Monday, August 17, 2009

May 2009: Baseboards - before

Eventually I'd like to replace all the white painted wood with natural wood; a daunting project, but so rewarding! The baseboards were the first to go; the house is 80 years old, and the paint was really layered on. Being the green girl, I wanted to restore the old baseboards. Tom pulled them all out, carefully labeling them on the back so we'd know how to fit them back into the same rooms in the right order. I began stripping them. They had been 3-4 colors over the years: gray, burgundy, hunter green -- but most of the layers were white. I was thrilled to discover that the baseboards were all one piece as opposed to a 1x6 with a piece of trim on top. Sweet!

I was not as thrilled when a professional painter in for an estimate on texturing and painting inquired as to where all the baseboards were -- I quite proudly told him I was stripping and restoring them -- and he gave me quite a stern talking to about lead based paint and the related lead poisoning! Oh! Indeed, I did recall signing quite a number of warnings and lead based paint addendums at my closing ... and yet that hadn't crossed my mind...

In the end I opted to put in new baseboards. I chose the plain farmhouse-style 1x6planks, stained and polyurethaned with quarter round at the bottom. I haven't decided if I will add trim on top or not. I've been told the flat surface will really collect dust and dog hair, but so far I am undaunted. I like the clean, plain look. I posted the old baseboards on Craigs List for free (complete with the disclaimer about the lead paint) and a couple in Fort Worth called me, wanting them. They had re-done the floors in their master bedroom and bath with wood from an old farmhouse, and said my baseboards would be the perfect finish for them! I was pleased someone could use them.

See the next post for the baseboard project in the works, and the finished product.

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