Installing Restored Brass Door Hardware and Faux Finishing the Mantelpiece

Bob and carpenter Bob Ryley install the restored door hardware, and artist Kim Sweet faux finishes the mantle in the den, taking as inspiration a piece of Bob’s furniture.

Clip Summary

Bob and Ryley install the restored door hardware. Architect Gregory Rochlin has had the lacquer-coated brass hardware intricately removed and numbered to ensure its proper placement in the finished house. Rochlin polishes the hardware with jeweler's rouge to return it to its polished brass original finish. Bob introduces a piece of furniture he has had in his home for a number of years. Featuring flame mahogany veneers and tiger maple, this piece is the inspiration for the faux-finished mantle in the den. Artist Kim Sweet uses layer upon layer of colors and finishes to recreate the antique wood finish.

OK, well, we're back and we're dealing with some of the original hardware in the house.

Although, much of the detail here was lost , the brasses were still here and I suspect maybe 15, 20 years ago, somebody came along and polished them up and lacquered them.

And what happens is that the lacquer breaks down and you end up with this kind of a dull, chintzy looking finish and we strip these in lack or thinner and grad the architect actually spend lot of time buffing these on a jeweler's buffing wheel.

Yes he did.

Would have jeweler's rouge, which is one way of getting the, this means you'll have to maintain them a couple times a year, but still, they look perfect.


And you've even got the little screws here.

Now how do you put this back?

Well, I tell you, the key to this whole thing was the organization at the very beginning, because all this business went out in bags that were numbered, and they come back at the tail end of the job and they're back in the bag and they were heard there was a complete schedule of every door in the house this of course is the powder room door. Right this door it was always here, but when we put it back in, it was a little larger than the hole, so we had to cut it down a bit.

Any time you're gonna be cutting a door down, you want to cut it down from the hinge side so that our mortars is still intact.


When we put this mortars in it is going to fit just like it did when it came out.

Exactly. Yeah the reason the opening changed is that of course we've got new walls and we've got new door jams and casing's and that means that essentially all these doors have to be rehung.

Now you put the spindle from the knob through the plate, and of course just reset the knob.
And you've got the original set screws and everything, right?


Yeah it really is important to keep all the parts together and not mix them up.
Because these are 100 year old pieces, the threading might vary from one to the next. And what's the next step?

We just want to set the scussion plate.

OK. And you're not going to use a level on that, you're actually going to measure.

Right, make sure it's exactly right, yeah.

Well, Bob, you got another 30 of these to do, but I really appreciate all your help on the house.

OK .

OK, thank you. Now before we we go in to look at the den, I want you to look at a piece of furniture that I've had for a long time, which is probably early eighteen hundreds, and it uses woods that were very popular then. Flame mahogany veneers probably from the Caribbean islands, and a New England favorite. Maple, in this case it's Tiger Maple with all the banding. We're taking inspiration from this piece, and Kim is doing quite a job on the mantlepiece in the den, so come on in. So once again, we called Kim Sweet into the job to try to reproduce these woods. Hi, Kim.

Hi, Bob.

Now, have I challenged you sufficiently here?

I think so. We had, we had painted the mantle a red, and is like you see on the base board here, the baseboard hasn't been finished yet.

And the walls of course had that red, and then Kim, daubbed them or rag them I suppose is the term to create this effect of kind of old leather.

And then it occurred to me to try to do the woods, the mahogany and the tiger maple.

Tell me about how you achieved this finish here as this a does approximate it here pretty nicely.

Thanks, we started with a red base and then built up glazes, sort of umbers and blacks and browns and just sort of worked on getting the brushes to move the way the grain of the wood would.

And of course that the glazes are transparent so that as you add to them you create this depth.


Now for the tiger maple then did you have to paint the different base?

Yeah, you can just see a little bit left down here.

This is sort of a more of an oaker, we used a red for the mahogany and oaker for the tiger maple.

Oaker being a naturally occurring yellow.
Kind of a tan yellow color. And this is probably the harder of the woods to try to replicate. The tiger banding.

Yeah, it's got a lot less movement and so sort of make it look realistic without being too overdone is a little bit of a challenge.

Yeah, well I like what you've done you've done up towards the top bend here already, where it's starting to look a little bit like bird's eye.

And of course you have to keep the tape in place right.

Yeah, the tape is great, because it will protect the edges that are already finished. So I'm not going to have to re-work those seams when the tape comes down.

Well Kim you've done wonderful thinks right here, thank you.

Thank you.

And of course, the room is unified with mahogany is we have a cornice that's built up out of mahogany, even the dental moldings which are again somethings that available from lumber yards. And when it turns the corner over to this wall we have a beautifuly crafted library. wall. This is again the fellows at the shop at Fort Hill here in Boston who created all this woodwork out of solid mahogany and the pilasters which are fluted, take there kind of design key from what was already in the dining room hutch.

Little features like this. And the design of the whole thing is three stacks of books and then a central area where we can hide things like a fax machine.

But I think one of the neatest parts to the whole room is the way that they decided to put the doors in. This was Gregory's idea and create peace and quiet. Got to break for messages don't go away.