Our (final) front door… the interior

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Dear DIY Diary,

I am writing this post in anticipation of the Home Depot Installers finally installing our new front door (again) today.   Do you remember when they installed the wrong door??   The door with the door swing in the wrong direction??


It’s been 6 weeks since that debacle and the day has finally come.  The new door arrives in a few hours…. and I’m a little nervous.   I hope that everything is right this time and that the installation goes smoothly (fingers crossed, knock on wood!).   Oh yeah, and that the installers show up on time as opposed to 4.5 hours late like last time.


Punctuality would be sweet.   I’ve already prepped our foyer by moving out our furniture and area rug and the awesome door hardware that we purchased is sitting nearby just raring to go.  It’s noon now.  They’re scheduled to show up at 3 pm.   We’ll see how it goes.   Wish us luck!



Dear DIY Diary,

It’s 2:37 pm.   Joey texted to tell me that they called and are on their way.  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!



‘Sup, Diary…

4 pm.   Just got word.  They’ve arrived.  Finally.  I suppose an hour late is an 80% improvement from last time, though.  :/



It’s 7pm and the new door is in.  And it’s awesome. It’s amazing to know that I can finally paint it and make it our own.

This is Christina, signing out


So, yeah.   Door is in and after a bit of elbow grease, the interior is now a crisp, shiny white.  After it was first installed, it looked like this…

First off, THIS is the way the door was meant to be.   Having the door-swing in the correct orientation is like a breath of fresh air.   It just fits.  It makes the flow of the foyer the way it’s supposed to be.   Heck, yeah.

As for the painting process… Because the outer trim was raw wood, I decided to prime it first with shellac primer to prevent any of the wood’s oils from soaking through my finish (I like the Zinsser 1-2-3).  Here’s the door after priming the trim…

Already looking better, right?

I waited the 45 minutes recommended on the primer can, then painted the door and door frame with a foam roller and brush.  My poison paint of choice was Sherwin Williams Proclassic paint in extra white semigloss (the same paint that I used on the built-ins and wet-bar).   During the process, I asked Joey if he would take a few “action” pics of me painting.  I always like to see my favorite bloggers in action, so I thought I’d follow suit.   He obliged and snapped away as I continued to paint.  So, there I was, minding my own business, thinking that he was getting some good action shots.   And then I uploaded my pics to my computer only to discover that…


…Men. Cannot be. Trusted.

(Okay, so I sort of laughed in defeat as I made this discovery,  And then added a tasteful “censored” sign, because why not.  But, seriously Joey… NOT relevant to the project!) 😉

Among the other non-relevant shots, he did get this one…


No, I did not do my hair.  Unless you count “frosting” it with paint.   Which happens EVERY.TIME.

Once I was done, the door looked like this…

Don’t you just wanna reach into the photo and softly pet that smooth, glossy surface?  Oh, yeah.

And yes, I typed those last statements in the voice of Barry White.

Seriously, though.  The Proclassic paint just leveled right out and created a nice smooth finish.  I’d marry this paint if I wasn’t already taken.

So, enough suspense already…. ya wanna see the foyer all put back together???



I love you, door.

And our foyer loves you, too.   You make it look GOOOOOD.

As for the hardware, we chose a more modern door handle to suit our new door (the outside of which you’ll see in my exterior door post)…

And I couldn’t heart it more.

A little before and after goodness…

I am so absolutely over-the-moon crazy about this door.  The entire doorway fits the house so much better stylistically.   Like it was meant to be here originally.  Which is exactly what I was going for.   In the end, I really couldn’t be happier.

Next, I’ll give you a little exterior door post.  And I’ll tell ya… exterior door painting is giving me a run for my money. I’ve got quite the what-not-to-do-post in the making, so stay tuned.

TDC Before and After

A little door piz-ainting…

Piz-ainting? Why yes, that’s a little gangsta speak for your Friday reading pleasure.  Word. 😉

So, what is this painting of which I speak?  Why, let me introduce you to our back door….


He’s a likeable guy.  Functional.  Happy to provide privacy when needed.  He’s quiet.  Not much of a talker.  Which suits me just fine.   Only problem… He’s a little dull.

Don’t get me wrong… white doors are nice.  We’ve got plenty of ’em.  Its just, when you take in the room from this standpoint….


It’s a lot of white.   White curtains, white blinds, white trim, white door, white fireplace.   Now, I like white.  A lot. Obviously… I mean, it’s everywhere in our house.  But I LOVE contrast.  Pop.  Excitement.  So, I decided that this quiet soul deserved a makeover.  A charcoal makeover.   I decided that charcoal was the man of the hour because it’s a fun contrast, but it’s more casual than a deep elegant black.  Plus, since our front door is stained an ebony color, I thought the charcoal would bring in a nice consistency among our exterior doors… Darker-toned but not quite black.

