1909 Four Square Refinish Project

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Forum topic by Seamus0559 posted 05-27-2013 04:34 PM 1035 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Seamus0559's profile


22 posts in 1319 days

05-27-2013 04:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak cherry finishing arts and crafts traditional rustic quarter sawn refinishing trim doors

I bought a 1909 4 Square about 2 years ago. When i bought the home, everything was carpeted, and all the trim was painted. As I began stripping woodwork, I was pleased to find quarter sawn white oak everywhere on the first floor! The second floor is all cherry trim/ doors. The flooring throughout is maple, with a cherry inlay border( this was also a great discovery after pulling carpet out. So now, my free time has been devoted to making this home as close to what it was when the house was built. I’m posting photos of my progress, so take a look and let me know what you think. Thanks guys!

8 replies so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1643 posts in 1695 days

#1 posted 05-27-2013 05:44 PM

I can’t even imagine the thought process that would influence a decision to cover all that beautiful woodwork, but then, SWMBO can be excruciatingly persuasive, at times.

I believe I would have had to buy her a different place to dwell (literally), before I would have covered that floor.

Kudos for bringing it back to it’s former Glory.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View madts's profile


1663 posts in 1763 days

#2 posted 05-27-2013 07:04 PM

You are one lucky man. Have fun with it. What is a 4 square?

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Buckethead's profile


3140 posts in 1292 days

#3 posted 05-27-2013 07:12 PM

Amazing hidden treasure!

My version of SWMBHO would probably chosen to paint that lovely woodwork white. The floors however, are just her speed.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3641 days

#4 posted 05-27-2013 09:17 PM

Wow! Hidden treasure indeed!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View gfadvm's profile


14932 posts in 2113 days

#5 posted 05-28-2013 01:32 AM

You have some absolutely gorgeous wood there and you are doing a wonderful job of restoring it to its former glory.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Tugboater78's profile


2432 posts in 1615 days

#6 posted 05-28-2013 01:38 AM

Thats some beautiful wood, cant believe someone would cover that up

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View phillyjon's profile


4 posts in 1070 days

#7 posted 11-21-2013 07:01 PM

Awesome. I bought a 1911 foursquare outside of Philly last year. I’ve got red oak on the first and third floors and cherry on the second. What did you use to remove paint Seamus? I’ve got multiple layers of white, oil and latex on everything except the floors. I’m using a heat gun on the paint and water-based strippers to clean off the layer of varnish at the bottom. Mine is a bit of a fixer upper, you might say. Here are a before and after of the staircase, which is missing the oak newel and a couple balustrades at the bottom.

View Seamus0559's profile


22 posts in 1319 days

#8 posted 11-22-2013 12:12 AM

I used K3 premium stripper, it’s about $25/gallon,but works well. Wear gloves, it’ll burn you. I used that all the way to the wood, then sanded from then on. I finished the QS white oak with a satin oil base poly. I had the advantage of taking everything off of the walls to do it, which is hard to do with stair cases. Your steps look great, and I’m jealous of that window. The previous owners of my home removed all leaded and stained glass for vinyl unfortunately.

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