A Grand(er) Entrance

I’m having a party today so of course I decided to paint the vestibule this week. It’s important to put off tidying up with as many messy projects as possible. This didn’t happen along with the rest of the house for a lot of reasons. Okay, mainly just one. I was sick of painting.

Anyways, the walls and ceiling are both gonna be painted navy, a color that my friend picked for a small accent in his house and then agreed to share with me. The trim is all to be the same off-white though I can’t paint the door jamb until it’s warm out. I decided just to first coat the paneling for now. High impact, easy job, right?

Just one problem. The Irishman built me beautiful paneling in here, but he made himself a sketch. On the wall. In red Sharpie. Arg. Well I’ll have to spot prime with Kilz Original, the oil based version. That’ll take care of it, just one extra step. Right. And then… AAAARGH!

Sharpie in Vestibule.jpg

Obviously I had to take this problem to the Google. Might I want to invest in shellac based primer? That’s supposed to be the best. My findings were that oil based is better than shellac because permanent marker inks are alcohol soluble so they will even more readily bleed through shellac. But I should have lightly sanded first and blotted the stains with rubbing alcohol, lacquer thinner, or acetone first. And really thin coats of paint are best. I guess that’s because they dry faster and give the marker stains less time to loosen up and bleed through.

So I invested in a spray can of Kilz. That’ll give me really thin coats and prevent brush marks from building up and changing the texture on the spot primed areas after I paint. And the spray can is a convenient shape to beat the Irishman with. Then I found a can of Zinsser 123 from a year ago when he was doing finish carpentry for me, put 3 coats on, and it was gone! This is interesting because water based paints aren’t supposed to work. I used it because I already owned it and the can said it works on felt tip markers.

And one more thing that’s, well, less unfinished than it was. The front door handle. There was a handleset when I bought the house. With a mismatched lock and missing stain around where the old one was. Then the handleset broke and I replaced it with a doorknob that had been on an interior door. Classy. Especially that hole in the door. (Also note that I’ve decided to ignore stripping residue that’s everywhere)


Now, I really wish I had an OLD front door. This door is not old, and it’s not an authentic reproduction of old. But it’s mahogany and it was expensive (which is odd considering the other workmanship on my street). And I put a Baldwin handleset on it, so now if I end up getting an old door I’m wasting my money. But hey, it feels good and solid. And although it’s not as nice as a mortised handle, it’s the nicest looking one I could find that works.


And here it all is – a slightly more finished vestibule!



12 thoughts on “A Grand(er) Entrance

  1. Mary Elizabeth

    To tell the truth, when you first introduced the idea of navy in the vestibule I wasn’t too excited. But now that I see it with the mahogany door, the natural brick and the white woodwork, I really like it. Also, I love that door. It’s quirky and a lovely color.


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      And to tell you the truth I had no idea how great the mahogany would look with the navy paint.

      I don’t know if you remember this but when I bought the house the front door was cased with mahogany boards slapped together helter skelter. The jamb around the door is also mahogany but was damaged from poor installation so I decided to redo the trim with the same paint grade wood as I was using everywhere else and, gasp, paint the jamb. At least one person tried to talk me out of removing the mahogany trim. I saved it and am going to reuse it to cover up the top of the bookcase where it was made to have huge crown molding tight to an 8-foot ceiling. My ceilings are just short of 9 feet.

      And if you didn’t like the idea of a dark vestibule I bet you’re glad I abandoned the idea of decorating my bedroom like a Victorian whorehouse.


  2. coteetcampagne

    Great colour combo, navy and off-white. And we have decided we will keep our mid 20thc front door too as it’s solid and it fits and why not? I can think of other areas that have greater need of budget allocation.


  3. francetaste

    Great job! We were just chatting with a carpenter about doors and handles. So difficult when you have something old and the wood has warped (“worked” in French). We just got rid of a five-lock door in favor of a system with several points that attach–necessary for a door that’s 10 feet tall. Anyway, yours looks lovely and thumbs up for the navy!


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      Well it is dark! But I knew right away that I wanted do something bold and unexpected with the vestibule. It’s not like I spend enough time in there to get tired of it. My first plan was a really busy, colorful patterned wallpaper for the walls and ceiling.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    What kind of construction worker doesn’t use a pencil?! I would hit him with the can too if he hadn’t helped you out so much. I think you are going to have to be nice to him. You’re probably going to need his help again.

    Also, I like the blue.



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