The Cross House

Kenny. Before & After.

Yesterday, I did a post about miracle man Kenny coming to the Cross House to restore the finish on the round bedroom mantle. The before.


The after!!!!!!!! Squee!!!!!!!


While not evident in the before image, the entire surface was covered with alligatored shellac. This wholly obscured the lovely wood grain. Oh, the horror.


Just so stunning!


Fabulous, too!


People often think that old houses had DARK wood finishes but as I have repeatedly discovered at the Cross House this may be a myth. This image reveals the original very light finish (covered for 123-years by the overmantel). You can see how close this is to the restored finish.


I greatly enjoyed getting to know Kenny and took him to lunch yesterday and today. I love a good conversation. Also, he has a nice attention to detail that I admire, which makes him ideal for such work.

Kenny said he has a few days in February. He asked: “Maybe I could come by again, and start on the trim in the round bedroom?”

Golly. I am breathless with anticipation.


14 Responses to Kenny. Before & After.

  1. That is my favorite fireplace tile & mantel. Kenny just completed work that is just absolutely amazing! Kenny is a genius! I am so glad he has the time for his amazing artistry. I am glad too that you had an enjoyable lunch & hopefully February will yield more of his lovely artistry!

    • Kenny did not put on a finish.

      For, the old finish is still there. Just the many additional layers of shellac have been removed.

  2. Looks very good! I wonder why the later coats of shellac were added? Was it for additional protection, or (more likely) to darken it and “update” the look in the teens or twenties when darker stains were more popular?

  3. So lovely to see the alligatoring gone. And (bracing for impact of rotten tomatoes) the mantle will sing with a fresh coat of amber shellac.

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