Tuesday, June 19, 2012

“Quick” Door Makeover Part 2

So last time, I began my tale of how I got this door:

TARDIS blue door

From this door:

Door before

As I mentioned before, since I had to re-screen the door anyway, I figured now would be a good time to paint. Except that it was 95+ degrees out. Oops!

So I started.  I took off the screen door from the door frame. There were just a few hinges with a few screws apiece and the door was super light. I set it up on some horses in my “spray zone.”

screen door primed

I primed the door with Rustoleum’s Painter’s Touch Spray Primer in Gray, and then topcoated it with Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Spray Paint in Deep Blue.

I also painted the little dog-barrier (but didn’t prime it.) (It’s plastic, but the Painter’s Touch says it sticks to plastic!)

paint + dog guard

The spray paint dries quickly, and even more quickly in the heat! But, I only had one can of spray paint (what was I thinking!?) and between the screen door and the doggy-barrier and putting enough coats on to create an even finish, I definitely needed two cans of paint. So finishing that part of the project got put on hold.

So I began working on the door frame.

door before

It was so hot out, that I was grumpy and didn’t take in progress pictures. But I primed the frame with Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Interior/Exterior Primer and topcoated it with Conco’s Exterior Paint in Semi Gloss Bright White.  I brushed on one coat of primer and about 3 coats (kind of 2.5) of paint. Because the screen door frame was metal, it was sort of a pain to brush on (it was just so smooth! If I wasn’t careful, I’d be taking off paint in one area as I was putting it on in another.) Next time (as in, on the front door), I might consider masking/plasticking everything off and spray painting it.

Oh well, it was done and it looks good. I got it primed and painted over the course of 2 days.

The second day of my “quick” door makeover was when I decided to attack the steel door itself.  When I went to the store to get more spray paint, I also picked up a can of brush on Painter’s Touch in the same Deep Blue.

deep blue brush on

Here’s where the fun really began. So I didn’t prime the steel door. What was I thinking?  I don’t know. That same weekend, I seriously berated my friend Ashley via text message about even considering skipping primer, and yet I skipped the primer. It must have been the heat.  The Painter’s Touch will stick to metal just fine, so I’m sure my finish will be okay, but my painting process would have probably gone much more smoothly if I had rolled a thin coat of primer on first.

So let me start by saying that I did not follow these directions from Young House Love about rolling thin, even coats of paint onto my ultra-smooth steel door. I really should have followed their advice.  But while at the store getting the paint, I forgot to pick up some more 4” foam rollers, and I decided that I really didn’t mind some neat brushstrokes on my door because it would sort of mimic a wood door.

The problem was it was so hot. And the paint was drying as I put it onto the door. And the door was just so smooth and not soaking up the paint or holding on to the paint or anything (like it might have had I primed), so the semi-dry paint would just come off/get all gooey and bumpy when I would touch it with new, wet paint. There was no maintaining a wet edge, I just couldn’t work that fast and the heat was working against me. (The paint can directions totally say that for “proper drying” the paint should be applied at temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees. Not 95.) :)

So my painting was looking like this:


I was wiping off sections of paint that were getting messed up, and I wasn’t touching sections of paint any more. Instead, I would just wait for it all to dry, then paint what was left. It was harrowing.

And I was left with a bumpy, kind of icky finish.

bumpy, icky paint

So before I put the real second coat on, I sanded the first coat down with some 220 grit sandpaper. (And really, I ran out of 220 grit sandpaper, so I got some 100 grit, wore it out on other projects (just sanded things that needed sanding to wear it down), and sanded with that. It was all terrible. Not having the right tools around is never good!)

I watered the paint down a little for the second coat, and learned my lessons about not touching semi-dry paint. So I put the second coat on in about 2 sessions, and it turned out really well. :)

Let’s look at the finished product again, shall we?

TARDIS blue door

Oh, and the re-screening!

This is a relatively easy process. I’m not good enough to write a full tutorial, but I’ll still show you what I did.

I laid the door out on a nice huge table (although I have also done this when the door was still up on its hinges).

screen door

Rolled the screen out across the door, and kind of straightened it out. (It would have been helpful if I would have taped the screen in place at this point. It will have to move, but the tape would have helped keep the screen in place.)

I have been buying pet screen because it’s tougher than regular screening. Grounder can still pull it down, of course, but I holds up better to scratching, etc.

rolling the screen onto the door

Use the convex side of the screen spline tool to push the screen down into the groove. (And use a flat head screwdriver at the corners to push the spline in.)

pushing the screen into the groove

Then use the concave side to push the spline down into the groove.

inserting the spline

This is where my directions get fuzzy. I just worked around, a little bit on each side, to keep the screen taught and straight as I went around. Luckily, it’s easy to keep adjusting your work, undo a bit and redo it, etc. But that’s why I can’t write good directions.

So then, the spline’s all in there, and cut the excess screen off with a sharp utility blade! (In my screen door, there was a little groove that the blade could ride in, so my cut was nice and even, and it didn’t mess up my paint job!)


rescreened door

We re-attached the dog-guard, newly painted to match/blend in, and hooray!

TARDIS blue door

(I also cleaned and repainted the door hardware, but not really well, so I won’t show you a step by step. :) It definitely looks good, and if I don’t point out my mistakes, you won’t see them.) :)

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