Monday, February 11, 2013

Adventures with French Doors

It's no great secret that one of my favorite places to shop is ReStore.  They know me by name.

I have my favorite departments.  Cabinet pulls, trimwork, furniture, cabinet doors, paint, and garden supplies.  And lighting.  I love to deconstruct vintage light fixtures like I did here and here.  I think I have two more in the garage.

I usually pass by the appliances and plumbing.  Used toilets?  No thanks.  I also don't give a lot of thought to the long wall of doors, even though there is some neat stuff in there.  I remember talking to a fellow who was in the architectural salvage business.  He had some absolutely fabulous doors in his showroom.  He thought he would make a lot of money selling beautiful antique doors, but they turned out to be a huge pain in the you-know-what.  It's just too difficult to retrofit an old door into a new space.  I never forgot this conversation, which is why I usually don't look twice at the doors.

But for some reason, I stopped to look one day.  And I found two matching French doors.  Brand spanking new French doors and marked $60 each.

The bedroom we use as an office is at the top of the stairs and has two double doors overlooking for foyer.  We always said how pretty it would be to replace them with French doors.


What's the chance these two doors would fit?

While I dug through my purse for a tape measure, I overheard a conversation the manager was having with another customer.  Everything in the store was going to be 50% off the next day.  Holy cats!  These doors were going to be $30 each tomorrow!  My head was spinning.  The store was closing in twenty minutes, but I was taking no chances, so I buried them in the middle of the rack, and scurried home with my measurements.

They were the same size as the existing doors!  I announced to my husband to expect to get up early the next morning so we could be in line when ReStore opened.  When the store opened, I made a bee-line for my doors, and I refused to let them out of my sight.  One of the volunteers commented, "Yeah, I didn't expect those doors to last long today."  When we took them home and tried a test fit, I was giddy.


The routering didn't quite line up with the existing hinges, and they would need a mullion, the piece that goes in between the two doors.  Considering their weight and the issues with poorly hung doors, we decide to leave this one to the pros.  I called a local handyman company and explained in detail what I needed.  "No problem.  We'll send our best trim carpenter."

When he arrived, he looked at them, measured, and announced they would not fit.  I pointed out they were same size as the existing doors, but they did need a mullion.  I explained that we did a test fit before I called, and it was a good fit.  "Doesn't matter," he said.  "There's going to be a one and three-quarter inch gap in between them.  The tape measure doesn't lie."

What a load of...

So he doesn't want the job.  It's within his rights to say "No thanks," but let's not lie about it.  I was not going to argue with him or continue to waste each others' time.  "Oh well," I chirped, "There's always Craigslist."  I promptly ushered him out the door and called another handyman company who had someone at my house within 45 minutes.

I knew it wasn't going to be an easy job, but this craftsman dug right in.  My husband ended up assisting since the doors were pretty heavy, and after four hours of measuring, chiseling, and shimming, we had two swinging French doors.

Originally, I'd planned to paint them the same color as the trim.  I primed them and started the first coat of paint.  The entire time, my husband was lamenting that we couldn't stain them, but since I had to fill some of the factory routering for the hinges, staining was out of the question.

I stopped for a break and made myself a cup of coffee.  I started thinking about some of the pretty painted French doors I've seen lately on Houzz.  Looking into my mug, I suggested that I could paint them something dark, like the color of coffee.

Surprisingly, my husband liked the idea.  "After all," he said, "It's just paint."  Easy for him to say.  I was the one doing all the painting.

After looking at all the coffee-named colors at Sherwin Williams like French Roast or Black Bean (too brown or too plumy), I settled on SW Black Fox.


Let me tell you, it took days to paint around all those panes of glass, especially since I'd primed for white paint.  (Insert pane-ful pun here.)


My husband is on board with replacing all the hardware in the house, but for now, I'm just reusing the old knobs.

Our house is from the honey oak era, but I like the contrast against the dark doors now.


This is one of those improvements we always said we wanted to make, but I never thought we'd actually do it.


If you are wondering, we're keeping the original doors if a future homeowner wants to switch them back for privacy.



