Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Welcome Friends and Neighbors

I recently promised readers of my weekly column in The Leaf Chronicle that I would show a few more photos and give some tips for painting a paneled door.  In this case, it was my front door:

The photo above is the “before.”  It is worth noting that the door was painted the same color as the shutters you also see in the photo.  I mention that in order to give you an idea how cave-like the entrance felt to me.

It makes total sense to have such a well-protected entrance—especially here in Florida, aka: the land of pop-up showers.  But the dark door and consequently dark entrance was not very welcoming.  Since I am new to the neighborhood and in desperate need of friends (lest I wear out my welcome with the one friend I have here), I decided my first home improvement project would be to paint the front door and sidelights.

I take a moment to note that those sidelights are indeed amber. 

I jumped into this project fully intending to replace them as soon as I finished the paint job.  I, however, have since been provided a quote for new clear glass and, once I picked myself up off the floor, decided that part of the project will wait until after the new year.

So, back to the project at hand. 

First, I spent several weeks studying paint chips in order to choose a color which would coordinate well with all of the existing colors already “on” the house: the painted brick, the shutters, the “naked” brick AND the siding on the second level.  That is a lot to consider.

I worked paint samples in the closest match I could find for each of the existing colors.  (I didn’t bother with trying to match the naked brick because it is my intention to paint it to match the painted brick.) 

I used Behr Marquee, which incorporates a primer and one-coat “advanced stain-blocking” paint.  (When I went to check the can, I realized I was operating under the mistaken assumption that it was a “one coat” paint—wishful thinking.)  Anyhoo, it was a custom mix.  In other words, I had them color match a sample from another brand—the color very closely matches Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.  (I just happen to like Behr products.)

On a day that the weather seemed like it was going to allow me to keep my dogs out back in order to allow me to leave my front door open most of the day, I decided to get started.

First, I lightly sanded all of  the surfaces I intended to paint, then I cleaned the same area.  (Generally speaking I loathe the prep work, but since this was our front door, I decided I should make every effort to make  sure I did my best.)   I taped around the door knob and plate, as well as around the knocker; they both have a great patina—I love them!

Okay, ready to get down to business, I opened the paint can and dipped-in my brush.  Here is a brief outline of my approach:

First, I painted the sidelights.  I used pretty much the same approach doing them as I did on the door, but took more photos of the door.  So onto the door . . .

I started on the door by filling in the flat face of each panel, then went around the beveled perimeter of each panel.

Next I painted the vertical section in the middle of the door—those pieces are called the “stiles.”  (In case you want to impress your friends and neighbors when that ask about your process.)

After you load your brush, be sure to start in the center of the stile, that way you can feather the paint out as you approach the edge where it meets the horizontal sections.  That will really help with the finished appearance.

(You can see by the photo below that I failed to take a photo before I had moved to step three.)

When you start painting the the horizontal sections (or “rails”), start at the top and work your way down to the bottom rail.

Finally, you paint the vertical stiles on each side.

I then removed the tape and used a small detail brush to carefully paint around the knocker and door knob plate.

I wish I could tell you that was it, but unfortunately the “advanced stain-blocking” paint required a second coat.  No worries, however, because I loved the results:

Now that I am looking at it again, I’m thinking those new sidelights will be installed sooner rather than later. 

Oh, and I think I should defend myself by offering up the following alibis:  I have been on the hunt for a new doormat—if you have any leads, please leave them in the comments section, but I am fairly particular. Also, I have decorated for Christmas—well, the entry way, that is.  I think I will include that photo in my new banner collage . . . still need to do a quick tutorial to remind myself about how I use to make those!

All I know is, it’s good to be back on my blog.

PS--now that I just spent one hour trying to publish this dang thing and trying to deal with the squirrely blogger system, I think I am remembering why I walked away before . . . I will attempt to figure out why I am having so much trouble.

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