Valspar Pinkwash | Sherwin Williams Black Magic
We knew from the first time that we stepped into our Tree House that all the doors and windows would need new trim and a fresh coat of paint. Although that sentence is so easy to think, say and type, in reality, the task is incredibly daunting. So rather than overwhelm ourselves completely with trying to do it all at once, we’ve been approaching this big to-do on a room by room basis.
Throughout most of the home, trim was ripped out on demo day (with the exception of the bathroom and sleeping loft), and the main floor bedrooms were the first to receive all new moldings and paint. I absolutely loathe installing trim (and all the caulking it entails), although Scott has admitted that he loves the monotony of it. Even still, we can both agree that it is immensely satisfying in the end! Most recently, the kitchen and mudroom got the Trim Treatment, and soon afterward, the windows in both spaces were painted black. And now, we finally have a freshly painted front door!
We chose Valspar’s Pinkwash for the inside, because we thought, you can’t not smile when seeing a pink door! The outside was painted in Sherwin William’s Black Magic, the same color that we’ve been painting the windows. Although the exterior still has a long, long, long way to go – and as a result, the black looks a bit out of place – it’s one small step in the right direction. Today, we’d like to share with you how we properly prepped, repaired and painted this old wooden door. When done correctly, it’s easily a day long project, if not longer, but there’s a massive payout for the effort. Let’s dive in! Note: These steps are for a wooden door, which is similar to a steel door, but not exactly. Here’s a post on how we painted our steel front door (that still looks as good as new years later!).
Tools + Supplies Used
We feel so lucky that this old 1930s house has almost all of the original doors and windows (and most of the original hardware, too!). That said, they’ve all seen countless layers of paint and grime, nail holes and everyday wear and tear. Here’s the door and painted-over hardware before we started:
What We Did
We started by filling in all the bigger nail holes, chips and dents with wood putty. You can use a small putty knife, but in this case, we just used our fingers and roughed the putty into the cracks. Our goal is not to go overboard, rather, we focus on the deeper gouges and imperfections. We let the smaller scuffs slip through the cracks, because we honestly think that some of that old charm should always shine through!
Next, we removed all of the hardware – yes, all. The hinges, the handleset and the deadbolt, it all gets taken off. A tip on removing the hinges: We like to remove the hinges from the door first (make sure you have a second person to help you support it), and then we remove it from the door frame.
While the hardware was being removed, I got a fresh pot of water boiling so we could shed all the weight of the paint from those pretty hinges and backplates! Scott took apart the interior handle with the glass knob, so that we were only boiling the backplate. We feared that boiling the glass could make it cloudy, and we didn’t want to risk that. Note: Here’s a post on boiling our hardware, with more helpful links in the comment section!
Before going any further, we did a lead test. Every vintage door we’ve ever picked up from one of our local salvage shops (we love rescuing them for pocket doors around our Chicago home!) has always tested positive for lead, so we were sure the same would be true here. We chipped away a few layers of paint with a fingernail, and then Scott rubbed the swab on a part of the door where we could see several layers at once. Miraculously, the door tested lead-free! Note: Here’s a post on our adventures in dealing with lead paint. Warning, it’s a time commitment and a labor of love!
Lead paint or not, I still wore a safety mask before the next step, which is sanding! After bringing the door outside and laying it on sawhorses, I used an orbital sander with 220 grit paper, although a sanding block would also work (it would just tire those arm muscles!). I sanded over all the areas with wood putty, and I did a quick skim on the large, flat surfaces, simply to rough it up and prep the door for paint. The idea here is to knock down the current sheen and remove the raised putty, not to remove all the paint.
If your door has glass panes, this step is for you! It might also be the most tedious, but it’ll be well worth it in the end – promise. Using a razor blade, I painstakingly scraped off all the sloppy paint from jobs of yore …
… And then I protected my paint job with FrogTape!
We used exterior grade Valspar Reserve in a satin finish, which is a paint and primer in one. The light sanding allowed the paint to adhere nicely, and our door was already a slightly dulled satin finish. But! If your door has a high gloss finish to start with, I’d recommend using an additional primer before the first coat of paint. I always start by brushing around the panels using my favorite 2″ angled brush, and I follow behind with a 4″ roller on the large areas. Note: And if you’re painting a steel door, you’ll have the most success with a primer, no matter what. More on that here!
The interior of our door was painted in Valspar’s Pinkwash, and the exterior of the door received Sherwin Williams Black Magic, which we’ve found to be more of a really, really dark gray. Both sides received two coats of paint, and I allowed each side to dry for an hour before flipping and painting the opposite side. Once both sides were painted, we left the door outside for a few more hours before returning to re-install our cleaned up hardware!
Below, click on the right arrow to see the after, followed by the before! (If you’re reading this post in a blog reader, you may need to click over to view.)
While we had the paint out, we decided to paint the pocket door pink that separates the kitchen from the mudroom, too! Although we would have loved to swap out this door with a panel that was half glass (we thought a big glass pane would look nice frosted), instead, we opted to save in this area. Pretty pink paint and simple black hardware (from Lowe’s) completed the look. Oh, and the new trim helps!
You can see that big electric panel in many of the shots throughout this post, but soon enough, we’ll be hiding it behind a pretty mirror. We’ll also lay down the large outdoor rug, and I picked up a vintage horseshoe for above the pink door, for good luck! We’re inching closer to the mudroom finish line every day. (The exterior of our home on the other hand – oof. Turning a blind eye helps for now!)