I'm linking up...
Between Naps on the Porch
Les Chateau des Fleurs
Cedar Hill Ranch (Cowgirl Up)
Savvy Southern Style
Handy Man, Crafty Woman
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Chic on a Shoestring
The Shabby Nest

26 comments:

  1. So nice. it's great when you get such a deal. Makes me feel good for days. I want new french doors off the sunroom. Can't wait.
    Sweet blog you have here.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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  2. Great change! Like Ahrisha, I want French doors going out to my sun room. I'd love to find a bargain like yours!

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  3. And I want mirrored french doors for my master bath door....
    Very nice find, love ReStore!

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  4. Karen,
    I love your French doors. They always make a statement where ever you use them in a home. I don't have any in my house, but I do have an inexpensive set between my garden shed and greenhouse and I love them there. Great finds.
    Cindy

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  5. Very pretty and what a great deal! I love the restore too. I have a set of french doors from my entry into the living room. I think I'm going to paint them black very soon. My house is from the honey oak era too (mid-80s) but I'm not one who believes all the the wood has to be stained to match. I also believe in mixing white paint and black paint with my honey oak.

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  6. They look great! And what a poop that first handy man.Obviously he wasnt in a very handy mood! lol

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  7. Love the black doors! Thanks for linking! XO

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  8. Congratulations, you've been featured on Wicked Awesome Wednesday! What a beautiful upgrade to french doors. I love that you ushered carpenter #1 to the door! Please stop by the website to grab your "I've been Featured" button.

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  9. Congratulations, you've been featured on Wicked Awesome Wednesday! What a beautiful upgrade to french doors. I love that you ushered carpenter #1 to the door! Please stop by the website to grab your "I've been Featured" button.

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  10. Awesome score; those look great. Though, I would have stained them despite the filled spot.

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  11. $60 for a brand new French doors? That's a great deal! French doors are so dramatic that I fell in love with it! Yours look great! But, I'm not quite sure if it matches with the front part of the door, the one overlooking the foyer. I just don't think it matches your theme. On the other hand, the office side of the door looks absolutely spot on! I love the teal wall with the black french doors! Congratulations! :D

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  12. French doors are the best! The last time we had a renovation, the very first thing that we did was to change our door into a French one. What I like about this type of door is that it opens up the house and allows natural light to come in.

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  13. It’s great that you still managed to keep your old panel door. Well, if the house happens to have another homeowner in the future, at least they have door options. Hehe! But if I were the one who will live in your house, I want the French door to remain as it is. The only thing I would change is its color. :)

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  14. Aren't French doors the best? That's a beautiful completed project. I would love some French doors in Ottawa at my place.

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  15. Your result is great! French door is the best type of doors. Dark color fits the interior much. Thank for sharing, good luck.

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  16. That is so awesome that you made them yourself! I love the whole look of your window, so pretty!
    . shower doors portland

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  17. This really makes me want to get some french doors. I've heard that they've got a lot of them in Ottawa.

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  18. That is so awesome that you made them yourself! I love the whole look of your window, so pretty!
    . shower doors portland

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  19. That is so awesome that you made them yourself! I love the whole look of your window, so pretty!
    . shower doors portland

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  20. I want to get french doors in Toronto because I think they just make things look so much classier.

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  21. The door transformation is absolutely amazing. I love how it changed the dimensions in the house. Now I want to get a french door, a nice classy white one between the kitchen and the living room. You are so talented, keep sharing your work! http://www.comfortking.ca/doorsottawa/default.aspx

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  22. How much would it cost to get a new french door? I was thinking about putting one in for my house. It has the sort of feeling on the inside that you are in Paris. http://www.shopthedoorstore.com/

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    Replies
    1. Honestly, we had never priced out new doors. These seemed like a great price when we bought them at ReStore, plus we were supporting a worthy organization. Looking back at the photos, I really miss them!

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  23. I so love your photos!! :D I fell in love with your doors! You have an eye in capturing great scenes from simple moments. You really have talent! :)
    Hurricane Impact French Doors

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  24. This color wasn't gray at all? I'm leaning towards this shade, but fear it will ending up looking gray.

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    1. No, it didn't look grey at all. Browns have different hues, and I didn't want a reddish, chocolate brown. I can see why you might have concerns about this shade looking grey, but there's no question that it's brown!

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