Monday, August 23, 2010

A weekend at the Louvre(d) - Closet Doors

Do you remember this pretty (ugly) little sneak peek? This is the closet door that had been installed into our basement and painted teal green. Well, almost everything was painted teal green. I will note that this is a nearly impossible colour to paint over.

Originally, the doors were a bi-fold, louvred door. However, the track system was never installed properly, so they were always a major pain to open and close. And did I mention how ugly the green was?

We considered pulling them out altogether and replacing them with something new and simple, but decided it might be worth the effort to try and fix them ourselves and then if the project didn't work out, we could always defer to Home Depot for new ones.

The plan was to re-configure the bi-fold doors so that each one was hung independently and could be opened as regular swing-out closet doors with hinges on the outer edges attached to the door frame.

Step 1 was to remove doors and hardware, sand, prime and paint. It took two coats of primer and two coats of paint to cover the green! I was also cursing the little slats which had so many nooks and crannies to paint.

Step 2 was my hunt at the local Re-Store for knobs and hardware. I ended up purchasing the hinges elsewhere, but did come home with some wooden knobs.

Before - My Re-Store Score

After - Simple but does the job!

Step 3 was to take my newly found knowledge of door hanging from Canada's Worst Handyman and use a hammer and chisel to set the hinges and finally hang the doors in the frame. 

I traced the hinges out on the doors and drilled in the guide holes before scoring the edges and then chiseling out the place to set in the hinge.

You can see here that my handywork on the door frame had good moments and not so good moments.

A bit messy on the door frame

A second try and there is improvement

Here is the final product.

I would say that it looks so much better than before and the total cost was closer to $15 whereas buying new would have cost several times more than that. However, I learned that painting louvred doors by hand is a major chore and really, the correct way to do them is to use a paint sprayer rather than a brush. Also, if they are a dark colour, like mine were, and you want them black, go nuts. If you want them to be white, like I did, be prepared for a lot more work.

Chiseling out the spots for the hinges was also something that I might re-consider. My handywork was not bad, but not professional either. It did not matter as much on a basement closet that was already a mess to begin with, but it was not something I would have done for the first time in my main rooms. Better would have been to have someone show me for the first time and then for me to do a few practice rounds on scrap wood. I could see when I was doing it why the bad handymen on TV were having such a hard time with this task.

DIY Rating: 6

Decent results for excellent cost, 
but very time consuming and more practice would have helped.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, today your blog came up at #2 on a "Do-tique" Google search! (I will modestly refrain from saying what the #1 result was.) Congratulations.


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