We’ve given our front door a makeover!
Now, before you start screaming at your screen or completely switch off, no – we’ve not painted over the gorgeous paean black door which we absolutely love. This time, I’m talking about the other side which now looks like this!
Yep, instead of finishing the dining room panelling that we started last summer, stripping the guest bedroom door frame which I started almost two years ago or upholstering our grotty second-hand sofa which we bought over 10 months ago, we decided to tackle a project which I’m pretty sure we weren’t even allowed to do!
Completely logical, right?
I know that the door doesn’t look dramatically different and our colour choice isn’t exactly groundbreaking but, as so often when it comes to DIY, it was more work than it looks.
Originally, we’d planned on removing all of the layers of paint and turning it back to the natural timber finish it would have had back in the early 20th century when our apartment building was first built but things didn’t turn out quite as we’d planned.
But let’s start right back at the beginning when we were still motivated to strip all of the layers of “prison grey” paint as we liked to call it.
Stripping paint is painstaking, time-consuming, makes you want to rip your hair out and is my most hated DIY job ever. But, as much as I hate to say it, I have to confess that it is almost always worth it for the finished result – even if you’re planning on repainting everything.
We started by applying a load of smelly Peel Away (which is the only paint stripper that we’d ever recommend using!) and after waiting for a couple of hours the miracle paint stripper started to do its magic. I love the way you can almost watch Peel Away work and you can see the paper and stripping paste change colour and soak up all of the paint chemicals.
Almost inevitably there were a few problems that we uncovered after removing the paint. The door was, in parts, quite damaged and there were a lot of dents, marks and chips that, even after sanding, staining and oiling, meant that we would have ended up with a finish that we just wouldn’t have been happy with.
So, the only viable option was to repaint the door. Yep, after spending two days stripping & sanding the door our only viable option was to get painting!
Luckily, as much as I hate stripping paint I love applying it. After a lot of filler, a lot more sanding, a quick coat of primer and a couple of coats of paint our door now looks chip free and, well, grey again!
Now, if you’re wondering about our super safe and admittedly rather boring colour choice it’s because I’m pretty sure that we weren’t allowed to work on our door at all!
As we live in an apartment, there are loads of rules about what parts of the building are yours and what parts are communal and our front door strictly speaking isn’t ours.
Let’s just say I’m going through a rebellious phase (or maybe a midlife crisis) and decided to just do it anyway!
I should say that, as much as I’ve been a bit naughty, our door was chipped and marked all over. No one could tell me the colour the door was painted in so I couldn’t just go out and buy paint to touch it up. Yes, if I’d really wanted to I could have probably worked out a way to get the colour matched but I really wasn’t sad to see the prison grey colour disappear.
There’s also another reason for me taking a risk here. Our whole communal hallway needs a full-on makeover. There’s ugly lino on the original staircase treads, it needs replastering, repainting, a new carpet and so much more.
Painting the doors is just a tiny part of all of the work that’s due to happen and, because I just can’t help myself, I’ve started working on a design suggestion for the whole hallway including a staircase runner, tiled floor and colour options.
And, what’s the worst that can happen? Everyone hates the colour and I have to repaint it. It’s not like I’ve not had practice!
As much as our door transformation isn’t particularly radical I’m glad we made the effort. The new greys are much warmer (the darker grey on the frame is Mole’s Breath by Farrow & Ball and the lighter grey on the door is Ammonite also by Farrow & Ball) and as there’s a lot more detail, like the previously almost invisible letterbox, visible now.
Right, I’m off to finish about 20 projects that I should have finished before working on the door. I’m definitely a serial project starter but, let’s face it, finishing them can be so boring. Please tell me I’m not alone!
Have you ever done any projects that we weren’t allowed to do? What colour is your front door?