The Project: Entrance doors to Charleston bank branch were in terrible shape.
The Opportunity: Charleston, like any town or city near the ocean, is a particularly rough environment on all surfaces, particularly metal and wood. This branch of a national bank faced the street, and as such took a beating from the elements and was a poor representation of their brand to the consumers. Not quite the “hello, come on in” any business would want.
The Goods: The wood on these doors was completely unprotected and was soaking up the UV rays and other elements for years. The wood fibers themselves were breaking down en masse, which is shown by the gray and black colorations in the “before” image. In fact, the natural binders that “glue” the cellulose together in the wood were disintegrated and the fibers would come apart with a fingernail.
We stripped all of the wood with a liquid stripper and many many aggressive pads. It was important to do the entire surface of the doors, not just the bad areas, to make sure things were uniform. After a thorough washing with acetone and drying overnight, we sanded the doors and stained it with a waterbased stain. This type of stain is difficult to work with because it dries quickly, but with experience it looks fantastic. Next we applied several coats of a waterbased urethane with careful strokes for a smooth, uniform finish. We sanded the doors between each coat of urethane using a fine grit sand paper. To complement the wood work, we completely restored the bronze handles and associated pieces, including the threshold, which was so damaged and dirty it was initially impossible to tell it was bronze.
The results were quite impressive from the street and gave our client a welcoming entrance they could be proud of!