Bathroom Door Restoration

The original Edwardian internal doors throughout the house were boarded up when we moved in. This is what the bathroom door looked like. If you are thinking it doesn’t look too bad, you would be right.

Bathroom Door Before

But after removing the board to show the original panels it looked more like this (It’s the same door, but the picture is take from inside the bathroom):

Bathroom Door

And close up it was more like this:

Door Frame Detail

The frame and door were covered in loads of layers of paint which was chipped all over the place. The amount of paint also meant that most of the detail in the wood was lost. With the help of a heat gun we stripped away the layers back to the original wood. (You have to be careful when stripping old paint, as it can contain lead) It took days to remove all the paint and then still looked quite messy.

Stripped Door Frame

So after a few more days of sanding, this is what it looked like. Not bad for a 100-year-old door frame.

Sanded Door Frame

We striped and sanded the door as well. It seemed to take for ever and in future we will probably have the other doors dipped – it’s still loads of work to just strip the frame! Then, when all the sanding was done, we got rid of the dust and treated the knots with knotting solution. This is really important, as we obviously missed one of the knots, and it is already turning yellow.

Now for the painting. We have chosen a white eggshell finish for all the internal woodwork that we are painting. We definitely didn’t want a shiny gloss finish and the eggshell just gives it an ever so slight sheen when the light shines on it. All in all it probably took about 3 full days of work spread out over about 4 weeks to completely finish the door. In order to get the paint to cover completely we had to apply 3 coats. We also lightly sanded the surface with 240 grit paper between each coat to get a perfectly smooth finish. Last but not least, we attached our new door knob. And here is the result.

Bathroom Door After

Here are the side by side before and after pictures for you:

Before and After Door

You can see that there is loads more detail.

Door Detial Before and After

Although it was loads of work, we think it was worth it. We especially love the detail that is now visible. The door would actually look new if it wasn’t so warped!


  1. None says

    Stunning work!!! Out of curiosity, what precautions did you take when dealing with lead paint?

    • says

      Thanks! Looking back, we probably didn’t take quite enough precautions (we wore masks and ventilated), but we have since been busy stripping more painted surfaces. We’re actually finishing off at the moment and hope to share the results next week!

  2. Mandy says

    Hi. I just stumbled across your site & it’s fantastic! So inspirational. We have a 1926 semi in Yorkshire, with few original features other than the front door which is similar to yours. We are about to start a complete refurb of our house & I am thrilled to have found your site!! I am looking to replace the awful modern internal doors with four panel doors like yours. Just out of interest, where did you get your door handles from & how did you find the company that had your glass panel from the door & did the stained glass for your new windows?

    Keep up the fantastic work!

    • says

      So glad you found your way over to us, Mandy & thanks for the compliment! Our internal door handles are Delamain plain knobs in satin with concealed fixings. You’ll find loads of suppliers if you google them!
      Finding the stained glass panel for our front door was just pure luck! I called a few companies for quotes and just happened to stumble across the company that had our panel. Couldn’t believe it!
      Good luck with your renovation!


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