Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Bringing the internal doors into the 21st Century

So I have been struggling with the internal upstairs doors for a while.  Struggling in the fact that I hate them! Just look at them:

Urgh! So dark, and the brass handles had seen much better days.  In fact the bathroom lock didn't even work.
The trouble is, the style of the doors themselves aren't actually horrendous - it's just the colour I can;t get on board with.  So, I decided to paint them.

I tried to sand one of the doors, using my little mouse sander, but even with a very coarse grit sandpaper, it didn't seem to take off whatever was on the doors.  I'm not sure if it was varnish or lacquer or what... who knows.

This was when I came across Zinsser BIN primer.  A bit pricey at £40 for a 2.5L tin, but here's the magic:
NO PREP REQUIRED! Nope, not even sanding! Yay!!  Apparently it sticks to almost anything. Wow.

I did prep the doors in the fact that I used some wood filler to fill in any knocks in the doors, and I sanded this down once dry so it was smooth.  I also cleaned the doors as they were a bit grubby.

The primer was a really weird paint to use.  It was like water and just fell off the paintbrush and dripped everywhere between the tin and the door.  However, once it made it on the door, it was so thick and hard to spread. Weird.  I decided to do two coats, although I'm not sure it needed it.  It only took 15 mins to be touch dry and 45 mins to re-coat so no hanging about.

I then did one top coat of brilliant white Johnstone's eggshell:  http://www.johnstonestrade.com/products/product-display/eggshell

The handles were what got this whole project started.  I happen to look on the Wickes website one day to find they were having a mega sale on door handles.  I saw some nice Chrome ones, massively reduced to just £3 each, and £5 for the locking bathroom one.  That would be the whole set for five doors for just £17! I also had to buy new chrome latches and hinges which cost more than the handles in the end!

I also had to chisel out a bit of the doors to fit the new latches in as they were ever so slightly different in size (change from imperial to metric I think).  Turns out I'm pretty handy with a chisel.

The screws that came with the handles were absolute rubbish, and I think it was the second one that I used, the head just sheared off completely leaving half the screw in the door.  Marvellous.  So I ditched those screws and just used my own.  Although I guess when you are only pay £3 for a handle, what do you expect?

It's amazing how much brighter they make the hallway.  I'm regretting polished chrome handles a bit as I can see the finger prints on them very easily, especially the bathroom door handle which obviously gets a lot of use.

There was also the incident where the bathroom door got stuck - the latch (not the lock) jammed in the door and wouldn't open. Luckily no one was stuck inside, but I did really need a wee! #firstworldproblems
We had to use hubbies European health card in the end to slot down the edge and push it back in, but it wasn't easy due to the architrave.  I would like to say no European health cards got hurt in the opening of the door, but I would be lying if I did.

It was a normal bathroom latch/lock set up from Wickes, but I got a bit nervous after the incident (just imagine if you were the only one in the house and you got trapped in - eek!), that I went and bought a Yale one to replace it.  There is something about the brand Yale that I inherently trust - I don't know why - good marketing obviously!

Anyway, what so you think?

With some wood filler in a blemish on the wood

Lined up for painting in my workshop *carport**cough*

Left to right: Original, Two coats primer, One coat primer

With top coat - looking better!  I had to bring the doors inside as it was so cold and humid outside I didn't think the paint would dry, at least not in a reasonable time frame that would allow me to get the bathroom door back on before the in-laws came for the weekend!
It's hard to take a photo in such a confined space but you get the idea.  I'm also now aware that the architrave now looks naff and a slightly different white to the doors.  That will need to be done soon.  It never ends!
We have also done a scheme of upgrading to the window handles.  Brass, again(!), was the theme throughout the house, and some of the locks were past serviceable.

On first impressions I thought we would need new windows, or at least a professional in to have a look.  Who knew it would be so easy!  YouTube, where would I be without you?!

This is an example of one of the window handles before:

It really is just a few screws and the job is done! I genuinely think it looks like we have had new windows from the inside.  It makes a huge difference to the look of all the rooms.  We also had to change one of the locking mechanisms.  This is ok for ground floor windows as access is easy - luckily for us, the knackered lock was in the room with the flat roof outside so we could climb out onto that to get access.  The trickiest bit was ordering the right lock - two attempts later and I got there in the end!  But once I had the right one, again it was just a few simple screws.

Doesn't that look better?

Post transformation

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