Painting your front door a great pop of color has been all the rage for a while ago – it can really add a lovely effect on your house.
When I first saw our house I knew right away that I needed to show some TLC to our front door, it was painted red to match the color scheme of the exterior.
Cute but the color scheme will be changing and the paint was way too flat for an accent like this.
Rather than waiting to paint the door when we paint the rest of the house I opted to strip the color and go back to the stain. I am a firm believer showing off wood detail with a stain instead of covering it up when you can – especially on a nice old house!
The door will pop off the hinges very easily if you are doing any kind of refinishing work. Just pop up the pins using a putty knife and hammer or some hinges unscrew at the bottom of the pin.
Once the door was off the frame and on saw horses it was time to strip! It took a couple coats of stripper but nothing too bad.
We put the door back up after the messiest part was over… having a front door is a good thing. It seemed as if most of the varnish or poly was still intact when the door was painted but there were some areas that definitely seemed like they had been weathered – maybe painting seemed like a good choice at the time.
Just to let you know – if you have never stripped anything, the stripper just takes off the finish it does not bleach away any stain that was there before. It may strip layer after layer of paint colors or just strip the clear coat. Adding a fresh coat of stain helps liven up the color and condition the wood.
I decided to strip the varnish off of the interior side as well – the clear coat had allegatored and was just not in the prettiest shape. This led to a wonderful discovery! My front door was two-toned!
The majority of interior doors in the house are similar in that they are two-tone along with my stair spindles and rails. Anyone else out there have this going on? We looked at MANY houses in the last year of the same vintage but this was the only one to have two-tone details.
After stripping both sides I matched the lighter stain to “Golden Pecan” from Minwax and the darker stain I used “Red Mahogany” mixed with the golden to get a closer match to the original.
I am using Spar-Urethane to protect the wood. For an exterior door it is important to use a product that can handle changing weather. Unfortunately there is a 24 hour drying time. I have the first coat on but will need to lock my door when working this week…sooo I shall update you next week after the final coats are done and I will show you my new window treatment!
It was March when we put our purchase offer in on our new old house. This means we really had no idea what our yard would look like since it was covered in snow. We did know that there was a walkway with steps leading up from the street…however they were covered in ice so we figured we would learn more later.
Well later came and it was obvious that these concrete steps had seen better days.
*Note this picture was taken after quite a bit of cleaning… the bottom step was a surprise to us since it was covered in an inch and a half of dirt and grass…
Well after cleaning some more and a few youtube videos we were off to pick-up some concrete to help these last a little while longer.
100 + lbs of cement-all later this is what we have
I know it is not perfect but I am happy with the results. I had neighbors walking by to ask if I was Italian. Italian by osmosis but I am sure it was the Irish mason father of mine that pushed me to give it a try.
We have some other steps in the back that need some love but I am brainstorming a different type of facelift… maybe some type of tile or painted design over the existing steps? Any ideas?