When we either buy, or build, our first house, we tend to choose the most economical elements so that we don’t exceed the budget. This is usually the case with doors. However, after a few years, when we review their appearance, we need to decide whether to replace or renew them. Before you decide whether to keep them or replace them, the first thing to do is to evaluate to see if they are straight and easy to restore. With time and the exposure to the elements, they tend to warp or lose their coating or varnish. After you assess the state of the door, you can decide whether you can do the restoration, or you need to have it done by a professional. Either way, this ideabook will help you to get tips on the best way to renovate doors.
If the doors are in a restorable condition, we recommend following these steps:
a. Sand the door with a thicker grit sandpaper (30 or 40), if the door has a layer of paint or varnish that you want to remove, so you can open the pores of the wood.
b. Smooth the surface and fill in the holes and crevices with a special putty for wood so that when you coat the wood again, it will be smooth with no uneven surfaces.
c. Sand it once again using a finer sandpaper (150-180). Remember that you should always sand in the direction of the grain of the wood. After this, you can varnish.
d. If you are painting the door, it’s advisable to apply one or two layers of primer. This way, you’ll protect the paint from getting damaged at the smallest touch. After priming, sand for the third time with a fine grit sandpaper (220 or 300) for a smoother finish. Finally, you can coat with the finish of your choice.
If your doors are in perfect conditions, but you are bored with them, you can give them a new look. Painting them is the easiest option, whether you do it, or hire a professional. It can even be done without dismantling the door. However, that would make the process more cumbersome and make it extend over a few days. Hence, we recommend these steps:
a. Dismantle it as it’s the most comfortable option for working. In addition, you can access all the corners and angles without a problem.
b. Follow the same restoration steps mentioned above.
c. Once the door is prepared for painting, choose a finish and apply the paint or varnish. Choose water soluble paints as they are not toxic and do not emit strong smells.
If you think the door is in good condition and only needs a bit of personality, change the accessories. New handles or an old-fashioned one from an antique store will give it a unique look. You can also change the hinges, add a knocker, make a frame for the peephole, add rivets, scissors or other ironwork elements or make a swinging door for your pet. It’s a minimal investment, but will change its appearance.
Browse through more images of door here.
If you have a glass door, changing the panes will give it a fresh look. Transparent glass invites more natural light whereas translucent panes provide more privacy and are a good choice for bathrooms and bedrooms.
If you want to give your doors a modern look, decorate it with metallic elements. Change the handle or frame the door with strips of metal to bring a new look. If you are not sure of what to do, consult a professional. Buy all the elements you want to add and some industrial contact glue. If the door is outside and is exposed to the elements, consider using screws to hold the metal in place. Don’t forget about the glazing, the door jamb and the lintel. Coat or lubricate them with weather-resistant materials that match the façade.
If you have an antique door, emphasize its appearance. To do this, follow the steps mentioned in the first point – restoration. However, use putty to seal crevices and cracks. Sanding the rough edges and removing the old coat of paint and varnish will help to remove the worn out and dry wood so that the wood can be coated at the next stage. Apply paint or varnish with techniques that replicate the distressed look of aged or old cabinets.
India has an ancient tradition of design and creation of wrought-iron structures. You can find a workshop to make decorative elements for you, and then install them on your door. This perfect rustic combination of wood and iron is suitable for the front door as well as a door leading off from the garden.
If you are an artist at heart, making stained-glass panes will present a renewed view without having to change them. Find a pattern or design off the Internet and paint it yourself using special acrylic paints for glass.
If you are a fan of D-I-Y projects, see this ideabook for some interior decorating tips.