It’s Kismet – A Door Story.

Hi Friends,

The best DIY’s come with a killer backstory, and this one is my favorite story to date. A couple years ago when we first started house hunting, we came across this house that wasn’t actually for sale. It was a rental listing, but times were crazy so we asked if maybe they would want to sell instead of rent. The answer was “yeah, maybe”, so we toured it, ended up putting an offer in on it, but obviously it didn’t work out. The house itself was so cute though. It was a 70’s built Spanish style 2-story. I remember it had gorgeous original brass light fixtures, the sweetest entry way tile and the most beautiful front door.

It just so happens I drive by this house quite often on my way home from work. One day, I noticed (not in a creepy neighbor way of course) that the new homeowners replaced the front door with a shiny new one. They had the old door just propped up against the house, and there it remained, day after day. I was secretly hoping it would end up on the curb, but it never did. By the end of the week, I talked myself into ringing the doorbell and asking about the door. I figured the worst that could happen was they say “no, crazy lady, you can’t take our door”. As it turns out, they were just as eager to be rid of this door as I was to take it home. In fact, they tried to send me home with more doors than I came for. After some finagling, I managed to wedge the one door into my small SUV and got it home.

By some miracle, the door was the same handing and same size as our current front door. I immediately hatched a plan to fix her up and swap out the doors. I started by testing the door for lead paint. The door was painted red, not well, and since red means lead you can imagine about how well that went. I gently and very cautiously stripped the door of all existing paint. I’ve never stripped paint before – it’s a little fun and a little frustrating. It’s fun when the paint comes off in giant chunks, and frustrating when you realize you have to scrub the tiny leftover pieces off for hours. Eventually, I got it down to bare door, gave it a good rinse and let it dry.

Apparently I didn’t let it dry enough, because after applying a primer coat at night I came back in the morning to watery streaks running down the front. Let’s try that whole drying thing again, but with heaters this time. Second time was the charm. I sanded down the streaks and touched up the primer and we were back in business.

I chose to paint the door in black. We had a black front door at our last house and I missed having that classic black pop on our house front. Two coats of Behr semi-gloss in black and it was ready to hang!

I’d like to tell you the hardest part was over, but the hinges took some reworking to get the door hung. I had to modify the door jamb a bit and chisel out some new hinge indents, oh – and sand down a corner of the door. Was it worth it? 110%!

Look how cute she is! It’s so cool to me that even though we didn’t move to that other house, that house’s door gets to come live at my house. It’s like a little piece of another house I loved, that I get to keep and use to make my new house a home!

Thanks for reading,

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