The double doors from the outside

April 21, 2015

Sooooo, I may have mentioned one or 100 times how much I love our new “French” doors in the family room/kitchen. They aren’t really true French doors because only one opens. 

Originally I wanted two operational doors but after some research we went with the one fixed, one opening version. I heard the double door versions have more structural issues (after time) and they are also more expensive. 

Plus, in my head we would have these gorgeous days with both doors wide open, but in read life all four animals would be gone forever and our house would be full of wasps. SO.

We LOVE the look of them from the inside, that’s been established:

French doors with transom

But I have been so excited about the outside too. :) I have a series of changes I plan to make out here and the first one was the easiest. This is how this area has looked all winter:

French doors with transom

I always say I’ll clean up everything before it gets cold and then it gets cold and I don’t do it. These planters stay out all year round and have held up fine, other than some fading from the sun:

spray painting outdoor planters

I got these years ago at Garden Ridge (I think)? I wanted to clean them up and make them pop again, so spray paint to the rescue, duh!

They are plastic so I grabbed this spray paint that works on all surfaces:

spray paint for plastic

I find most spray paints work on all surfaces, really. But some do call for a primer on plastic, so look for that.

I didn’t do much prep – just wiped them down a bit and then sprayed:

spray painting plastic pots

HUGE difference right?

I’ve been dying to start planting this spring and haven’t had time because of the indoor projects. It was nice to finally pick out some flowers!

Here’s one of my favorite tips when planting – to avoid using tons of soil and to keep our planters from getting too heavy, I fill them with the plastic containers from the plants first:

filling planters

It fills up the space that would be full of heavy soil and still gives the roots room to move around. Also, you can smush them down easily to make everything fit just so. I’ve done this for years and it always works great!

After about ten minutes of spray painting and ten minutes of planting this spot looks so much better already!

double doors with transom

Ignore the deck that needs restained and the peeling paint on the trim and all the other stuff, OK? Focus on the flowers. :)

I had a light installed when we had the doors put in and I wish I would have had them do one on each side. Our old door just had one and I thought I wouldn’t mind it, but I do. It won’t be hard to add another one someday I guess.

I tend to go with reds and purples on the deck and patio – I just love how the look together. For containers the saying goes “thriller, filler, spiller” -- I went with tall grass in the middle (it has some purple tones in it) for the thriller, geraniums for the filler and petunias for the spiller:

thriller filler spiller

In a few weeks the petunias will trail out of the planters a bit more. :)

I have used spray paint numerous times outside and everything holds up great – don’t be afraid to try it!

I’m on the lookout for a longer outdoor rug but it has to be really thin so the door clears it:

white outswing French doors

I have more plans in mind for this spot that I’m excited about! They are on a very, very long list of items that we need to take care of outside this spring. It’s so wonderful to have these outdoor spaces but they are a lot of work!

Here’s a before and after cause they always remind me that I got something done:

before and after spray paint

Occasionally I open the one door for a few minutes but I have to watch the cats like a hawk. Or a hawk will really get them. No kidding.

I’m looking forward to our first warm season with the new door!:

out swing french doors

A few of you have asked about it over the past few months – I went with an out swing so it didn’t take up room inside the house. 

So far it has worked out great – even in rain and snow. We don’t have any kind of overhang so in the winter we had to shovel there occasionally but that was no different than our old door.

These come with special exterior hinges for security, so no worries there either. I do like the added support in the middle too – they are nice and secure have held up great so far.

So have I convinced you to try spray paint somewhere? I hope? It’s so easy to refresh pretty much anything, even outside! It’s a gorgeous day so I’ll be outside cleaning out the beds. :)

**I shared some of my other outdoor spray paint projects and some quick tips here!

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  1. We're getting new french doors installed THIS WEEK (in our dining area and bedroom) and I can't wait! We went with outswing doors too, but both of ours open - our guys didn't really give us a choice on that. I seriously can't wait to see the transformation!!!!!

  2. Do you take them in or cover them on cold nights? Just wondering, I've been afraid to plant anything that isn't cold-hardy. I'm in Columbus, OH so I assume our weather is similar.

  3. I just planted some flowers in the pots on our deck. It's amazing what a difference a few flowers make! I'm wishing I had taken the time to spray paint the pots. We inherited them when we bought the house last fall and the previous owner did a half-way job of spray painting them before. On one pot I think they actually ran out of paint about 2/3 of the way through and just left it. So that is on my list, but hasn't been done yet. I have started spray painting the old register covers in the house though. It spruces them up nicely!

  4. So jealous you are able to plant anything. It is 30 degrees and snowing on and off today here in western WI. So disgusted with the weather here these last handful of years. Spring doesn't come til at least May now. Summer is basically gone because spring is now well into June. It doesn't warm up until August, then cold by October again.

    I spray painted the kick plate on the bottom of my storm door awhile back. It was brass. We switched out the pitted brass handle to ORB, and I spray painted the kick plate to match. :)

  5. Fresh flowers make such a huge impact. I love when Spring comes around and everything turns green and starts to blossom. Speaking of spray paint...I'm in the middle of spray painting my wicker patio set. UGH!! What a pain. It uses so much paint. Wish I knew of an alternative way to paint them.

  6. I cheated this year with planting flowers. My flower boxes under the windows on the front of the house usually have real plants or real ferns in them but the Southern heat kills them. So instead of real flowers I went with some really nice fake fern bushes and put them in the planter boxes. Looks great and you can't even tell they are fake!!!

