Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The saga of our new door, or, how hard can this possibly be?

Back in the first week of August, the glass on our front door cracked.  The next day, one of the cracked sections fell out.  The door was old, needed a lot of work if we wanted to keep it, and we didn't really like it all that much anyway, so we decided to replace it.

What should have been a short process led to us not getting a new door until a few days before Halloween.  Home Depot dropped the ball a few times, by not returning phone calls, and not communicating between the retail staff and the installation team.  Then, once our door was finally ordered and delivered (one month after we ordered, rather than the two weeks they had estimated), we had to send it back, because they had pre-drilled holes for the hardware, but those holes didn't line up with the existing spots on the frame.  This was fairly obnoxious, as they require that an installation team come out and measure everything before you can even order a door (we have to pay for this), so I am unclear as to why the correct measurements weren't available.  We finally got the door installed, and the handle now sticks, and the deadbolt requires almost enough force to break the key to get the key to turn in the lock.  I am not pleased, and really don't think we'll use the Home Depot's installation services again.  Every person we dealt with was exceedingly polite and apologetic when things didn't work out they way they should, but there were just so many missteps, that I don't think we could confidently use them again.  Additionally, I felt as if we were being pushed to purchase an entire frame and replace the perfectly functional glass panels on the sides and top of the door frame.  The door we wanted to buy was actually a few hundred more than the one we ended up buying, but we could buy it only if we also replaced all of the panels around the door, which more than tripled the price.

The door was finally installed, but we had to paint it ourselves.  We debated between a dark green and a dark red for a while (turns out we had plenty of time to decide).  Our house has red brick, and we recently replaced our black shutters with forest green.  I was a bit worried that a red door with the green shutters would look a bit too Chirstmasy all the time, but I was also having trouble finding a green that I liked.  I took several walks around the neighborhood looking at doors, and almost all of my favorites were red.  So I brought home something like 30 red paint chips from the store (still Home Depot, I like shopping there).  We rejected most of them right away once we had them out in the sunlight, and narrowed it down to 3-5.

We decided on Raw Cinnabar, from Behr.  I had read a few blogs from people who painted their doors red, and almost all seemed to mention that the red they choose was not what they expected when they started painting.  So I bought a sample pot of the Raw Cinnabar, and of another red, Tuscan Rose, and painted some cardboard swatches.  We brought them outside, and still liked the Raw Cinnabar the most, so I bought a quart!  I think I probably could have just stuck with the sample pot, but wanted to get the paint & primer combination, and it will be nice to have extra in case it needs to be touched up later.

I started by taping off the hardware.  I really want to replace it -- not only does it now not work smoothly, but I think it is the original hardware from when the house was built, and it is showing its age.  I was shocked at how much replacing the door handle will be though!  The least expensive option I saw at Home Depot was $93.  Ugh.  I started to tape off the glass, but the oval shape made that very difficult, and I figured I would just be careful, and wipe off any mistakes.  That turned out to be an ok decision, but it was nerve wracking working around the edges!

I had purchased a small roller, but ended up using just the brush and a small foam brush.  There were so many small areas and trim areas, that by the time I was done with those, it felt like 80% of the door was done.  It seemed like a waste to use the roller for the small areas left to do.  Looking at the picture now, I see that there was more unpainted area than painted, but I swear getting to this point took 45 minutes, and the rest of the door took 5.

I finished the first coat, and let it dry for a few hours before shutting the door.  I was really excited by how well the paint & primer combination gave such good coverage.  I was trying to make the paint coat as thin as possible, but even after just one coat, there weren't many glaring areas where the door color still peaked through.  Up close you could definitely see that a second coat was needed, but from the street, it looked great!

As I began to paint, I realized that the door was going to move, and I didn't want to have to hold on to it the whole time.  I looked for something heavy to put behind it, and used our huge Rubbermaid storage tubs - one filled with flour, the other with brown sugar.  That seemed to do the trick.  I also realized as I started painting the top that I was in danger of getting a bit of the red paint on the white trim, so I added a few strips of tape to the top of the trim.  I also added garbage bag drop cloths to our floor.

For the second coat, I did not bother pulling out the rolling pan.  I hadn't used the roller yesterday, so decided to avoid the potential mess that comes when I pour paint out of a can, and just dip the brushes directly into the paint can.  I think it turned out well!

1 comment:

  1. Ooh love it. Our door is very similar and is a horrible old dark stain. You have inspired me.