Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Making Your Own Frame Doors

This is not a DIY blog.

Not because I don’t do a lot of DIY projects; I’ve actually remodeled a lot of our house in the last three years. But I usually don’t write about these things because I tend to do them in a circular fashion…I start a project, get bored with it, move on to another project, get bored with that, go back to the original project and so on.

Thus making it a little hard to document.

The other thing that makes it hard to document is the fact that a lot of my DIY projects are interrupted by scenes like this one:

However, not to toot my own horn, but I’m too excited about my latest remodeling venture to keep it to myself. 

It all began when I started to paint the upstairs hall. I painted the walls, started to paint the trim, then decided I really, really hated all of our upstairs doors. They're not awful, they're just these boring, typical wooden doors.

I began looking for nice, painted frame doors—and WOW are they more expensive than I thought. The one I really liked was $315!!! And that doesn’t even include the $125 installation fee—which is PER DOOR.

We have 5 doors upstairs…which means I’d have to spend over $2,200 just to get some aesthetically pleasing doors!

Which I thought was a little pricey, and Opie...well, If you know Opie at all, you know he is very frugal. This is not a complaint--his money management is the reason I can work part time and the reason I've been able to jump between about 18 different jobs since moving here. But it's also the reason I was pretty sure spending over $2000 to replace perfectly functional doors would be enough to make his head pop off.

Seriously, it might actually have killed him.

Which didn't stop me from obsessing over the doors, hating the doors, and imagining ways to change the doors. So I finally decided to create my own faux frame doors.

I bought these wainscot frames at Lowes:

And began figuring out how to place them on the doors.

"Aren't you going to measure so you know they’re even?” Opie asked as I held the frames against the surface.

"It hurts that you know so little about me." I said. "Of course I'm not going to measure it. I'm just going to, you know, eyeball it."

"No!" He said, genuinely horrified. "You need to find the mid point of the door and match that with the midpoint of the frame ." And then he started talking about using a level and using terms like "equidistant" and "perpendicular" and I started to get a headache.

When I told him that this would be impossible because our tape measure tells lies, he decided he should hang the frames for me.

And then began the battle of the wills. Opie was more than willing to hang the frames. 
However, he is under the delusion that it would be better to finish one entire project before taking on another.  So he suggested that I finish the trim AND put the finishing touches on the guestroom (that I started redoing about 2 months ago) first.

“I can’t do that,” I said. “I can’t think about anything except the doors. They’re driving me crazy.”

Then he seemed to think that if he just waited long enough, I would get tired of waiting and finish one of the other projects first.

Again, it’s like he doesn’t know me at all.

Finally, I had to pull out the big guns.

I waited until a Friday evening and announced “If you don’t put the frames on the door this weekend, I’m just going to do it myself on Monday.”

“You know they won’t be even if you do it,” he countered.

“Yes,” I agreed. “But that also won’t bother me nearly as much as it bothers you.”

He held out until late Sunday then, muttering under his breath, got them on the door and I put primer on both:

Then I painted them to match the trim:

Then I spent most of one afternoon cleaning paint off the cat's paws, the floor, and a portion of one wall (when up on the ladder and thus slightly vulnerable, it is important to make sure the lid is on the paint can and/or the cat is confined...apparently few things are more entertaining than seeing how far you can get the paint to splash).

Then I put new handles on and voila!

     BEFORE                                                                                 And AFTER!


5 new frame doors--for less than it would cost to replace 1!

Now maybe I can get that last coat of paint on the guestroom closet…..


  1. Holy moly your a genius! I would never in a million years thought to do that. I love it. Btw, regarding your last two blog posts. Again, we must be sisters. I too have no veins. I give them 2 pokes. Technically, they're allowed 1. If they cant do it in two, they must find someone else. Hope your feeling better.

    1. Doing much better, thanks! But I need to institute the 2 poke rule from now on.

  2. Those are beautiful and just the idea that I needed for all of my doors. I'm off to see if I can match the trim on my front door and put it on the 4 doors down the hallway. Who would have thought?

    1. Just be sure to prime first--I made that mistake with one of them and it takes much longer to cover the original color. But let me know how they turn out!

  3. Kimberly & Dear Son, Love the trim work on the door, I hope Prince doesn't try to open them anymore by running and jumping against them hoping they will pop open!

    1. He still does that--and the guest room is popping open again. Opie said he'll have to fix the door jamb thing again.