The Butler’s Pantry

Today, I was able to re-install the glass door to the left after it was refinished!


The two TALL doors had been lowered at some point, and the glass replaced with plywood. Yikes! I raised them to their original height, and installed new glass.

You can also see one refinished drawer. Dr. Doug is at work making two new drawers to replace the long missing drawers ABOVE the lower four drawers. And above that was a counter; Dr. Doug is making a new one.

The STEAM HEAT sign is, presumably, from the Mouse Palace Motel era. I love it.


I also refinished the door to the left! The right door was finished last week. (Doug has the missing drawer.) Now, note the…


…gouge to the door. WHAT would have caused that? And WHY is there no gouge to the door to the right? Yet another pantry mystery!





  1. Jackie on January 24, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Does the gouge line up with the door hardware at the lowered height? It looks close.

    • Barb Sanford on January 28, 2019 at 8:29 am

      That was my thought.

  2. Dawn Rocco on January 24, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Oh if only walls could talk!

  3. Thomas McLean on January 24, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Was there another metal bar?

  4. Kerri on January 24, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Wow, you’ve made a lot of progress. Looking good! I was wondering about that light fixture on the east wall. It looks old, but not original? (I try to pay attention to what you say about ages of different light fixtures, but it’s all very confusing!)

    • Ross on January 24, 2019 at 9:16 pm

      Good eye, Kerri!

      That sconce is from the 1920s. I have no idea when it was installed (badly, and upside-down).

      It will NOT be staying!

      I need to ascertain if a gas/electric sconce was on that wall.

  5. A.H. on January 24, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    All this uncovered woodwork is glorious! Now I am curious what the finished stairwell will look like. Between the stairs, dining room and butlers pantry, I imagine the effect will be amazing.

  6. Colin Boss on January 24, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Morning all. This looks wonderful. The space is perfect and the wood is glowing beautifully. I wonder if the gouge lines up with some hardware as it looks to me as if over the years something hit it. I also note there is a shallower gouge on the top panels.

  7. Celeste on January 25, 2019 at 3:12 am

    Any clue what treatment the back of the glass cabinets might have been?

    • Ross on January 26, 2019 at 8:30 am

      Not sure yet, Celeste.

  8. Chris on January 25, 2019 at 7:25 am

    Quick questions Ross, does the gouge line-up with the long glass door handle when it had been lowered in the past? Could years of swinging back to bang into the cupboard door have possibly caused this?

    • Brita on January 25, 2019 at 9:33 am

      I agree with Chris, it looks like someone repeatedly opened two opposing doors at once.

      • Seth Hoffman on January 25, 2019 at 12:49 pm

        This does seem plausible.

        Our house has divided-lite upper sashes with two rows of panes. Many of the center dividing muntins are gouged from people opening the bottom sash with the lock still partway closed. If doors, windows, drawers, or other moving parts can come into contact, 100 years nearly assures there will be some kind of damage due to careless operation.

        • Brita on January 26, 2019 at 7:26 am

          right. I have my great grandmother’s Hoosier cabinet, and it is possible, if you are careless, to rake the inside of one door with the latch of the other. Which has resulted in a wear mark inside one door.
          This pantry door in the Cross house has two wear marks. A faint one from when the opposing doors were high, and a much deeper one from after they were lowered

          • Ross on January 26, 2019 at 8:33 am

            To Chris, Brita, Seth,

            I measured the height of the door hardware on the SOUTH cabinet. When the doors were at the lower location, the hardware was 6-inches BELOW the gouge mark on the WEST door.

            With the SOUTH doors now returned to their original height, their hardware is WAY above the gouge mark on the WEST door.

    • Jo on January 25, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      I was thinking the same thing, which could mean the lower gouge lined up with some missing hardware beneath the long doors.

    • Ragnar on January 26, 2019 at 5:54 am

      That sounds absolutely plausible, although my very first thought was “chainsaw accident” 😀

  9. Penny on January 25, 2019 at 8:03 am

    I need to know, is there going to be room for a chair or stool in the pantry? When I have time to come visit again I wish to just sit for spell and admire.☺️

    • Ross on January 26, 2019 at 8:35 am

      You can sit on the counter, Penny!

