new life for an old door, part 1

yep, another project.
i am really thankful my dad forgot to bring his tools to work on the loft and is willing to help my mom and i and our nearly-over-ambitious ideas.
thanks, dad!

i had this blank wall in the guest/kids’ bath that was long and bare = blah.
awhile back i decided i wanted to something big here and settled on a french door turned on it’s side.
thankfully, it didn’t take too long to find one for free!

this little picture that i was given by a friend (thanks, janell!),
was the inspiration for the green of the door.

the bath, in general, was feeling really blah and boring to me.
lots of white and only a little pop of color.
so i came up with this little (BIG) project as the cure.

because there are a lot of details for this project, i’m breaking it up into 2 posts.

so, here we go!
start with an old french door.
or you can use an old window, for a smaller version.

my door was stained wood on one side and painted white on the other.

i decided that i wanted to paint over the wood side so i had the white peeking around the sides.
remove all hardware (door knobs, weather stripping, etc.).

no sanding.
no priming.
just wiped it down with a damp cloth.
i painted mine scotland isle by behr.
2 coats.
then i let it dry.

and since i was repainting silas’ room anyway, i took some of the paint (a turquoise-y color) and added a bit.
just a tiny bit.
and since these are pictures and not video, i’ll try to explain how i got the look i did.

i just got a little paint on my brush and had a wet rag in the other hand.

i lightly brushed on paint in random spots, heavier in some areas and lighter in others.
then i quickly wiped it with the rag, really lightly at first, keeping some areas heavier with paint and other areas less,
always going with the grain of the wood.
very important.
then let it dry.
also very important.

then i added some brown paint once and did the same technique as with the other paint.

don’t you love it?!

then, i took a razor blade and scraped off the paint i got around the edge of the glass.
since i didn’t tape.
because that would take too much effort.

little know facts about taping for paint:
it takes a long time to do it right
the paint almost always leaks through, so you have to clean up anyway
painting on the glass then scraping it off when it’s dried takes less time

stay tuned for the next installment of
“new life for an old door”
***updated – click here***



  1. 1

    I agree, I would soooo much rather scrape than tape all the pieces of glass. I love this project, I may have to try it in my bath. I "distress" paint just like you, except I water down the two or three colors I use to "distress" it just gives me a little longer to work with it, and then i take a dry brush and barely get any of the brown on it and use it to flick little dots onto the wood. Great job.

  2. 2
    the paisley moo says:

    You are so creative!! Love the door idea!

  3. 3

    What a clever idea! It looks great. Thank you for sharing. You did a great job.

  4. 4
    kramerfamily says:

    Awesome! Can't wait to see the rest!

  5. 5
    northern cottage says:

    oh my – I just love it ALL. The little inspiration picture is so darling & that paint job that you did – wow! the detail & depth that those touches of other colors add are amazing!! can't wait for part 2

  6. 6
    saraiwithani says:

    What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. 7

    Love it!!! I come to work and first thing every morning I see what new thing you have done, it gets me pumped and motivated I wish I was at home when this motivation hit me, but Im not I am here at work thinking of all the crafty things that I would love to be doing. I'm jealous! Be very very thankful that you have the ability to stay at home! And keep the projects coming!

  8. 8
    The Frat Pack + Me says:

    Stunning! Love it!

  9. 9
    kaylin rose and mara anne says:

    love the door…i did it with an old window last night, but just with pictures…i might have to put some fun fabric/paper in another one i have sitting around…i have been waiting to work on it for months.

    love the color…great job!

  10. 10

    Great idea….Love the color!!! I have never thought to use a door instead of a window….I love the length and its great for a long wall!!

  11. 11
    Linda @ Craftaholics Anonymous says:

    Old doors are the best! So many possibilities! Love yours!

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    Please dont make us wait long for Part 2!! I want to start this same proect this weekend!!

  13. 13
    bluecorduroy says:

    yes! i do love it! you have mastered the distressed look- amazing. how fun to have your mom and dad involved too. "the family that crafts together, stays together"

  14. 14

    What a wonderful project! Love the door. Great Job! Thanks for sharing.

