My friends. I have discovered a curse. I named it the Curse of the Back Door. It's real people.
When we got our new (faux) french doors installed last fall I knew I wanted to paint them black. I loved the white too (they were actually just primed) but my heart lies with the lovely contrast of black doors and white trim:
All of the interior doors in our basement and main floor are painted black -- I still have to start the upstairs.
These doors never caused me any problems. I've shared how to paint them here and here. It takes some time (primer and at least two coats of paint) but in general this is a pretty easy DIY project:
Soooo…remember that one time when I went to paint our atrium door black and the entire glass window fell out and we had a gaping hole in our house for a couple days? Yeah. Good times.
I knew better this time then to attempt this the same way. Our doors have the plastic grids over the top so when disaster hit last time I was taking the grid off to spray paint it. Other than breaking the entire door that method worked pretty well. ;) The paint held up on the plastic for years.
Now after looking at our new doors I realized that that old door wasn't properly glued. The glass shouldn't have fallen out -- but I wasn't taking a chance on it happening again.
I cleaned the grids well before I started:
The paint color I use is Graphite by Benjamin Moore and I have it mixed at Sherwin Williams. Since I was hand painting the grids this time I asked what paint was best and they suggested this stuff:
It's supposed to grip well to all surfaces.
At first I was going to do a combo of taping off the grids and sliding paper behind them to paint. I didn't want to tape off all of it and it's easy to get paper behind there.
As I started to do that I remembered a trick I've seen over the years of just painting the grids and then scraping the paint off the glass after the fact. I've actually done that before on smaller projects and it worked quite well:
It always looks so easy right? You just wait for the paint to dry and use a razor and its simple right?
FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD DO NOT DO THIS.
Gah. Arrrgghhhh. Seriously! I cannot express the frustration of this process and the length of this process and the strong desire to kick something during this process.
It was HORRIBLE. There are many factors that may have contributed to this that I'll go into in a minute. But the bottom line is that it sucked.
I used a straight razor edge to scrape it all off:
This photo was taken after the fact, when the crying stopped.
The process took hours and hours and hours. I would scrape it would peel the paint off the grid. Or I would score it first, then scrap, and the paint would go under the grid. Then I'd lift the grid off a bit and have to try to get under there to get it all out. When it did work it was excruciatingly slow -- little bitty strands would come off at a time.
I sat scraping for three hours one night. THREE. HOURS.
And I wasn't even done.
Now. There are a few reasons this may have happened. First of all, this type of grid is just not a good place to use this method. Since it moves around and it's so easy for the paint to get underneath, it creates a ton of work. If you have interior doors with the wood grids that are glued on -- go for it. It will work MUCH better.
It could have been that I did it too soon after I painted -- I waited almost a day to scrape though, and the paint was plenty dry. I tried it the next day and it was just as much of a mess and pain in the butt. You could wait much longer for the paint to cure even more, but this door gets full sun all day and I didn't want to chance it getting baked on there. I thought it could also be because this paint is an enamel -- maybe it's not as easy to scrape? (It was almost like it was plastic or rubbery when it would come off.)
I don't know what it was, but I've decide I'm never painting a back door ever again. EVER AGAIN. I'm not good at it, obviously. ;) Thankfully I don't see us having any more back doors to paint in the near future.
And thankfully, I LOVE how it turned out:
I waited a long time to do these for a few reasons -- one, I was just enjoying them as they were for a while. Also, I was trying to decide if I was going to paint the transom and how I would make that work since those grids are inside the window:
I went back and forth on it for months.
But the other day I had a total DUH moment. I painted our front door black years ago and we have a transom up there too -- and I never even considered painting that one. And I love that one as it is, so I went with that here too:
I asked my husband and he thought it looked better with it white to match all the windows. He's right. And less work for me. :) I do think the transom would look great painted black as well though!
There's still more paint to scrape and touch ups to do, but you know what? I'm leaving it. It's fine. I need a break from the scraping. It almost put me over the edge. There may have been some maniacal laughing by 11 p.m. that night.
But I knew the moment I stepped back and took it all in that it was worth it…I will never tire of the look of black doors:
I think they are classic and also add some interest and character. They also make these pretty doors even more of a statement -- they were beautiful before but they kind of "went away" when you were in the room. And that's OK! I just love how the black makes them pop.
And it ties in beautifully with our pantry door a few feet away:
Oh look! Doritos!
I love the look of black window frames too, but I think that would get a little heavy. It's not possible with our windows anyway (the grids are inside) and you won't find this girl painting a grid of any kind anytime soon. Or ever.
So there you go, the dramatic tale of yet another back door makeover. Have you ever tried to paint these types of doors? Any luck? What method did you use?