Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Breathing New Life into Old French Doors

For my debut post, I'd like to introduce you to our back door, and how I made it a non-eyesore.

Just in case the above wasn't enough to convince you of the general yuck that was our back door, here's another view...

Ick! They were a murky pinkish cream color, stained and generally not clean looking. When we first moved in, I didn't really notice (except the big stain at the top). But then we started painting the living room. We had to paint the trim from brown (not unpainted. Painted brown) to this bright white gloss. And then I noticed. I knew we'd have to do something about those doors.

We also wanted to have some more privacy. Our neighbors aren't on top of us, but we aren't really secluded either. So we looked into getting blinds. The problem is, we have two kittens, and kittens destroy mini blinds. We considered replacing the doors with the kind that have the blinds enclosed in the glass. But yeah... New homeowners and all that. We figured that money could be better spent elsewhere.

Then a co-worker mentioned ODL enclosed blinds, said he had them on his back door and loved them. Basically these are covers for the door windows that give it a second layer of glass while enclosing mini blinds between them. So we went to Lowe's and picked up a couple and brought them back home to put it all together.

First step was to clean the doors. I just used a magic eraser. Probably should've used soap but, hey, it worked! This was when I realized that the doors were actually a slightly different shade. They'd had a long while to build up whatever grime was coating them. I did one door at a time to show the difference. Door on the left has been cleaned.

Ew, right? Blegh!!

Next step was taping off the glass. I didn't bother taping the trim since I was using the same paint for the doors.

And time to get painting! First coat was a primer. Primer on the left, unpainted on the right.

I skipped taking pictures for most of the painting process. I took off the door knobs (I really recommend doing this. It looks so much cleaner and nicer) and taped the glass. I finished painting the inside trim first so I could take the paint tape off (do this before the paint dries for a crisp line!) and then finished up painting the outside.

And put on the ODL inserts per their instructions. They were super easy to install. They have spacers that go behind the trim on the doors. You loosen the screws on the trim, put in the spacers, then you tighten the screws back down onto the spacers. Then the doors for onto hooks on the spacers on top and they hook behind the trim where the spacers are leaving just a little room at the bottom. Clear as mud? Mmkay. The instructions are really much better at explaining everything and it's really quite simple. The hardest part was keeping the kittens off the freshly windexed glass before I could get them up.

Ta-da!!!! This made an enormous difference in the room. Having them bright white makes them look much more crisp and really makes them look like part of the decor, not just a set of doors that happened to be there. And we love being able to open up just the bottom for the kittens to look outside (and they love it too. Kitty TV!) while still being able to keep the blinds mostly closed while we're gone. And keep the blinds from being torn down due to spazzing kittens.

Painting doors can be intimidating. But I found it really wasn't that bad of a project at all. It was all done in one evening. And the only part that went wrong was me taking the knobs off the door while it was still closed..... Oops... Ya, that was not a good decision. Always make sure the door is open before you do that. Especially in November. At night.

Anyway! Have you painted an exterior (or interior) door? What was your experience like? Did you like the result? Let me know! :)

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