  15. 15

    I love the layered paint, just what I need to do on a door that I am itching to start

  16. 16

    This is my favorite project for 2010. You did great…I cannot wait to see part 2:)

  17. 17

    This is sooooo clever!!! I have the same awkward long blank space. You have now filled my head with some ideas. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. :o)

  18. 18

    i absolutly love it! i wish i had a big wall to something like that with! really neat idea!

  19. 19
    Mom's Place says:

    What a cool way to use an old door and display pictures!

  20. 20

    I LOOOOVE your door! So creative and a new take on the 'door on the wall' concept! This one actually looks like one I'm wanting to replicate! French doors are much more widely available then most of these solid core doors people are using as headboards and such!
    THANK YOU for the inspiration! Can't wait for the second installment!
    Now off to find a door…. :)

  21. 21

    love it!

  22. 22

    I do love it! How cute, quirky and fun!!! I am trying to think of a place to put one in my house. I love it!

    Can I post about it next week for my Friday Favorites? Amazing!


  23. 23

    Could make a really cute headboard!

  24. 24 says:

    Oh, it looks fab and such a wonderful idea!!

  25. 25
    Beth@The Stories of A to Z says:

    Yes I do! I love everything about it. It's gorgeous!

  26. 26
    3LittleByrds says:

    Love this project. It looks great in their bathroom.

  27. 27
    bronzedshoe says:

    LOVE your awesome ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  28. 28

    You are so great! I love, love your blog!!!

  29. 29
    connorandmaddiesmom says:

    LOVE this, did it take a lot to mount it to the wall?

  30. 30
    Melissa: Mother to 3 Little Sprouts says:

    That is amazing@ What a great idea!

  31. 31

    Love it! I would love to do something similar when I have the time! but I am most thankful for the paint technique suggestions. We are making a headboard out of an old door and need a little help with how to paint it. Thanks for your lovely blog! And your lovely sewing! My friends and I all wear an incourage posy pin to remind us to pray for each other! Have a happy new year!

  32. 32

    Love the door idea. Now all you need is the door handle.

  33. 33

    Oh my! This is fabulous! How creative!

  34. 34
    Jeannett Gibson says:

    meh. it's okay.

    just kidding.

    didn't want all the kudos going to your head.

    someone's gotta keep you grounded.


  35. 35

    Oh, I am in love with this idea! Thank you for sharing!!! : )

  36. 36
    Norma Lee @ Norma Lee Good says:

    I am absolutely in love with this. What a great idea!! I have the perfect place for this! Thanks for the inspiration! {I just love that your dad helps you.You will always remember that.}

  37. 37

    Love Love Love this idea!! I'm thinking my daughter would LOVE to have one of these in her room. You should add a fun bow in the holes where the doorhandles were. Or maybe ribbon to make it look like it's "hanging" from the ribbon. Cute Cute!!!

  38. 38
    Heather at Happy Chippy Junk says:

    Oh I love it!! SO cute!!

  39. 39
    Heather at Happy Chippy Junk says:

    Oh I love it!! SO cute!!

  40. 40

    genius idea! i am going to make one sometime soon. thanks for sharing!

  41. 41
    Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Love the color of the door and the papers you used. What a great pop of color in this bathroom and what a great idea using the panes to hold pictures. I'm loving it all the way around!

  42. 42
    Knudsen's says:

    Shut up! That is THEE cutest thing ever! I have a blank wall in my home hair salon that is screaming for that same idea! Thank you so much for solving a big problem! Thanks alot! :)

  43. 43

    I love it! I'm thinking about using this idea for my headboard, or my hallway, or my son's room….the possibilities are endless!

  44. 44

    Yes I just LOVE it! This is a genius idea for a way to use those old doors. Oh and that green color: divine! And your kids are darling. Their pictures make great decor:)

  45. 45

    Hi. I saw your idea over at Jen's blog. This is so creative! And I love all the colors! Well done!

  46. 46

    I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. 47

    I love, love, LOVE this!! The green door makes such a statement! And the way you framed your pictures is just gorgeous!! Your blog is so pretty!

  48. 48

    There is no doubt that this is one of the coolest projects I've ever seen! I LOVE it. Excellent job! I'm so glad that I found your blog!

  49. 49

    My computer won't let me email you, so I hope you read this here!

    One question: how did you know which colors to use to make the distressed look? Are there color combos for different kinds of distressing?

    Thanks! Love this project!


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