Thursday, 11 April 2013

Renovating Old Doors

When we moved out to have our house turned from a one bedroomed house to a 4 bedroomed house we took the one original door that we had had in the house and planned to strip it and use it again. We only had one other door in the whole house and that was not worth using again.  During the 8 months we were living in a rented house and our house was renovated I was on the look out for a whole set of victorian 4 panel doors for us to use.  I ended up having enough and even had some extras as they can be warped, won't fit and many other reasons builders refuse to hang them.  I got them on ebay mostly but also looked on gumtree and we even went to Kimbriki resopurce recovery centre (tip) and had  a look there and managed to get one door which we ended up using on the under stairs cupboard.
It was supposed to be my job to strip and paint them but I failed miserably in that endeavour.  It has now been passed to my husband and he is doing it.  He did 3 and the under stairs one in his first burst of enthusiasm and I am happy to say he is now on his second wave.  I hope it lasts a long time.
When done they look like this and I absolutely love them.  I think they are worth all the pain and hard work.  I mean it is hard work for me to motivate P Daddy to do them! ha ha.
We could have had new hollow doors for slightly more initial outlay and no work on our part, but I would not have liked them.  The builders cut the old doors to size and hung them and they complained a little and thought we were mad I think.  If they had been new doors they would have hung them, painted them and put the door furniture on.  But why make life easy for ourselves?
Here is the one being worked on at the moment.  Yikes. It needs a lot of filler and sanding, and that is after you have got the paint off.  To get the paint off I tried the chemicals.  They are pretty hopeless and some paints just won't shift at all.  P Daddy ended up scraping it off and wearing a mask as some of the paint will be really old.  The filler we use is builders bog.  It is 2 part and so it is epoxy and a tiny bit more flexible and less brittle than normal filler.  It probably also sticks better.  This door is dark brown because it is hardwood.  Australia only used to grow hardwood so all the old ceiling beams in the house were hardwood.   It is very hard to cut or drill a hole in it.  Once it is sanded and smooth P Daddy uses a sealer so no old stains come through the paint.  Then he uses water based white semi gloss.
This is the downstairs bathroom door that we have been using for about 18 months.  I am used to it being like this but I will so appreciate having it finished!  At least this door has a handle and lock.  We had no upstairs handles until about a week ago.  But when this one is painted we will get a lot of satisfaction and  pleasure from it.  I think that is the trick with diy - enjoy the small victories and forget about the big list of other jobs. Otherwise it will never be enjoyable.
Oh, and I got my door knobs from gumtree. First I bought gold ones and I got most of them on ebay and bought a couple new.  Then we decided not to have gold and wanted silver and I saw them on gumtree - more than enough handles and the locks for only $20!  That was an amazing bargain.  Now I just need to offload the gold knobs.....


  1. I think your old doors are totally worth the effort. They will be 100x better quality than the new doors. Plus they look really nice, too, all painted up!

  2. Your doors are so much worth your efforts.