Removing Alligators from the Cross House. PART IV


This is post #4 on my efforts restoring the finish of the pair of inner entry doors at the Cross House. This is the BEFORE image.


And the AFTER.

And the AFTER. Whoee!!!!!!!! The nice thing about the process (using denatured alcohol) is that it does not remove the finish down to bare wood, but rather just takes off the old, darkened, alligatored later finishes.



And more AFTER, which looks rather better…


1999. Terrifying.

…than it did in 1999.




  1. matt on March 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Looks great. What a fantastic way to achieve the normal finish by simply using a little elbow grease.

    • Ross on March 25, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Which does not make my fifty-nine-year-old elbow happy!

      But the rest of me is thrilled with the results.

  2. MarjorieMorningstar on March 25, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    What a great reward for all your careful efforts. It still takes time to achieve these results. I am curious about the the floor before the doors. Is it tile, cement ? It looks like a pattern of sorts.

    • Ross on March 25, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      The Cross House has three vestibules, and two original bathrooms. Each floor is by the American Encaustic Tiling Company. I did several posts on the subject.

  3. Sharol on March 26, 2016 at 8:16 am

    It’s gorgeous!!

  4. Carole. Canton Ohio on March 26, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Sometimes elbow grease isn’t enough. It’s the love of the house that kicks in when you have used up all your energy. Question: Denatured alcohol I’ve never used. What all can it be used for/on to resolve finishes ? I’m learning so much about old houses and restoration processes from you. Thank you!

  5. Victoria on March 30, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    This whole post just warms my heart!

  6. Rach P on April 1, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Those doors have come up beautifully Ross. I am enjoying watching your progress on this most beautiful of houses, how lucky you are.

    p.s I read and drool with jealously all the way from New Zealand!

  7. djd_fr on January 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

    So nice!

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