  7. I've been on a spray-painting spree: one small metal/glass table and four planters all in bright blue. They're on the front porch and so cheerful with plants. Then, four large beige planters were sprayed a bright turquoise and patio tomato plants are already blooming,

    I've seen a lot of bright planters in the stores this year, but I opted for a few cans of spray paint instead of buying everything new. So, no pot is safe from me this spring!

    Last month, Ace Hardware was having a $.99 sample sale and I bought a bunch of bright colors. My aim is to design a carpet pattern to paint on the covered back patio. But first, I'll paint the ceiling blue. The one wall is painted a bright gold, but I might change it up this year. Funny, I haven't painted a room in my house, but the back patio wall has been painted at least 3 times. Along with bright paint, adding a ceiling fan has helped change this stuffy back porch into a nice place to enjoy the morning and evening.

  8. I love the new doors - the row of windows over the top, adds so much character to them. We are in need of new patio doors - but unfortunately we won't have room to add something like this. :) I saw planters like yours that someone had spray painted bright (brighter than fire hydrant red) red - what a pop of colour against their boring beige house. :) I wish I had known about the plastic containers in the bottom trick - might have made mine last longer - they cracked along the bottom - probably from being too heavy!. I'm envious of the pops of flowers... we got more snow here this week.... but that's a typical Canadian spring!

  9. Welcome sweet spray painting season and ( Spring too, of course) I'm encouraged about spray painting my clay pots, was wondering if I could do that. Been super busy spray painting a shower head, diverter and drain cover. Found a multi step method of scuffing up with a palm sander, priming, oil rubbed bronze paint and clear coat. I have high hopes that it won't peel. I use packing shells in the bottoms of my big planters so they don't weigh a ton.

  10. They look just as gorgeous from the outside as they do from inside. I love the urns too. Great job on sprucing them up.

  11. Love the doors, but about about fainted when you showed the outside. My house looks the exact same, siding and all. We need new doors as we put on a new deck last summer. I've got lots to paint also. Thanks for sharing, now it's got me planning!

  12. french doors are my weakness! those look gorgeous.

    xo, allie

  13. Your french doors are stunning!!!
    Great way to spruce up those planters…I never get around to getting rid of the dead plants in the fall either.
    No planting here for a while, we got snow today…all day

  14. EZPZ self watering reservoir.... use a 1 or 2 gallon plasic paint bucket with a lid. Whichever one fits into your planter best and leaves you about 6-8 inches of height inside after the bucket is in place. You will need 1 1/4" PVC pipe 1" shorter than the interior depth of your planter. Cut a round hole in the bucket lid to accomodate the pipe. cut 3- 4 X's in the lid also. Place the lid on the bucket. shove the pipe in the hole. Shove a 2' long piece of cotton clothes line through the slashed X's and allow the rope to settle in the bottom of the bucket. It MUST be cotton rope as cotton is a wicking agent. Nylon and propolene WILL NOT WORK. Now place your bucket in your planter. Hopefully the bucket sits 6-8 inches below the rim. The pipe should be about 1" above the soil and 1 " below the rim. Fill the space around your bucket with those pesky styrofoam peanuts (not the potato based ones, they will melt) . Take a piece of landscape fabric 2-4" wider than your container, Cut 3-4 X's in the fabric and pull the rope through. Lay the fabric flat and wrap up the insde of your contaner. Add soil and swirl the ropes aound in the bottom 2" of soil. Plant up the container. Water as usual but also fill the reservoir with the fill pipe above the soil line. Your plants will stay well watered for at least 2 weeks. I had clients who only tended thier pots every 5 weeks as with regular rains the pots never dried out and only occasionally need filling. You can use a stick to check the water level in the reservoir. Hope you like this. It really works. Hal Happersett

  15. I have to echo Michelle's comments. I also am in Western Wisconsin (La Crosse) and can't wait to start planting. If we are lucky, we can get flowers Mother's Day weekend. As always, love what you do with your home, indoors and outdoors!

  16. Take a look at Mad Matters Rugs. They are slim line, do not fade & come in multiple patterns & sizes. I love ours. I do not represent them or get any incentive to recommend them!

  17. Sarah, I love the French doors with transom. It's pinned for when I get to build my dream dining area on to our house. ;) are there French doors that you can do screen doors with ? Living in s.e Michigan =Mosquitos and having a kitten would make one necessary. Curious as I haven't even begun to research them so thought I'd ask. So wish I could plant flowers but we currently have snow flurries :(

    1. Renee it sounds like there is! Tammi commented below that she has one that slides over -- I didn't know you could do that! I think that would be a great option. :)

  18. I'm so jealous of the transom over your door. We have the same, but our door swings in and there is a sliding screen on a track so the doggage doesn't jump right outside and get stolen by a coyote or a hawk.

  19. I LOVE the tip on using containers in the bottom of your pots so you don't have to use so much soil!! That is always my hesitation in doing planters... the crazy amount of dirt it takes! Genius, thanks! ;)

  20. I had never spray painted anything before I started following your blog a few years back. Now I spray almost everything, planters, chandelier,chairs...if it can be moved outdoors, it can and probably has been spraypainted! :)

  21. Baby gate for the cats?

  22. Just curious why the doors swing out instead of in? It just seems odd, but maybe I am missing something?


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