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How to…Restore an old door

Having only lived in rented accommodation before, I hadn’t really done very much DIY apart from hanging the odd picture and a spot of painting.

Now we are busy putting our own stamp on our new home, I wanted to share some new things that I have learned to do. I’m by no means claiming to be an expert on such jobs but I know I have found some online ‘how-to’ guides very useful over the past few months and today’s post is a perfect weekend project.

We inherited two wooden and glass doors, which are on either side of our living room, when we moved in and although they were looking a bit tired I really liked the way they let lots of light into the room so rather than replace them I wanted to restore them.

Here is a ‘before’ shot and as you can see, they look a little dull and have some really horrible handles on them.

The first step is to line the glass panels with masking tape so that you don’t get any paint or gloss on them. Remove any hardware on the door, such as handles or letterboxes, and lay down a dustsheet to protect your flooring.

Step two is to very lightly sand the door down. You don’t have to go right back to the wood grain here but just take off the top layer of gloss (I think this is called ‘feathering’) – I spent about 15-20 minutes on each door.

Next, wipe down the door with some good old white spirit on a damp cloth.

When this has dried, apply the primer, or undercoat, with a paintbrush and allow to dry. We used a white primer.

Now, paint on the gloss. Again, we used a white gloss to give that clean, fresh look. When applying, try and follow the grain of the wood and keep checking for any gloss runs.

There is a lots of advice on the internet about what order to paint the parts of your door in but we didn’t really follow this and they turned out fine!

The finishing touch was to get rid of the hideous old handles (which I think look like public toilet door handles!) and replace them with some shiny new knobs…

I love that you can see me and Ian in the reflection of these!

Finally, when the gloss has dried, it is time to remove the masking tape around the glass. As you can see, we still managed to get some paint on them so we then had to do some scraping to tidy them up and give them a quick clean with some glass cleaner.

Et voila! Lovely new doors that look clean, fresh and didn’t cost a fortune to restore.


About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

2 responses »

  1. I’m doing the same type of doors for my dads new place and I too am in no way an expert and this has given me confidence to try it out! Thanks so much for your input! Will let you know how I get on with your advice! 🙂


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