The Difference is in the Details

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  May 6, 2011 — 8 Comments


While looking at the pictures I posted of our painted door, I spotted a few small tweaks I could make to really finish the look:

  1. Disguise the brass hole cover
  2. Expose the metal lockplate
  3. Paint the transom

Disguising the hole cover was so easy I didn’t even take any progress pictures. I just gave it a few coats of the same blue paint I used on the rest of the door and felt a lot better about the hole whole situation. And since I used flat paint, I didn’t even have to worry about lap marks around the edges. You’ll see the finished result a few photos down.

My next task was to expose the metal lockplate, the part of the door the original knob is attached to. I have absolutely zero experience stripping paint but for some reason I didn’t think it would be that hard. I was wrong. It took about three hours and my muscles are still pretty sore.

I started out with some mineral spirits (I know there are products more ideal for stripping paint but I had this on hand), an 80-grit sanding sponge, some mesh scrubbers, a rag, and a paintbrush.

I thought it would be a big pain to remove the door hardware, so I decided to conduct this operation with the lockplate in place. This ruled out the option of soaking overnight. I taped around the edges in a (futile) effort to protect the surrounding paint. Ha! As if mineral spirits and sandpaper will power through paint but leave tape unscathed!

(See the painted hole cover? Much less offensive than before.)

I soon figured out that I could thicken the mineral spirits with baking soda and the mixture would stick where I wanted it instead of just running down the door. The baking soda also added a scouring element. I mixed it all together in a glass ashtray left over from my smoking days.

I started slathering and sanding, slathering and sanding…

First bit of metal exposed!

 More progress.

I decided to go ahead and polish to doorknob while I was at it. All it took was a few swipes with the sanding sponge.

A flathead screwdriver was really good for getting stubborn spots and tight spaces. It left scratches that were hard to polish out, though, so I probably should have used it more judiciously.

See what I mean about the scratches?

Woooh!!! Three hours later, this baby was polished and paint-free! I honestly didn’t even realize how long it took until I was done. It was really rewarding to see the pretty fixture revealed little by little as I worked.

But I don’t think I will be repeating this process on any interior hardware as it made a HOT MESS.

After cleaning everything up, I sanded smooth the areas that needed to be repainted.

Aside from some of the more stubborn scratches and tarnished areas, it looks good as new!

Last on my list was painting the transom. This part isn’t nearly as photo-laden because by this time I was too exhausted to bother.

I thought I would need a ladder to get this done, until I remembered that I stood on a barstool to cut in along the ceiling when we painted the living room. So out came the barstool and up I went. It wasn’t pretty…

Apparently, there were spare keys up there. Fat lot of good that would have done me as I’m about two feet too short to reach them. It turns out the locks have been changed since they were placed there, anyway.

So I painted the wood trim framing the glass panes. The old paint job was such crap that I ended up painting a stripe about a half-inch wide along the edge of each pane just to have a clean line. From the porch it just looks like there’s a little more trimwork than there actually is.

And here’s the finished product:

Let’s take a look back at where we started, shall we?

Since then I’ve

Not necessarily in that order. Here’s a little recap of the actual progression:

OMG I’m tired just looking at it. I’m gonna go sit down.

No really, the whole thing could have been completed in a weekend and I spent less than $100. And it’s pretty freaking awesome. Still gonna go sit down.

P.S. Read about the entryway revamp from the beginning here, here, here, and here!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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8 responses to The Difference is in the Details

  1. Love it!

  2. Visiting from ProBlogger! I identified with your comment you left so I thought I would check out your blog. I wish I had half the creativity I see on here. :) But alas, the Lord gifted me with an analytical mind – the written creation. But I enjoy reading and seeing what others can create! Absolutely, adore this. I love, love, love the blue. I might save this for future reference!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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    [...] this (after I added a mailbox,painted the door, added plants, brought in art, stripped the original hardware, and finally spray painted the deadbolt to match the knob and [...]

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