  10. Mark on January 25, 2019 at 9:24 am

    What’s the big gap above the drawers under your large refinished blind cupboard doors? Is it that the drawers below are not properly installed?

    Otherwise looking good!!

    • Ross on January 26, 2019 at 8:29 am

      Mark, not all the pieces are reinstalled yet.

  11. Grandmere Louise on January 25, 2019 at 9:26 am

    I do love the swoop of that new light. Lucky butler.

  12. Seth Hoffman on January 25, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    The newly-refinished doors really look fantastic! So much more warmth than the dreary, sloppy paint. They also look much crisper 😉

    The “Steam Heat” sign is odd, being the home is heated with a hot water (hydronic) system, not steam. Then again, even the heating profession uses terminology incorrectly, as hydronic heating units are still generally called “Boilers”, despite never heating the water above the boiling point (if they do, it’s a terrible disaster!).

    • Ross on January 26, 2019 at 8:28 am

      Seth, I have long heard radiators referred to as “steam heat” no matter the source of the that.

  13. Dawn Rocco on January 25, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Oh I love the look of the refinished wood it is so awesome! I’d call that gouge antiquing! 🙂

  14. Cindy Belanger on January 25, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    The refinished doors look amazing. The butler’s pantry is beginning to look like it belongs in the Cross House.

  15. Matt on January 26, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Hi Ross–What type of top coat are you using on the doors in the butler’s pantry?

    • Ross on January 26, 2019 at 8:27 am

      Mi, Matt!

      Amber shellac.

  16. [email protected] on January 27, 2019 at 11:13 am

    SO thrilled that door opening is gone and the cabinet returned to its original location! The butler’s pantry is looking glorious!👏

  17. Isa on January 28, 2019 at 5:12 am

    Can the scratches be caused by a drawer that has been opened again and again and hit against an opened door? That could be the reason why they are deeper the further they are away from the source of them, as the furthest part is the one that gets the most hits?

  18. Barb Sanford on January 28, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Wow, this is looking beautiful. Can’t wait to see it in person!

  19. David F. on January 28, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    It’s obvious that the gouge is a sabre mark left from when Sherman stormed the house, thus saving it from the miscreant rebel troops. It was part of the fabled March to the Sea (He took a wrong turn at Savannah) Really, Ross, how could you have missed that?

    (Just kidding 😉 )

    • Ross on January 29, 2019 at 12:00 am

      I am sorry, David. Obviously, I am not paying attention!

    • Ross on January 29, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      Obviously, I’m slipping!

  20. Susy in CoMO on January 28, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Hi, Ross. I stumbled (quite literally and have the owie to prove it) upon your blog on the fabulous Cross House. I am in awe and have decided I want to live my life over again, as a restorer. I’m 67 now and that seems to be quite the dream. I grew up in a mid-century home in California and longed for an older home. So I bought a 1911 stucco bungalow in 1983, in Palo Alto, CA. LOVED the house. Always thought I’d be dead with Xs over my eyes before I ever left it. However, my daughter and son-in-law moved to Columbia, MO, and I could NOT be away from the future grandkids (born 2008 and 2011). So, I sold for a ridiculous amount of money (location, location, location) and it was SCRAPED! Now I live in a soul less 1993 three story tract home (the walk out basement being my part of the house) with my daughter and her family. The good news is that when I’ve completely lost it, we’ll return to the 1864 beach house in Santa Cruz, CA, that had been my in-laws’. And I will be a lump in my comfy chair, listening to the waves and the sea lions barking. I tell you all this because I have been transported by your blog, by the suggestions you’ve had for other bloggers and all-things-old. Thank you for your sharing this labor of love, and thank you, interwebs for making it possible for all of us to experience it along with you.

    • Ross on January 29, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      It’s a delight meeting you, Susy!

      And I would love to join you when I, too, have completely lost it, to sit in an adjacent comfy chair, listening to the waves, and the sea lions barking.

      BIG hug!

  21. Liz on August 18, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Someone was trying to break into the silver cabinet with a crowbar and someone interrupted the thief. The two struggled and left the gouge in the door during the fight. Obviously. 😆

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