Friday, January 4, 2013

Frugal Friday: 5 Steps to a Fresh Face for Plain Doors

Photo #1 - Door in our former home
The house that hubby and I owned before our current home was a century-old charmer that needed a LOT of updating when we bought the house in 2004. It had sadly lost a lot of its original detail, and the doors in the house were the flat hollow-core kind.

Since we were on a strict budget and needed to spend our renovation dollars in other places, we opted to just trim out our hollow-core doors with molding and a little paint. We were more than pleased with the results (see Photo #1 to the left).

Here's how we did it:

1. Measure your door and draw a to-scale diagram of the door so you can keep the panels to equal measurements. (Note in the picture that the top margin is the same as the side and in-between margins. The bottom margin is a little greater. The door knob is located between the third and fourth panels from the top down.)

2. With pencil, mark the corner locations of your trim. (You may want to trace the design on the door so you can step back and view it to check for accuracy. But do so lightly so that you can erase if necessary.)

3.  Purchase flat-backed trim at a local home supply store. Add at least 10% more than you think you'll need, for practice and oopsies. ;) (Ours was probably 3/8 to 1/2 inch wide, which is fairly inexpensive.)

Photo #2 - Close-up of door
4. Miter your trim into the appropriate measurements at a 90-degree angle. You can do this by hand with a miter saw or hack saw unless you're lucky enough to know someone with a compound miter saw. Note that the outer side measurement of each piece is the longest, so that the corners of each panel fit together snugly. (You may want to practice with a few shorter cuts with the extra trim you purchased to get the hang of it and make sure your angle is correct before beginning.)

5. Run a bead of wood glue down the back of each piece and stick into place. You will need to attach these with small finish nails/hammer or a brad nailer. Wipe off access glue.

6. Once the glue has dried and the pieces are immovable, paint the door the desired color. (All our trim was painted with Country White, Walmart store brand, semi-gloss.)

We made-over all the doors in our house. It truly made them look like much more expensive paneled doors which would have cost us a fortune. (See photo #2 at right.) Stay tuned for a later Frugal Friday post about how to inexpensively change the color of your door knobs!)

Happy Home Decorating,

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