Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Tale of Two Doors

Today we're sharing TWO different projects we've just wrapped up.  But before you get too excited, let's remember that we are the worst photographers in the world (we use our iPhones to capture the images and even then, we don't take special precaution for what the lighting is like, if we're in focus, if we've had one too many spiked apple ciders...).  Now that we've got that disclaimer out of the way, let's go be underwhelmed together.

First, the front door.

Picture from listing.

We've shared some of the lighting upgrades we made to jazz up our curb appeal, pretty much right after we moved in.  We swapped out the numbers on the house (look closely - the original numbers are to the right of the windows... and above the front door... and then a third time on a post by the curb) and changed the mailbox.  But one thing we hadn't discussed was the front door.  Oh sweet baby Jesus the front door.

Another picture from the listing and the only one I could find that showed the color, not blocked by the storm door.

I think we can all agree that the front door is the window to the home.  You can quote me on that.  What I mean, is that it sets the tone for the rest of the house.  And the tone we were setting was being communicated in a very Gilbert Gottfried type voice.  This picture doesn't even do it justice.  It was so loud and obnoxious.  I like a bold, happy green.  This was not that green.

So all along, we'd had plans to repaint it.  Moreover, there was no deadbolt, which we felt was semi-important from a security standpoint since the brass handle lockset (which was installed backwards) only latched if you slammed the door.  Super fun closing that guy when the baby was sleeping.

With new hardware on order, we debated what color to paint it.  The siding on the house is grey and cream and so we were playing with a weird balance of warm and cool.  Truth be known, we don't love the cream siding but that's a project we may never tackle.  As Nick was installing the new hardware one Sunday afternoon, I started peeling the paint with my fingernail.  (Quality job, you can imagine).  It started to peel off in sheets as I imagine it hadn't been primed before it was painted.  This revealed a cream paint behind the green.  And if we're all reading carefully, I just told you the cream was not our jam.  

The back side of the door was left the natural wood so I started to think...what if we just strip the paint and have a natural wood door?  

Using the extremely caustic paint stripper (that we also used to strip our guest room dresser a while back) we started to strip it.

It took quite a bit of arm power as the cream paint had (in my estimation) been original to the house, built in 1962.  But with a few coats, some scraping and then a strong sanding, we got her naked.  

Then it was a matter of staining and sealing (same color as the rest of the wood in the house).

First coat.

After first coat...showing some imperfections in the wood.
 Three coats later, she was done.  And we also removed the storm door.  With all the glass in the transom and the side light, we didn't feel the storm door added enough value to block the door.  And we're much happier with the look.

New hardware helps, too.

I like my afters before my befores.  Because I'm a rebel.

It obviously does not look like a professionally stained door.  Or a new door, for that matter.  Heck, we may even decide to paint it one day.  But with the cost of the stripper and stain, it was much cheaper than getting a new door and we're happy enough with it in the interim. 


Now onto my favorite of the two door projects...barn doors for our master closet.  One of my favorite bloggers had written this tutorial to build a light weight, inexpensive barn door.  When we bought the place, our closet had no doors, so we've been looking in on it for over 6 months.  And as much as I like looking upon my shoe spoils, I was ready to hide that junk.  

The tutorial had to be adapted to accommodate two skinny doors versus one large door as we didn't have the room for just one large panel to stack back.  

We hadn't actually done anything in our master bedroom yet (except find a vintage bedroom set with dressers from a store in Mebane) so I was looking for inspiration.  After perusing my new favorite fabric store, I found this beauty.

Nick needed some convincing as he wasn't sure if it was too girly, but I assured him, everything else in the room would eventually butch it up.  So I snatched up 2-1/2 yards (I was able to work it so I could cut the 54" wide fabric in half to cover each door) and off we went to get the lumber. 

Since her tutorial is pretty in depth, I'll be finishing this story pictographically.   Because, who didn't prefer picture books to word books when they were younger?

Plan, plan, plan!

Cut, screw and repeat.

Find yourself an adorable project manager.  This one loves kitties, pesto and long walks up (and down) the hallway.

Wrap it like a canvas.

Staple like a boss.

 (Process pictures were strangely not taken here as I guess we'd had one too many spiked ciders but we chose to paint our outer frame with the white trim paint that we've got throughout the house.  This was then added to the outside of the panels to give us the below product.)

Whatchy'all know about some crazy wood panelling in the dining room?

They see me rollin'...
And then we put up the pipe and flanges on the wall (this took 4 people...two to hold, one to screw and one to distract our project manager from eating said screws).

And voila.

See how they have to stack back on either side versus one large panel?

One door closed.
So I'm really loving the doors.  I like that nobody else in the world has these exact doors and I can finally start pulling the rest of the room together.

We just bought a new pendant light and will be painting soon.  I'm surprised I put this off for as long as we did, but when you spend most of your time with your eyes closed in a room, it's easy for it to fall down the list.  But with these a-door-able barn doors, we're heading in the right direction.

(Who doesn't love to mic drop with a good pun?)

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