Monday, July 28, 2014

Small projects

Although I really want to get started on the pergola, I have to teach this week, and so we had to content ourselves with some small projects.  The first one is a door makeover - which I've been wanting to do forever.  This is how our front door looked:
Not so bad, except that we didn't need a peephole, the mailbox slot is unusable, and the kick plate on the bottom has several missing screws, and I hate the color, it gets really hot when the sun beats down on it.  So - other than the fact that it fits the door frame, we kinda hate it.

But what I really hated was the inside.  It still had the old paneling attached to it, and we have the peephole and useless mail slot in it. 

Finally, what I hated the most was that it made this whole area dark.  What I wanted was something that was more attractive and let light in.  But I don't want to buy a new door (too much $$$!) and I don't want the hassle of hanging a new door, drilling new holes for locksets, etc.  So the part where it actually fit was kinda important.

So I was checking out CL (my favorite place to shop) and someone had these great leaded glass inserts for the bargain price of 25 bucks for four.  I only needed one, but I can sell the others and recoup my 25 bucks.  One has a cracked piece of glass, but I might be able to salvage that one for another project.

So what we did was take the door down off the hinges - simple, just pull out the three pins from the three hinges - and bring it into the backyard.  I took off the locksets, the mailbox, kickplate and peephole so I could remove the glued-on paneling.  Yuck. I have removed SO MUCH DRIED contact cement from this house!  That was a messy job and yet somehow, I forgot to take pics. 

After we cleaned off all the glue, we measured the glass insert, and centered it from each side.  We used the measurement in from the sides (9.5 inches from each side), and measured that much down from the top.  Then we added 5/8" all around, and cut the hole out of the door.  It's a hollow core door -- cheapo!--so we had to put in a few supports so we could attach a 2" wide frame inside the hole.  Again, forgot to take pictures!  What a doofus.

Next, we attached mitered 3/4" quarter round on the front with the brad nailer. 
OK, this i have pics of --

You can see the supports in the mailbox slot.

And then we could attach the glass panel.  We ran a bead of silicone along the corner of the "ledge" created by the quarter round, and then lowered the glass panel in.  We added another bead of silicone, and added another layer of mitered quarter round, nailed in.  So we sandwiched the glass in between the layers of quarter round.  Then I caulked all the gaps and painted the door.

I also added a small rectangle over the mail slot.  This placement really gave me pause - if I moved the glass down to cover the hole, it would be oddly centered, so I opted to cover the slot inside and out with a small flat panel. I think I'll get a "welcome" sign or something to put on here, but it actually doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would.  So - turquoise for the front, and white for the inside.  I used one of those small sample paint pots from Lowe's -- it's the perfect amount for 3 coats of paint for my door front.

I'm really happy with the amount of light it lets into our entryway.  It's hard to capture the look since the sun comes in so brightly, but I'm very happy with it.

The leaded glass panel we got had beveled glass, and it really sparkles without looking too "fancy" -- the 50s look of the panel goes well with the house.

Because we have a black screen door over the front door, taking a picture of the outside doesn't come out fabulous - but here we go:

 from the inside (so you can see the color accurately!)

and through the screen door.  It was a long one day project - if I hadn't had to remove all that glue with stripper and sanding, it would have only taken a few hours, but it looks great, and I'm really happy with the light it provides in our house!

Another thing I did this weekend was a quick stain job on our temporary kitchen counter tops.  We've got plywood serving as a counter, and they were looking pretty gross.  So I decided to water down some black paint I had leftover from painting my patio furniture, and did a fairly light coat over the plywood. 

I then added a coat of polycrylic, and then a layer of paste wax.  I'm really happy with how nice they look and feel - and they feel more durable to work on.  Maybe they'll last us a  year -- plus, they give me an idea of how black or very dark gray countertops will look.

It only took a couple of hours, and it really looks great.  So those are my two quick projects this week!

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