Wooden French doors can add a unique, elegant appearance to any home. Unfortunately, they can also be quite expensive to buy new. For this reason, you may want to consider finding and restoring an old set of French doors and install them in your home as a way of saving money. The project is a lot easier than you might think and allows you to fully customize your new set of doors before installing them.
Always start by making sure the doors you've chosen to restore are the proper size to fit in your existing doorway.
Strip Any Existing Finish
To get started, you'll need to remove any existing finish from the wood (stain, paint, etc.). Depending on how old the doors are, there may be multiple layers of finish to work through, so be prepared. Use a quality paint stripper and putty knife to scrape away paint until you reach the original wood, and be sure to work outside to protect yourself from fumes.
Sand Wood Until Smooth
Once you've exposed the original wood of the doors, begin sanding with the grain, working from rougher sandpaper to a smoother grade. Once the wood is nice and smooth, use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess dust and debris.
Seal Off Cracks or Splits
Older doors may have imperfections, such as cracks and gouges. Fill these in using a stainable wood putty and allow to dry completely before moving onto the next step. Try to blend the putty into the crack as seamlessly as possible, using a putty knife to smooth out if necessary.
Apply Paint or Stain
Now comes the fun part; it's time to apply the paint or stain you've selected to the wood doors. Be sure to use painter's tape to protect any glass panes on the French doors themselves, and allow paint to dry completely before moving onto the next coat. Finish with a sealer to prevent future chipping or peeling.
Install New Hardware
Before installing your set of restored French doors, add a little bit of charm and character by installing new hardware of your choice (knobs, locks, hinges, etc.). For a modern look, consider brushed nickel hardware. For a more eclectic look, glass knobs can also be a fun choice. Once you've got your new hardware installed, all that's left to do is to install your new doors on your property!
When looking for French doors or advice on restoration, contact a company such as The Door and Window Store.