My front door

Posted on Wed, 4 Mar 2009 by KiM

This is just a quick post to document one of the many MANY things I need to do something about in my house. It’s the front door. I have to say it’s a pretty nifty looking door, and although the inspector I had in here when I was buying the house said I should replace it with a better door (in terms of being better insulated), I cannot bring myself to do that. You don’t find doors like this at Home Depot.


One thing I have to keep in mind is the fact that this door opens right into the living room. So whatever I do to it will have to work with the space. The little windows in the door are unfortunately not glass but plastic, and yellow. Not sure if I should work with that or replace them/cover them up somehow. I found a very inspirational photo here a while back, and can’t get it out of my head. How freaking cute is this door?!

I’d love to hear your ideas on what I could do with this blast from the past door.

Mer says:

Kim, you love color and you do it really well. Go for the bold and the beautiful! I would paint first and that may make the plastic in the door strangely compelling. Don’t be afraid of the kitsch factor. I love that pad that was featured in NY Spaces. Love that door!

Alkemie says:

WHat a FUN Door! Orange and pink. I always wanted to lacquer my front door red 🙂

kim. says:

Lots of great ideas folks, many that I hadn’t thought of – much appreciated! After all this though, I still have no clue what to do. LOL!!

Anonymous says:

I walk around here in switzerland looking at all of these beautiful doors that are hundreds of years old and they have a beautiful patina that comes with age. No paint on them… you a very pretty door already. No need to replace. This of the energy it takes to create a new door…. replace the glass, and lightly sand and oil the door. Ikea makes a beeswax that has no solvents in it, but looks beautiful and holds up well.

Anonymous says:

The first thing to come to me was: do NOT change that door. In any way. Just “improve” its richness. I also suggest waxing.

puck says:

OK… new to your site, but I have to chime in.

I am a historic preservationist and wuold cry if you paint your door!

You need to clean and polish the door. Just some TSP substitute on a rag (you can get it at Home Depot) will take off all the years of crud. Then, some polish to bring it back and seal it in – again, the hardware store guy can show you what to use for both.

You can have glass cut for the windows. You don’t have to go overboard and use historic art glass. Simple glass will do. If you are not the handy sort and don’t want to have to worry about glazing points, a window shop can do it for you very cheaply.

Mimi says:

This is soooooooo weird!!!
First things first: you’re one of my very favourite design blogs.

I couldn’t believe it when I saw your door…I thought it was a picture of my old door! Really!!! My front door was EXACTLY like yours, from the exact pattern, to the same wood tone, to the scratches, to the yellow plastic window panes!!!! I thought mine was unique and custom made by the previous owner… I guess not. WOW, I still can’t believe it 🙂

I painted my door black on the outside and white on the inside (to go with my decor. It made it 100 times better looking, but I was still left with the yellow plastic panes. The worst part was that the side panel on the door was clear, and the door panes yellow, so when the light was on inside, anyone looking in saw a mix of yellow and clear light.

I eventually bought a gorgeous new door (actually it was so expensive that it wasn’t considered a door, but an “entry system”) LOL

Can’t wait to see what you do to your door 🙂

If you have other wood in your house that matches that door, I’d not touch it, cept for slight restoration on the inside. I’d add some stained glass to repeat the pattern in the doors, select some shape from the carving and go with it. As for the outside, let ‘er rip.

Anonymous says:

generally i HATE this kind of door – it’s really not old as far as charming old things go, this is from the 80s or so, think some cheezy rococco dresser that you find in a yard sale with tacky hardware. THAT SAID, i LOVE the inspiration door – what a great way to make it fun and cheerful. I agree with all the plastic to glass comments above, but really think you should do something fun and modern with the paint, rather than sand it down and refinish in wood. back to the dresser, if you found a tacky thing on the side of the road, a colourful coat of paint and some new hardware would do it wonders. same here. good luck!

tpanderson says:

black and white a la Dorothy Draper.

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