While painting Darlene's doors, I began to get interested in replacing my front door.  It was probably the worst looking area in / on the whole house.  It really was in bad shape on the outside, and actually, an eye sore.  The more I thought about it, the more I decided I should do something about it.  Little did I know what that was going to require of my time.  I never realize just how much I am taking on with a new project, and this was no exception.

First of all, much research and study had to be done to decide what I should obtain.  Matters such as:  wood or fiberglass, style, window type (oval, square, full length etc.), where to buy for best price, and then, how to finish.  

I decided on fiberglass, for it holds up better, and that takes a special type of finishing, like a "gel stain" rather than a regular stain.  I had never worked with this product, and believe me, it takes a lot of learning to get it to look right.  I spent much time accomplishing all of this, and driving around to look at doors, and asking about them.  

I finally found one that really caught my interest in a manufacturers book, and then found a dealer for them in Hesperia (60 miles away).  The glass is quite spectacular when you see it in person.  I had at first thought I wanted an oak true wood door with an oval window.  When I saw this one in the book, I changed my mind completely.  The glass is full length, and really opens up the room.  What I really like about it is that I can now see quite clearly who is at the front door.  I have never liked not being able to see who is at the door when the door bell rings.  Now I can.

The man that sold me the door got me a large piece of the fiberglass, which I cut up into pieces for experimenting with the gel stain, and painting.  Without that material I would not have been able to learn how to get it right.

I apologize for the picture quality.  They could have been much better if I had taken the time to figure the lighting out.  That I did not have.  Between the glare coming through the window on the inside, and the reflection on the outside, it would really take some doing to get them right.  I will try to do better when the door has been finished out.  

The pictures below are taken just after the installation.  I still have to finish it, and I will be a week getting that done.  It will require a lot of intricate stuff, including masking off the glass, hinges, etc., and since I have decided to make the inside a different finish than the outside, there will be much more masking required.

There are comments below some of the pictures.  And, be sure to use the bottom slide bar to see all the pictures and comments.


Just a couple of pictures of the door being replaced.  The new door will be painted the same color as this one on the inside. Then, a couple of pictures of how it looked prior to the replacing.  This screen door was in bad shape.  It had to either be repainted, or just taken off and thrown away. It is hard to tell in this picture, but the outside of this door was in miserable shape, and would have taken much work to get it to look right.  Replacing it was the best option
Now for a few pictures of the new door.  The detail in the glass is rather hard to see, but it is really beautiful.  Being painted to match the rest of the woodwork that I have made and installed should really set it off.

It was debated on whether or not to stain the inside as well as the outside.  It was decided that the staining would be out of place on the inside with the rest of the woodwork, and that painting it instead would be far better.

This is a full length picture of the glass.  Because of the glare, the rest of it did not show up.  It is hard to see the detail, but the caming is silver (the metal out lines in the glass), and there are ripples throughout.  It is easy to see out, but much harder to see in. A close up trying to show the ripples. A couple of pictures showing how it looks on the outside.  The reflection makes it hard to see, and certainly blinds people from seeing inside the house.  The door handle is the old one and temporarily installed until the door is finished.  There will be a picture of the new satin nickel handles at the end.  They are really something else.  That also took much time in finding what I wanted in handles.  This will be gel stained in dark walnut. I plan to put in a border of brick on each side of the door, and across the top, rather than casing (molding).


Here are a few more pictures of the glass from the inside, trying to give you a better idea of the detail in the glass.




Well, as usual, I had no idea of what I was getting into with the finishing of the door.  It took over a week of time besides everything else I am always having to do, and I am really still not finished with it.  I still have to install the catch plates in the jam, and that is taking some figuring out for placing them so the door will shut good and tight.  That is why you will see there are still some tools in the pictures.  I should have taken a picture with all of the tools I had laid out to get the door done.  I am always amazed at how many tools I have to use to do some "easy" job.  I did get the black screen door to the dump yesterday, so that is no longer where you will see it on the outside.

Because the door would be a different color on the inside, the amount of taping off was incredible, which added excessively to the time.

Because the door is fiberglass, it required a "gel stain," which I had never worked with before.  It took a lot of time learning how to use it, and to get the right color.  If I had not been given a large extra piece to experiment with, I would never have gotten it right.  I do not know how much time I had in on learning how to use it and coming up with the right color, but it was a lot.

Just to remind you, this is the old door.  It does not look as bad as it was in this picture, but believe me, it was awful. This is the finished door on the outside.  I do plan to run a border of brick up both sides and across the top, which should dress it up. Because the glare is so bad in the picture with the door closed, I decided to open the door, and take it that way.  It does show it more clearly. This is just a close up of the door handle.  It did take some searching to find this one, and I am very pleased with it.  Really dresses up the door.  And, what a project it was to install it.  So many parts, and each one had to go in a certain way for it to work right.  It was not an easy task, believe me.


This is the old door, just to remind you of the difference the new door made to the room. Darlene was right when she said that the inside of the door should be the same color as the rest of the woodwork.  Staining it would have made it look out of place.  It just would not have looked right, especially since there is so much woodwork, all of which does not show up except when you can see the whole room. Just a close up to show the matching door handle to the one on the outside, which goes with the silver caming in the glass.

This is an enlarged picture of the glass.  Pictures do not do it justice, but you can still get the idea of how it looks.  It is the most beautiful door glass I have ever seen, and so glad that I chose it.

Well, that is it for this project.  Now on to finishing the dining room area.




















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