnot.
Here’s the almost finished front hallway surround. Even after weeks of heat guns, stripper, and sanding, the original pink paint was pretty well embedded in the soft pine, so I decided to keep it rather than sand the wood into oblivion. I used a pecan stain with a satin polyurethane finish. The effect looks like a darker version of the Heywood-Wakefield champagne finish.
The original builders of this simple farmhouse used inexpensive pine for all the interior finishes. It’s a soft wood, and much of it has not worn well over time. The trim in the house was always painted, and scraping back the decades often reveals a lot of damage to the wood. I wanted to refinish the slim panels on both sides of the doors, but the wood was broken, patched, and filled.
I replaced the door hinges with 1940s McKinsey copper t-strap hinges.