We Struck Oil

See the door behind Frankie? (Just ignore the color samples to the right.) That is the swinging door between our kitchen and our dining room. And I wanted it to go.

Though it’s a beautiful door, and quite possibly the original in the home, it was getting in my way. It was put there back in the day when people didn’t want their guests to be exposed to the messy kitchen while entertaining. But, in this day of great rooms and open-flows, it wasn’t working for me. And it blocked some valuable wall space where I could hang some pictures. However, taking down this door isn’t as easy as it would seem. It’s held up by pins that seem pretty content just where they are. After a little google research, I discovered that all you need to do is remove the 4 screws in the bottom plate. Then pull out the door. Easy enough.
Except, I found 5 screws. One on each corner. And one in the middle.
And there was something peculiar about that middle one. He was shorter and fatter than the others. I took him out anyway. Seemed to make sense. Clearly, I was wrong.
I closed the door. And a geyser shot up at me, spewing oil. At first it freaked me out. Then I found it somewhat entertaining. Every time I swung it, a little more shot into the air like I was some tycoon striking the big one back in the days of yore.
It took me a few minutes to decide that this hole was there to have oil put in, not to be taken out. It would make sense as to why this door swings so easily after all these years. I quickly did some more google work, and while I couldn’t find a thing about oil shooting from a swinging door base, I did find quite a few posts about people trying to get their swinging doors out. And then more people telling them they were crazy to take away such an integral piece of their home’s historic architecture. I started to feel guilty. And, without hesitation, I went back down to the door, put its screws back in, and gave it another swing. Between its stubbornness to come out, the spewing oil and the online-stranger guilt trips, the door wasn’t going anywhere. That’s probably how it was meant to be.
Swinging door, 1. Me, 0.



Filed under decorating, DIY

11 responses to “We Struck Oil

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I guess the swinging door was meant to be there. I think it looks great, but I can understand why you would want it gone. Better luck next time…

  2. Katrina

    LOL..Funny post!

    I like the door, but then I live in a old house too and my kitchen door is a pocket door…the kids and slid and slid that door and there is no way its ever going to come back out of the wall!

    Love your new house, and I look forward to see what you do next!


  3. Love this post! You oil baron, you! I love the door and think it truly adds to the character of the space. Now you have a story to go along with it!!

    Thanks for linking up!

  4. Okay, so what’s with the oil? That is really strange. What’s below the floors? If you try again or find out what it is, I would love to know.


    • I’m pretty sure that it’s an old fashioned method of keeping the hinges working (the door was probably up before WD-40). My guess it’s just a little container to make the door swing smoothly. Oh, and I checked the basement…no oil leaks seeping from below.

  5. Hi!
    I just discovered your blog and I love your new house. It’s so pretty. Leaving in an old house is a challenge as there are problems you wouldn’t have in a new one, but there’s a quality to it that new houses don’t have… yet.
    Magali from the Little (and also old) white house

  6. How funny! I like you project that was not meant to be – at times I have felt ‘the spirit move me’ to quit, but have ignored the nudgings, only with tragic consequences :) It is a pretty door though…..


  7. What a great story. I think I would have left the door in it’s place too after all of that. Maybe you can find a great old doorstop to keep the door open all the time and hang the pictures on the door instead of the wall behind it.

  8. I enjoyed this – and I am laughing so hard!!!

    ;-D robelyn

  9. Patrice

    LOL! I have the same door!! I am restoring a 100yr old home in Thunder Bay Ontario and am doing everything to preserve it. It took us forever to get the swinging door from the kitchen to the dining room out so we could fix it. They certainly don’t build houses like they used to. We found that these houses were built to withstand the test of time. Ours is coming along slowly as we are doing everything ourselves. It really is a labour of love.

  10. Lenny

    I wouldn’t take off that beautiful and elegant door. It’s not only to keep out those who like to be nosy, it’s also protecting your house of smells and noise coming from the kitchen. I don’t know who had the brilliant idea of the open kitchens, then we spend millions in candles to kill food smells in the living room… I have a victorian house and I bought a vintage swinging door and it’s dividing my dining room from the kitchen. If I move, I take it with me

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