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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Great Door Project of 2011: Part 2

Come to think it of, this isn't part two-- it's more like part four.  First we changed the locks on the front and side doors, then a pesky piece of pea gravel shattered our sliding glass door and we replaced it with a French door, then I painted the jambs, but that wasn't good enough so now we're on to the painting of the front and side doors.  Whew!

When I last left you, I had been pondering a paint color for the doors. I decided on Fabulous Red (Valspar 1011-2), partially because it looked so good with our orangey-reddish brick, but also because Mr. Great Indoors put his vote in for that color and I couldn't help but agree.  And come on-- it's Faaaaaaabulous.

My first task was to remove all the chipping paint.  I first went at it with the flat end of a wire brush (thinking I could use the brush if I had something especially nasty), but it turned out that my trusty 6-in-1 painter's tool was the best man for the job.

I also had a sticker to remove on the front door from where someone painted over a security sticker.  I got after it with the sharp end of my 6-in-1 handyman, and once I started a corner it turned out to be pretty easy to peel off.


Then I went to town with the sandpaper blocks to even up the spots I had scraped.  I started with 80 medium grit and finished it off with a 320 fine grit.  Here's the side door after the scraping and sanding.  Lookin' rough, girl.

I brought out my Phillips head screwdriver and removed the door hardware, sticking paper towels in the empty holes so no paint would get in.  Then came my two friends:  liquid deglosser and a quart of Valspar paint.  I'll explain the paint choice in just a minute.  

Before I applied the deglosser, I wiped down both of the doors first to clean off all the sanding residue and the inevitable cobwebs/dirt.  The deglosser instructions said to liberally apply deglosser to a clean cloth, using a new section of cloth for each small section of door.  The selling point for this stuff is that it's biodegradable and low VOC, although I have to say it had a distinct smell (Goo Gone, anyone?) and the cloths seriously stunk up my washing machine (cleaned the machine out with a cup of vinegar).  And it totally looked like skim milk coming out of the can.  I would have taken a picture, but I obviously had my hands full.  After one coat of deglosser, I wiped off the doors with another clean cloth and waited thirty minutes before painting.

Now about the choice in paint.  I asked the paint guy at Lowe's to color match Fabulous Red to a quart of exterior Olympic (the brand I had already used and been happy with for the door trim and jambs).  But because of the combination of colors in that specific shade, the best he could recommend was to buy a prepackaged color called Gloss Cherry.  Turns out it was exactly what we wanted!  Good match, no?  (If you're looking for it in your Lowe's, we found it right next to the spray paint, along with other pre-mixed quarts like chalkboard paint.)

Then I set to work painting.  One coat on each door left me a little worried that the second coat wouldn't cover (and since I only bought one coat for two doors I was probably scrimping a little on the paint...).  Here's an action shot of the new red covering up the old red.  Sooooo pretty.  And just a side note, I rolled in big swaths, then went back with a brush to get the smaller spots and even out the brush strokes.  I used a two-inch angled brush to make straight lines across or up and down, feathering into dry spots, which makes the door look finished.  It's all in the wrist, I tell ya.

The first coat on both doors:

However, it turned out that the second coat really did cover everything.  I waited about three hours before putting on the second coat, and that coat had about an hour to dry before the paint was dry to the touch.  Plus it was bedtime, so Mr. GI reinstalled the door hardware so we could sleep tight. 

One thing that I learned from a very good friend of mine (I'm talking about you, Ms. Katie!) is that it's easier to paint messy first, then clean things up after.  So I was as sloppy as I wanted to be with the first coat on the side door window pane and cleaned it up with a razor blade after everything dried nicely. I did figure out that it was easiest to make a straight, clean cut where the window meets the pane, then razor up in small sections.  Latex paint tends to stick together (especially when it's humid outside) so it's easier to work in bits.  Here's the before and after!

The final, beautiful after photos of both doors.

And the view a little farther back from the house.

It definitely is RED (and actually a little more orange than I thought), but I love it.  It certainly says, "Hello, welcome to our home!"  Here it is next to our brick.

This part of the project only cost us $20, and if you can believe it, I still have about a quarter of the quart left.  Just as a refresher, here's what the rest of the project (all four parts) cost:
  • Defiant deadbolt set in satin nickel $32.97
  • Rustoleum Metallic Satin Nickel $7.28
  • Strike plate $2.07
  • Masonite French door:  $372.36 (minus $53 because Home Depot didn't reserve us the right door so we ended up with a door that had some minor dings and defects.)
  • New Kwikset door knob and Defiant deadbolt:  $39.53
  • Trim materials:  $33.84
  • Paint and supplies:  $22.41 (exterior) and on hand (interior)
  • We lost a receipt at some point, but it just had little stuff like caulk and our Wonder Bar.
  • Blue Alslev rug from IKEA for $20
  • One quart interior/exterior Valspar Gloss Cherry, pre-mixed $9.29
  • Block sandpaper, 80 grit $3.47
  • Liquid deglosser, $5.48
  • Total = $495.70 
 What color would you paint your front door?  Any spiraling projects going on at your house? You know, when you change locks on two doors for $40 and end up spending almost $500?


  1. razor blade instead of painters tape - never woulda thought. do you think it worked better?

  2. Not sure! I'm definitely too lazy to use painter's tape (I usually just free hand), so I wouldn't really know if it took much longer or worked better. :-)

  3. Thanks for the shout out lady! I'm glad I gave you such good advice, even if I have no clue when I said that. My painting projects usually get about half way done before I get interested in something else. Props to you for sticking it out until the end. The doors looks GREAT, and I am so glad I got to see them in person!!! <3


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