A while back (as in, pre-blog days) I’d planned to paint our fireplace a dark color (and have since changed my mind).  I purchased a quart of deep grey paint (Rockport Grey by Clark & Kensington) for this very job but never ended up using it.  Since I already had the paint on hand, I just assumed that I’d use it to paint our back door.  But, then I hesitated.  It’d been a while since I’d seen the actual color and I wanted to be sure. To be on the safe side, I painted a swatch of Rockport Grey onto a piece of cardstock and taped it to the back door.  And boy am I glad I did…


It’s hard to tell from this awful pic, but the undertones of the Rockport Grey (which are more blue) don’t go with our Dolphin Fin wall color (which has more of a green undertone).   It’s crazy how colors can read so differently in another room (or another part of a room in this case).   The angle of our fireplace and the difference in lighting due to the large windows in the living room allowed the Rockport Grey to take on more of a green cast which went great with our wall color when it was displayed on the fireplace.  Our windows are Low-E windows which have a slight green film to them (you can see it from certain angles when you stand outside) so the larger and brighter the windows, the more of a green cast the light provides.   The smaller windows in our breakfast nook don’t provide as much light because they’re under the covered porch, so… less green.   Which explains why the Rockport Grey appeared more blue in this part of the room.   If there’s one thing I’ve learned since moving into our house it’s that it’s always a good idea to hang paint swatches in multiple areas of a room (during multiple parts of the day) to make sure your chosen color is truly what you want.

After realizing that my paint was a no-go, I headed to Lowes and picked up a bunch of charcoal swatches and taped them to the door.  Enter the three finalists…


They stayed up there for about a week because I wanted to be sure that I liked my pick in all types of lighting.  In the end, the winner was the top swatch (Ebony Field by Valspar).  I went back to Lowes and picked up a quart of primer+paint in semi-gloss to save me a priming step…


I prepped our door by thoroughly cleaning it with my water/vinegar spray to remove any dust or dirt, then I wiped it down thoroughly with a deglosser (which is basically liquid sandpaper).  I taped around my hardware, window and door with painters tape…


In a perfect world, I would’ve removed my hardware, but it was a really windy day and I was afraid that the door would swing open and ruin my paint job if I removed them.  Also, I’m still very much a beginner in the photography department so I’m sorry about how dark some of these pics are.  I’m working on it for sure! 🙂

Now, it was time for painting.  I used my favorite angled brush and a small foam roller. I brushed around the trim…


and rolled the flat parts…


I applied a thin and even coat of paint, being careful to avoid drips.  Then, I allowed the paint to dry thoroughly.  Once it was dry (here it is after one coat)…


…I began to brush a second coat onto the window trim…  which is when everything fell apart. Sort of. I tried to remove a small piece of painters tape from the window. And a large portion of my freshly-applied paint peeled off with it.


Oh no.

That’s when I realized that the trim around the window is plastic, not wood as previously thought. And apparently, our builder had painted white, water-based paint over it without properly prepping the surface. Oy. So, I had prepped MY surface well. My grey paint stuck to the white paint just fine… The white paint just had nothing to cling to in return with all that slick plastic beneath it. So, when it was moistened with wet paint it totally bailed.

Needless to say, I was a smidge on the frustrated side at this point (understatement).. I explored the door further and realized that the peeling was only an issue on the trim around the window. The actual door was fine. So, I used a razor to score the paint between the trim and the door and then scraped the rest of the paint off the trim with my fingernail. It practically fell off. In large clumps, too. Which left this…


Attractive, huh? I used 220 grit sandpaper to rough up the plastic and dispose of any small bits of paint that were left. Then, I wiped down the trim with a deglosser (again). And I busted out the big-gun shellac primer (Zinsser BIN primer) and applied an even coat to the trim with a foam brush. Then, I called it a day and watched How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days for the hundredth time.

The next morning, after enjoying my giant cup of coffee (whilst whispering sweet nothings into my cup), I got on it with my next coat of paint. I brushed paint onto my newly prepped trim and boy did it go on easy. I should’ve been whispering sweet nothings to my primer, ’cause that stuff rocks. Then, I rolled on another coat of paint to the flat planes with my foam roller. … And I started to get excited. I could see the final result starting to shine through. Nothing feels better than that moment where you see a project starting to come together and realize that you’ve made the right decision. I’ve never wanted to hug a door more in my life.

Anyhoo, I waited for the paint to dry and then applied one more thin coat (for a grand total of three thin coats). I scored the painters tape with a razor (just to be safe to prevent additional peeling). Then, I used the razor to remove any rogue paint that had gotten on the glass. Once it dried it looked like this….


Hello, lover.

I need to redecorate a smidge around this area now to allow the door to shine.  In the first shot, I experimented with placing one of our bird chairs at the head of the table (instead of our black leather parsons chair).  Doing so definitely confirmed that a lighter, brighter chair is needed to replace the black one.   I ended up moving the black parsons chair back to the table afterwards since five bird chairs in one place looked far too busy, but now I’m definitely on the lookout for something new.    Different light, bright styling atop the sofa table is on the agenda as well.   I can’t wait to play!  So fun.

So anyways, that’s my door-painting adventure.  As with most of my projects, a few twists and turns made an appearance, but I reached my goal in the end (albeit in double the time expected).  It’s all par for the course, though, and I learn something new every time a project goes askew so it’s all very worth it in the end.   🙂

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