HOUSE: Newburgh

15 months later…

All I’ve been working on lately are DOORS. Doors, doors, and more doors. Scraping, sanding, patching, caulking, priming, painting, hanging, fixing locks, fixing hinges, fixing knobs, and so on. (I must say, it’s very nice to not have to look at closet contents anymore! Doors are a good thing.)

One of the hazards of keeping a blog is that I have the ability to look back and see just how long it takes to me to complete simple tasks. Case in point…

I posted this picture 15 months ago, when I first started working on this particular door. The bottom panels had been crudely cut out and replaced with screening (which had then gotten rusty and paint-y and dented and gross) at some point.

Back in September, I returned to working on the same door. I was still uncertain about the best way to go about replacing the panels. I had figured out that the door did not, in fact, belong on a closet, but rather in the doorway between the front and center bedrooms (both rooms are accessible from the hallway as well—we have a lot of doors).

Fast-forward (or slow-forward, as the case may be) to eight months later, and I’m WORKING ON THE SAME DOOR AGAIN. Only this time, I’m actually finishing it!

Whoever put the screening in obviously did so for the sake of cross-ventilation through the length of the house, and I admit that it makes a lot of sense. Radiator screening seemed like it would be much nicer than window screening, though, so I bought a sheet and spray-painted it white on both sides. The original trim pieces were missing on one side, but lattice strips turned out to be exactly the right width and depth to replace them.

I mitered the corners of the lattice and used short nails to fix the strips in place. After filling the nail holes, caulking the joints, and painting the whole business white, the door will FINALLY be ready to re-hang. (I’ll let you know when that happens. It could be next year sometime. Hah!)

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  • Reply Amanda Nicole June 17, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I love that screening! You’ve made such an improvement to that old door.

  • Reply Arzu June 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Great idea. I may change the ugly metal air vent grills in my house with these. Where is the screen from?

  • Reply siescierto June 17, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    emphasis on the door in Door 16!
    awful joke. sorry.

  • Reply leni June 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    well done!

  • Reply thrownforaloop June 17, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    have you ever tried Peel Away 7? It is great for stripping paint & varnish off wood in a tidy manner without constant attention. I’ve used it on windows (all the mullions,etc), doors, furniture, trim/moulding; it is the best and so easy. A bit pricy however.
    Your home is gorgeous, I look forward to your posts.

  • Reply Kristen Taylor Yarranton June 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    it’s beautiful!
    You inspire me everytime I come to your site.
    My house is almost 300 years old…and I love it. We bought it pretty much renovated. You know, the big things were taken care of, BUT there is always something to do 🙂 In the next few weeks you have given me the courage to do what I’ve always wanted to do… paint my master bedroom floor white! I can’t wait to do it. Thanks!

  • Reply SixDifferentWays June 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Ok so that is a long time but what an improvement! I’m so inspired by people like you, as I’m always inclined to replace things (if i have the money) or just leave them alone (when i dont). I’m working on it though and i will keep visiting your blog for inspiration 🙂

  • Reply erin lang norris June 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Nice! And thanks for admitting how lengthy your projects sometimes are…makes me realize that I’m not alone. My husband is always saying “you started ANOTHER project?!” Haha. So I get bored easily and ideas fly at me rather quickly. I feel like if I don’t at least start them,
    then I’ll forget about them altogether.

    Can’t wait to see these doors when they’re finished, I’m sure they’ll be great.

  • Reply monique June 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    You are an animal! :-)Great job! The whole process must be so satisfying.

  • Reply Jessica June 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Love the graphic impact of the quatrefoil metal mesh – what an improvement over rusty window mesh! And who cares if it took forever…the battle is in not quitting! (I have to say this because it takes me FOR-EVER to finish projects)

  • Reply alex sunday June 17, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    great mesh! it’s probably good that things take so long – i think you’d be lost if everything were finished! we got the keys to our new home was yesterday, so i’ll post some ‘before’ shots on my blog in the next few days if you’re interested to see what lies ahead for me. 🙂

  • Reply Adam June 17, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Very nice! I love the look of the new screening.

  • Reply melinda June 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Anna, you inspire and amaze me! The door (and windows) turned out awesome! Although my home is only about 20+ years old, it still needs some improvements and reading your blog always motivates me to push myself further and learn new things. I was raised in a family where men were believed to be the only ones capable of doing home improvements, so it’s refreshing to see females taking on such big projects. I have learned so much just from reading your blog! Thanks for posting your home projects!

  • Reply josh (in wonderland) June 17, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Oh mannnn, that screen is adoorable! (See what I did there? I’m cheesey) But seriously. Major upgrade.

    Oh yeah, this past weekend I was in Vermont for a wedding and on the trip up and back we passed Newburgh and I was like ANNAAAAAAA.

  • Reply Anna at D16 June 17, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Arzu: That’s just radiator screening from Home Depot (or Lowes, can’t remember which)! It’s about $40/sheet, I think. I have a bunch left over that I’m thinking of using to make doors for a little gardening storage area. (SOMEDAY.)

    thrownforaloop: I have tried PeelAway, and it’s great for some stuff, but since I’m not stripping the doors down to bare wood, it’s not necessary in this case. The biggest problem with the doors was that they have a TON of holes, gouges, and cracks in them. Patch + sand + caulk is the only solution!

  • Reply Sammi June 18, 2009 at 3:08 am

    It looks totally beautiful, well done :o)

  • Reply *SNYdesign June 18, 2009 at 4:53 am

    Oh, nice! Real Moroccan feel with the new squares!

  • Reply Arzu June 18, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Thanks, I’ll definitely check them out next time I’m there. Love your blog and your approach to design, it’s inspired many projects in my own house.

  • Reply leslie June 18, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Another gorgeous project. It’s takes major guts to tackle doors – I’ve seen what finesse it takes to set a door in a frame. Your energy has inspired me to embark on a challenging closet clean-out. It might be an allnighter and require trips to the Container Store. I will not surrender!

  • Reply Michele June 18, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you for this post.

    The doors turned out gorgeous.

    I just obtained a used door that will be used for our dormer bedroom and I need to create ventilation in the bottom panels. This is the perfect solution.

  • Reply Tommy Bahama Bedding June 18, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Great job! I really love the new screen – good choice 🙂

  • Reply thrownforaloop June 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Well they look great! And the stools are great looking too! Thanks for sharing your tips & ideas!

  • Reply mopar June 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Interesting. But a solid door would block noise when shut, and yet would permit breezes through the house while open. This is also the function of above-the-door transoms. These allow hot air, which rises, to move through the house and escape.

  • Reply Anna at D16 June 20, 2009 at 11:47 am

    mopar: The panels were removed many years ago, not by me. This is a door between rooms that we really will only ever close if we have a guest staying in the adjoining room. This is a way to allow the air conditioning (cold air sinks) to move through the house (we only have one unit on the second floor, and it’s in the center room) while still providing privacy. We have no need to block noise or let hot air move between these two rooms.

  • Reply pve design June 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I adore your door! What a mod and friendly transformation!

  • Reply Bri June 24, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    That lattice is fabulous. What a good idea to let the air in!

  • Reply jen jafarzadeh June 25, 2009 at 12:19 am

    wow, that’s one amazing makeover! love love love the pattern.

  • Reply joanna June 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    the door looks great! will there be another screen to keep the bugs from getting through?

  • Reply joanna June 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    oh, went back and read again- it’s an interior door! Great idea all around!

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