Monday, April 23, 2012

Summer Projects: The Front Door

See the first Summer Project here.

On Friday, Paddy got what must've been a startling text message from me while at work.

"I need you to stop and pick something up for me on the way home, please," said I.
"OK. What do you need?" asked he.

It all started with too many episodes of that show on HGTV where the crew completes a huge yard makeover for one family, and they do a couple of other smaller projects around the neighborhood, too. Since it's not likely that a magic crew will appear and fix the curb appeal of my house, I had to take matters into my own hands. On that show, someone is always getting their front door painted, and it makes the house really pop from the street.

And that's how I ended up painting my front door while home alone with two children under 3.

Before we really dive in, I should mention that this was my first experience with oil based paint, and for the most part, things went well. I even got to send another text message canceling my request for the turpentine after I googled "how to get oil paint off skin". The suggestion listed there-- using vegetable oil and salt to scrub it off-- worked like a dream on my hands and anywhere else I found a stray drop of paint.

Here is a picture of the door before I got started. Plain, boring ol' white and, like most things that don't get a lot of attention, dirtier than I realized.

The hardware and kickplate (is that what that's called?) were a terrible brass color, and were also faded, stained, and peeling off.

I began by removing the brass pieces and washing the door, first with warm water, and then wiping it down with rubbing alcohol. I'm not sure why I did that, it just seemed like a good idea to get the surface really clean.

I'm going to be honest; I was scared to death to paint the hardware pieces. I'm not a super practiced spray painter (read: goody two-shoes as a kid) and I wasn't sure how it would look. After staring at the brass pieces for a while, though, I decided things really couldn't look worse, and I dove right in. While I didn't want to pay for new door fixtures, I figured it was always an option to buy new ones if I really screwed things up. I used a silver pain that promised a metallic finish.

In what I humbly consider to be a stroke of pure genius, I also came up with a great way to paint the screws to reattach the pieces later.

While the hardward dried, I tackled the door. I decided on blue because I thought it would look good with our red brick home. I had originally envisioned a darker, midnight sort of blue, but ended up with this pre-mixed shade. In order to pick my own color, I would have had to purchase an entire gallon, which I certainly didn't need. This came in a smaller can, and in the end I love the color anyway.

My fear of painting the hardware was totally unnecessary, too. Look how beautiful it turned out!

As with any do-it-yourself project, it's not perfect. There are definitely flaws that I'm hoping only I will notice. Luckily, no one really spends all that much time inspecting the outside of my door, so I should be ok. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!

Here's one more before and after, just for comparison:

What do you think?


Amber said...

I love it! You did an amazing job and props to you for doing it alone with 2 little ones at home. And what a great idea to paint the screws the same color. I probably would not have thought about doing that.

katelinklug said...

I LOVE IT! I think it looks great with the red. I would be scared to paint the fixtures too, or even the door for that matter. Way to go! You should take a picture from the curb so we can see the full effect :)

Tommy + Monica said...

Looks sooo good! Nice work!

Liv said...

It's such a great improvement! And really, spray-painting is super easy and totally worth trying on everything.