I wanted to pop on here and write a quick post about our kitchen door. This has been a project 3 years in the making and I’m so happy to see this door every day. It feels like it’s been there a lot longer and it’s funny how a small change like this has had such a big impact. It makes our island pop due to the contrast with the green. It even makes our granite sing…I can’t even explain that one. I definitely would not rate this DIY project as easy (at least not the whole making it function/swing) but the majority of it was just tedious, simple work – me just listening to podcasts while I sand the night away.
We purchased the door off of facebook marketplace. I’ve been looking for over 2 years and I’ve had a couple doors slip through my fingers. In our area, not a lot of vintage doors come up for sale and finding one I loved but was also the exact measurements I needed seemed kind of impossible. But….finally, I found one with almost the exact measurements I needed (it’s actually just a little short – 1/4 inch…can’t get much better). It wasn’t exactly what I had pictured in my mind but I felt like it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
The door was in overall good shape physically but had been stained an unhappy orangish tone and painted one time on the kitchen side. I used citristrip to strip the paint using the Saran Wrap method and waiting about 24 hours. I then did a second round and waited another 24 hours.
It worked well and after cleaning it up with some mineral spirits I was left w/ a stained (but paint-free!) door. After letting it thoroughly dry out for a few days I began to sand away the stain unsure of what the raw wood would really look like. This was a ridiculous process honestly because in my mind it would take me 3-4 hours of heavy sanding. In total I would guess it was in the 10-20 hour range and that’s really not even completely sanding down the other side which could still use a little work. I bought a new sander for the project and lots of cheap sandpaper refills (mouse, orbital) for both of my sanders. I started out with 40/60 grit and then once I got most of it off I started to gradually jump up in grit and finished w/ 240. Surprisingly, I found that 120-180 grit seemed to actually get the most off so I spent a lot of time in that range. After I was done with my sanders I then had to sand by hand all the detail work. And that took a LONG time.
Even now, I could probably sand for several more hours especially in the corners near the glass where it seemed to soak up more stain but enough was enough and I broke down and moved on. You’ll notice some areas of the door especially on the horizontal piece that runs near the doorknob that it looks like it needs more sanding. I spent a long time on those areas and they are actually palpably recessed and yet, still need more sanding. In the end, I chalked it up to “it’s an old door and it’s not perfect and I’m ok with that.”
We then hung the door. I wish it were as simple as that sentence. It was an ordeal and my only real tips to others would be to start out mortising your hinges so that they are just flush with the door. I made the mistake of using the existing depth of the mortises from antique hinges and matching that even though the hinges I used were more shallow. It took a lot of fine tuning and we used stacks of computer paper cut out to the shape of the hinge to bump it out (I know, silly).
I played around with stains and opted for a 50/50 mix of Minwax puritan pine and pickled oak. Once I got everything coated I realized it was overall too orange and too contrasted. I took pickled oak (the color of milk) and added it to all of the redder areas and then ended up doing at least 1 coat of pickled oak to everything. I knew I wanted an antique vibe and light enough so that the door looked different from our flooring and not some attempt to match it. In the end, I love the color and think I got it just right.
After I stained the door I used my favorite matte poly and a foam brush and gave the door 1 coat. I’ve used several different polys that were no good – this one is legit. It doesn’t change the look/finish at all – it looks like I never touched it – and yet, I know it’s protected.
Then came time to thoroughly clean the glass. If I could do it over again I would’ve taped my glass off sooner but instead I taped it when I stained. It had citristrip and all kinds of gunk on it. But no worries – some goo gone and scrubbing followed by windex and it was back to its former glory – which included some scratches from its former owner. The plan from the start would’ve been to have some lovely textured glass in the door but I knew it was going to cost $100 just for the glass and installing it myself made me nervous. I stumbled upon a company that makes glass film and they had a bunch that were made to look like textured glass. I bought about 15 samples for $10. I picked out “drops” and ordered 3 feet (about $50 w/ the shipping). Both times I ordered from this company it took 2 days or less to receive the product which was awesome.
I installed the film according to their video on their website. The only thing I did differently was I cut the film on the other side of the credit card because I didn’t want to cut it too small. However, that was difficult and left the piece a little too large and wanting to bubble up at the edges. By the last piece I finally figured out the secret – cut it one way for 2 sides and the other way for the other 2 sides which kind of gives you the perfect size. The film looks great except one thing: the middle piece was done using the film facing the opposite way and there is a noticeable difference because there is a subtle pattern. It’s noticeable to me but I bet most people won’t notice it – or at least I’m telling myself that for now
Installing the deadbolt was a cinch since the size of the existing hole was just right. The door knob took a little more work since the hole was not big enough. We used this template from amazon and it worked like a dream. I chiseled out the strike plate holes from the door jamb (and then had to fill in some spots since I am a messy chiseler).
I have been dreaming about that clock for a long time but the price tag made me wait. I told my husband to get it for me for Mother’s Day instead of getting me something else so it’s kind of less expensive that way…ha. I LOVE IT. Even so much more in person. I am such a cheapskate at heart so it’s hard for me to bite the bullet on expensive purchases but what I’m finding is that when I cut costs and get cheaper things I regret it and when I buy the thing I really want I have no regrets. You only live once…get the expensive clock!