How to Upgrade an Ugly Door

This is such a great idea for improving the look of an ugly, cheap door with very little cost involved, just a bit of elbow grease!
The paint effect really creates the illusion of a panelled door and the knocker is just a bit of fun for an internal door.

Step by Step instructions for “How to Upgrade an Ugly Door”.

The door before its transformation.
Step 1: Remove the existing hardware with a screwdriver.
Step 2: Use medium-grade sandpaper or a sanding block to remove the existing finish. In cases where a door has a thick layer of varnish, it may be wise to use coarse grade paper to ensure you get rid of the shiny surface entirely.
Step 3: Paint the entire door with the colour intended for the accent panel trim tone. It’s best to go with two coats so that the wood grain doesn’t show through. This double layer of paint will also serve as a primer.
Step 4: Tape off the accent panel trim with 2-inch masking tape. While it’s okay to simply estimate it, I suggest taking the extra time to measure accurately, then lay the tape in place to keep everything symmetrical. Two panels work the best; keep the outside lines of the panel trim 3-inches in from the edge of the door and leave 8 to 10 inches between the top and bottom panels. This is a good rule-of-thumb for creating the proper scale.
Step 5: Once the panels are taped off, go over the whole door fine-tuning intersecting pieces of tape, pressing them firmly to remove any air pockets.
 Step 6: To ensure perfectly straight lines, cut away excess tape from corners with a utility knife.
 Let’s take a look at what happens without taking the proper time to prep the door before painting the surface colour. See the bleeds, smudges and uglies? Yep, those are what you’ll end up with if you don’t follow steps 5, 6 and 7. Patience, children — it’s a virtue. Pace yourself with paint preparation, it will pay off in the end. Pinkie swear.
 Step 7: After checking to make sure all edges of tape are perfectly flush with the door, brush the door surface colour onto the door with a paint brush starting on the center of the tape, pushing outward onto the door. Why? This will create a perfect line; brush strokes away from the tape ensure nothing creeps underneath it. You could also paint over the tape with the white paint first to prevent bleeding of the black.
Step 8: Once you’ve used the brush to stroke the door surface colour out from the masking tape, use a roller to cover the remaining surface. NOTE: Avoid motion which pushes the roller down onto the tape, instead rolling up and off of it.
 Step 9: Leave the door until the paint is dry, then slowly remove the masking tape. Replace the door furniture with something more up-to-date. Satin or polished nickel, chrome and oil rubbed bronze usually work best in modern spaces.
In addition to door knobs, consider adding door knockers or graphic coat hooks to dress up the door — like jewellery or accessories with a new outfit. While I recommend this project for hollow-core doors, it works just as well on those made from solid wood. High contrast colours provide the most impact. Black and white is classic and goes with everything, but playing up two drastically different shades of your room’s wall colour works just as well. As far as what the door used to look like, Christina’s clients don’t need to know. It can just be Houzz’s little secret.
See the ideabook on Houzz

My name is Caroline Sutton and I'm a wife and mother of 3 children, passionate about food, keeping me and my family healthy, gorgeous interiors and shopping! I have a degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology and continue to be interested in the science behind diet and drugs. I also have a Diploma and City and Guilds in Interior Design and for the last 17 years have run a property company which develops, redevelops and manages rental properties: Sunlight Properties Ltd.

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