Last November, a treasure trove of materials returned to the Cross House, including this brutalized door. It had been reduced in length and width, and was also smashed (left side). The other side of the door…


…was painted white. And I traced the original location of the door to the closet of the hexagon bedroom. So, this pitiful, damaged, ruined 1894 bit-o-house originally looked like the door to the right. Really.


I then contacted Dr. Doug: “Can you fix this mess?”

And the good doctor replied: “Yes.”

Wanna see the results?

Scroll way down…



































I knew not much would be left but that anything remains dazzles and thrills me. I thought we could save eight sections but the doctor felt that, in the end, only six were salvageable.

Dr. Doug will now install the original Auserlitz hardware. Then an artist will paint the door with a faux wood finish, matching the other doors in the house.

I love a good resurrection story. There is something enormously satisfying about taking something brutalized and, by waving a magic wand, returning it to its original beauty. The visible trauma? Erased. It as if time has been reversed, and all degradation washed clean.

Thank you, Dr. Doug!!!!!!!!


NOTE: I will only do a faux wood finish on the outside of the door, facing the bedroom. The inside of the door will face a bathroom. I plan to only coat this with varnish, leaving visible all the evidence of what the door has been through. Then I will place an image of the battered door, with an explanatory text, in a framed picture adjacent to the restored door. Thus, the history of the door will be…remembered.



  1. Marjie on January 29, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Wow! That is so cool! I love how your preserving the old door parts, so you can see what can be done with a bit of ingenuity and creativity! Your an inspiration to anyone restoring or wanting to restore anything.

  2. Sandra Lee on January 29, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Dr Doug is a most amazing restoration guy!!! How wonderful t have such good people n your corner on this journey! I cannot believe the transformation—Dr Doug is a frigging genius!

  3. Seth Hoffman on January 29, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Wow, that is amazing! Good to know there is someone out there who can re-create some missing doors for me if I’m unable to find salvage ones.

  4. Randy C on January 29, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Congrats to both you and Dr. Doug. Although a shame that sometimes complete originality cannot be restored or maintained (or even located), this promises to be a very acceptable solution. Can’t wait to see the finish.

  5. Cindy Belanger on January 29, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    NICE! Dr. Doug definitely did a great job restoring this door. I find it funny that someone would cut the door down to size and then not move the doorknob to a usable position. Unless they never used the door after all.

  6. Carole E Sukosd on January 29, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I love keeping the original second life of this door and the finished product, which replicates the original life. Not only keeping the history and life of this door for historical perspective. Then the outstanding skill applied by Dr. Doug. To have the skill to recreate pieces of leftovers. Grand job ! !

  7. Barb Sanford on January 29, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Love the idea of the plaque that shows the trials the door has endured. It’s a lovely testament.

  8. Jennifer on January 29, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    I too have to thank you for thinking of installing a plaque telling the door’s history! Very cool

  9. Travis on January 29, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    I appreciate your desire to tell the story with a plaque, but for God’s sake finish both sides of the door and have a pretty bathroom.

    • Ross on January 29, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      But, Travis, I can both tell a story AND have a beautiful bathroom!

      • Travis on January 29, 2018 at 11:13 pm

        I would get pee shy looking at that ugly door. 😊

  10. Mike on January 29, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    If I rent a bus and feed everyone, could you and Justin and Dr Doug and the rest of your magical gang come to spend a week with me and my house? LOL, I am thrilled by your door. I love the idea of saving even the smallest pieces and keeping them in the house.

  11. Connie on January 30, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Wowee! Kazowee! And more order is restored to the universe! Love the idea of the image explaining the history of the door. It’s always a good idea to record changes, fixes, etc. to historic pieces for reference by future generations. I have no doubt that with your loving care Cross House will survive for a long, long time.

  12. Doug on January 31, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    I appreciate all the kind comments. I would take a before and after picture of the door, attach them to the history of the door, then finish both sides. The original
    pieces have really weathered badly and need to be covered.

  13. Liz on August 16, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    I am very curious about the faux wood finishes. Was it common to use less attractive (perhaps less expensive) wood and do this finish in the 1890s? Rather than use woods with pretty grains?

    I’m learning so much from your blog about old house restoration!

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