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fleetwood
Ever seen this decorative door trim?

Hi to All,

We just purchased an 1896 home in Cincinnati. On the first and second floors, the top of every doorway has extremely ornate molding. Has anyone ever seen this type of molding, and/or know where we can get more pieces of it? We are not sure yet if it's carved wood or some type of cast. Does anyone know what this ornate trim is called? I hope I got the attachments added correctly.

Sincerely,

Donna in Cincinnati

A. Spruce
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

If you've got architectural salvage or restoration specialty shops in your area, check them first. An online source may be Vandykes.com. If all else fails, custom molding shops would be able to help you take a casting of the trim and have it duplicated.

fleetwood
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

Hi A. Spruce,

Yes, there is an architectural salvage company in the city. Do you have any idea what I would call this type of trim when I make inquiries?

What do you think would be a fair price to pay for a casting such as this, if I do have to have them custom made? Just wondering.

Sincerely,

Donna in Cincinnati

A. Spruce
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

Unfortunately, I can't answer those questions. I didn't specialize in restoration, so my knowledge is limited to what I found at my molding and door supply houses. I know that locations with a lot of vintage homes and restored vintage homes tend to have quite a few salvage shops. What I would do is take really good pictures of the molding and print them out to take to the salvage shops for comparison as well as to consult with the proprietors as to where to locate a replacement or have a replica made. One of the things my molding shop specialized in was curved moldings, which basically a template of the curve was made, then the molding was either cast or extruded, depending on the design. I'm pretty certain a similar thing can be done for your head pieces - speaking of what they would be called ... LOL

I would guess that price will vary widely depending on how popular or rare the head piece is and whether or not it must be custom made.

Debra
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

My best guess is the top is a decorative header and is plaster and can be recast at the right place. It's lovely. The casings are fluted columns and might even be plaster themselves.

You really have a work of art there.

If you don't want to sacrifice one of the headers to recast them, a good sculpturist/carver could probably copy it from detailed pictures.

When you so looking for these things, take pictures in a photo album to show the workers.

fleetwood
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

Hi Debby,

Thank you for the kind comments. We just fell in love with this house. My husband is still in Cincy at the new (old) house. I'm back home in Ontario for now. We have a bit of a plumbing disaster on our hands at the moment, and before we can do anything cosmetic, we must get the plumbing situation under control. There are 3 or 4 of these headers stored in the basement right now. When I was down there, the power was turned off, and I couldn't see a thing. I also believe they are casts, and if we have to have more made, we can take one from the basement. Ryan was also thinking that the columns might be casts and not wood. My next trip down will involve visits to the historical and preservation societies to see if they have any old interior photos of the house.

If the trimwork and columns are cast or plaster, how does one remove all the old, blobby paint and freshen them up? Is there a way to get the old paint off without damaging the plaster? Can plaster be sanded?

I'm attaching one more photo from the billiards room looking through to the entry doors. You can see the door trim all the way to the floor. The beauty of this home just took my breath away. Once it's restored, it will be a true gem. It's very sad that the previous owners treated this old beauty with such neglect and disrespect.

Sincerely,

Donna

Debra
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

I'm pretty sure that plaster casings can be sanded, you'll have to be very careful though, just to protect those crisp edges. You'd have the same worry if they were wood casings though. I would find a paint remover that is plaster safe and start from there.

vudutu
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

Fleetwood,
We live in the Cincinnati area in the Covington Licking Riverside Historical district. I am very curious as to the area of town your house is in.

Very interesting, can't say I have seen any like this. I am researching finding a plaster craftsman to fix a friends water damaged crown moulding right now so I might find someone or info to help. If you are new to the area I can help with local resources.

Removing the paint and retaining the detail is a difficult task, some people use dental tools, very tedious.

Craig

fleetwood
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

Hi Craig,

Since my last post about the trim, we have removed a small portion of the trim over the entry doors where a lovely piece of stained glass was covered up. The trim is made of plaster, horsehair, and is reinforced by metal.

At the moment, we have a great plaster repair guy working at our house. I imagine he'll be here another few weeks to a month, as we had major water damage in the walls and ceilings. He is repairing the plaster and the plaster crown molding and is doing a fabulous job. I would highly recommend him. He works non-stop, is punctual, does not waste a second of time, and his hourly rate is extremely reasonable for someone with his rare talent. As well, he is a first rate painter. So if you haven't found a good plaster repair guy for your friend, let me know, and I'll give you his contact information.

Our home is in the Westwood area of Cincinnati.

Sincerely,

Donna

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

Donna,
With a hidden stained glass window, I wonder if the plaster work was done when they installed the new facade on the mansion?
Jack

fleetwood
Re: Ever seen this decorative door trim?

Hi Jack,

The stained glass was probably original. It was covered up on the inside of the house, but exposed on the outside. However, because there was no light shining through it on either side, I never even noticed that it was there. It sure looks beautiful now, after having been restored by David at Classical Glass. Plus, the electrician got the entry chandelier working - another small step forward. Ryan removed the interior plaster work that covered it up on the inside. What a big job that was! It's odd to me, to see the brown horse hair coming out of the interior cuts into the plaster. There seems to be horse hair here everywhere. It's also in the wall plaster.

Sincerely,

Donna

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