Progress report

Just a little door update! It’s taken a bit longer than I expected due to the need for some fancy door installation tools and choosing the right sealant, whilst getting distracted by other projects! Planning to reveal the finished project tomorrow. Until then, here’s a step by step guide of the project, done the DIY way! No training necessary! And now I know I need to be more diligent at taking pictures of my supplies and each step of the project!

1. Refer to the Dress Fitting post to see the door sitting in the frame. You do this to see the best fit and determine what needs to be trimmed, if any. In our case we trimmed 1/4 inch off the bottom. Then set it in again and it closed perfectly.

2. Install your hinges on the door frame. You can reuse or buy new. I chose to buy new 4″ oil rubbed bronze hinges to go with my fancy new door knob! That meant Husband had to use the rotozip (you could also use a chisel) to make the 4″ hinges fit where we previously had 3″ hinges. Tip: If you’re buying new hinges for a standard sized door, they sell them in 3, 3.5 or 4 inches, with curved or square edges.

3. This takes at least two people. Holding the door in position, mark the door for the hinges. Remove door. We used a Ryobi mortiser template here (this is a must-have for installing any door). Luckily for us, our door fit perfectly without cutting into the door to install the hinges!

4. Hang the door! Yay, you’re halfway there! Now you can cut the knob and lock holes. We used a Ryobi door lock installation kit for this-it was an awesome tool! It comes with a hole saw to attach to your Ryobi drill! Tip: They make these kits for wood doors as well as fiberglass and steel doors. Why is this important? Different materials require different types of metal. For instance, a steel door needs a carbide hole saw. Here’s a pic of Husband doing his thing!

He’s a mastermind!

5. Once the holes are cut for the door knob and deadbolt, you’ll want to go ahead and lightly install them, to make sure everything works and closes properly. Then you can remove the hardware and the door for step 6.

6. Lay the door in a cool, dry place for staining. Lightly sand the door for any splinters, blemishes or imperfections. Now I know choosing a stain can be daunting! There are so many options at the hardware store, it can easily overwhelm me! Too many colors means too many choices for me! For this door, I knew I wanted that classic aged, rich wood tone. So I went with my trusty Minwax in Early American. Just pick a color or two you love and go with it! I chose a second color, Special Walnut, and tested it on the bottom of the door, but Husband and I both voted Early American. Staining Tips: Gloves-I prefer disposable, and Blue Hawk stain pads. These are my new best friend! They’re like a microfiber cloth wrapped around a sponge and they come in a four-pack which was perfect for staining both the door and screen door, as well as applying the finish. You may also need a small brush to get in those detailed or grooved spots. Now stain away! Work quickly because raw wood soaks it up fast, and always work with the wood grain.

7. Once dry, apply a sealant. Choosing a finish was challenging for me because we live in Texas and the sun sets right off the front of the house. So although polyurethane is supposed to be the longest lasting choice, I worried that in our weather, it would yellow and/or crack over time. Surface finishes like these are hardier than oils and great for every day use furniture and floors. I also didn’t want to choose an oil such as tung because of drying time, not to mention reapplication would be necessary at least once a year. Oils are great for a natural finish and keeping wood moisturized from the inside out! Ultimately I decided to use good ol’ clear Thompson’s Water Seal. It would apply a small amount of sheen to my finish and protect it from the elements. It’s easy to apply and dries within 48 hours. And you can easily reapply anytime or anywhere you think your finish is starting to wear. Tip: When reapplying TWS, if it does not absorb, but instead beads on the surface, your wood does not need a reapplication yet! Thompson’s Water Seals also come in colors! You could stain and finish in just one step!! Wow, staining has come a long way! Here is a great picture of me applying the finish and you can clearly see the difference!

So there ya go! This project should take you about three days total. Okay, final pictures of the new gorgeous entry door coming soon!

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