FINALLY done with our exterior updates! This project has taken much longer than originally planned, but isn’t that how most home projects go? Especially during the summer when things like the beach and boating always sound like more fun.
We stuck to our design plan pretty well, we began by painting the shutters that deep green from the Pintrest inspiration photo from the previous post.
We also made a window box, and found these fun chunky wood brackets to use as the supports. These brackets were in the shelving/corbels section at Lowe’s. I bought them unfinished and stained them to match the door and seal them with 4+ coats of spar varnish.
The refinishing of the door was definitely the biggest part of this whole project, here is the step by step of what we did to get the door from the old white paint, to the stained finish.
We began with sanding the flat parts of the door, and used a chemical stripper for the groves and the crevices. Only to discover that the wood of the groves/crevices had some wood filler and chalk under the paint that could not be removed without damaging the door.
So plan B: I painted the groves/crevices with a brown paint and did a faux wood treatment to make it look like it was stained like the rest of the door. Most people upon seeing the condition of the wood would have opted to paint the whole door instead of staining… but I am kind of stubborn when it comes to following though with my original design vision, and I was not about to give up just yet.
It turned out great! It’s not perfect, but it is the color I was going for, and hey, it was a $40 door! Can’t beat that. The stain used was Old Masters Dark Walnut wiping stain. We also added the decorative trim just under the windows to give to more of the Craftsman architecture look.
After getting the stain and paint to the best we could, it was time to protect it for all that the Michigan weather wants to throw at it. We used an exterior water based (because of the paint) spar varnish. Five coats total. TIP: make sure to use a high quality brush when applying the finish, and whatever you do: DON’T OVER BRUSH IT! let the brush marks relax and go away without going back over an already done area.
Once the door was dry and ready to hang, we had another challenge waiting for us: to fit the door to the existing door jamb. We measured the door before hand and it was the right width and height, but getting it to fit just perfectly to swing open and closed without the need for a good swift kick was where the fussy detail work came in. Let me just say this is not my strongest area, I tend to get, uh, impatient. Thank goodness for the “opposites attract” theory, because without Zach (my husband) I am pretty confident I could have (maybe) gotten the door in the door jamb, but forget about it ever opening again. I would have just yelled to those on the other side of the door to come around to the side door…. Real welcoming. 😉
But after lots of sanding, testing, chiseling, and testing again, it fits great! and it opens!!
And this is the finished Exterior of the house:
Now on to the baby room! Our due date is a little more than 3 weeks away, so it’s crunch time!