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I have had my door painted the same for several years, as shown in the picture above. Several of the neighbors liked the way it looked and then painted their doors the same way, just varying the colors slightly — Yes, it was time for a change.
I started by removing the door and using a tinted primer (at least I thought it was a tinted primer — turns out it was Kilz paint, not primer). I want you to use a primer, and it can be white or tinted a very light brown or beige tone. I also found it to be unnecessary to remove the door. If you have the sidelights, make sure you do the same treatment to them as you do with the door. After realizing it was not necessary to remove the door, we put it back up. This made it much easier to continue to work on the door. I did an additional step each day, lightly sanding to create a grain and allowing the next paint step to completely dry.
Also — I’m about keeping it as easy as possible, so I do not waste time taping off windows, etc. When the job is done, I take a little razor blade and simply scrape off the paint.
After the door and sidelights had been “primed” and allowed to dry overnight, I very lightly hand-sanded with medium-grade standard sand paper. I then wipe the door very well, removing all debris and dust. I rounded up all my brown paints, those used for interior walls, crafts, everything water-based
, and started mixing until I came up with what I considered to be a nice brown tone. Do not overthink this step. It is simply a matter of coming up with a brown paint. If you have to purchase brown paint, just go for a medium-brown tone acrylic paint with a flat finish. (The flat finish allows the additional layers of paint to adhere better.)
With that brown paint, you are now going to start using a dry-brush technique to apply it over the primed and slightly-sanded door. Make sure you apply the paint in the direction that you want to create as a grain. Take a look at my finished door, and you will be able to see that it is VERY important in creating the illusion that you have this grain. I also suggest you use a brush about 2″ wide with a coarseness to it.
Here is my brown paint mixture and the brush which I used.
The next day sand slightly to further enhance a “grain”. Now it is time to throw together your stain. I think it is helpful to grab a piece of stained wood that you really like and compare the color to what you are mixing up. Pictured are the products which I used to mix my stain. During the process of staining the door, I continually added more glaze, finding that the glaze allowed me more time to even out my strokes.
The black acrylic paint was not added at this time. I used the antique brown stains, the brown paints, a bit of the brown used in my work from the previous day, and glaze. I did not m
ix them thoroughly, just enough so that when I swiped my brush through the paint, I was able to grab the various colors and glaze.
This is where all your prep work starts to become visible. Your grains also start to show up quite nicely. The glaze gives your door a beautiful sheen. Are you ready? If your phone rings, do not answer it. You have to work this paint, constantly focusing on grains. Walking away from your work would mean “overlapping” at some point, and that would look like paint, not stain!
The harder you push on your brush, the more grain you will create. Make sure that as you are working with your stain, you have plenty of glaze. Keep the edge wet as you pick up more paint on your brush.
Do your side panels first, then your door.
After doing the door and side panels, I decided that I wanted some darker areas to further define the door, so I added black acrylic paint to my glazed stain mixture and painted around the windows. I then painted the black into the edges of the molding, and dry-brushed the black in a few areas, as well. I think it turned out great! What do you think?
After checking and rechecking to make sure I pleased with the overall effect, I applied a coat of glaze in order to unify all the tones and levels. This will also serve as an additional protective layer for your door, and just look at that beautiful soft sheen!
Now I need to go grab that razor blade and remove any paint that got smeared on the glass!
Jan – this is amazing. I love it! I can’t wait to try this somewhere in my home! Thank you so much for allowing me to ‘show it off’!
Stop by and visit Bobbypins Boardwalk.
I‘m checking every day. She’s mentioned some tutorials involving tree branches and you know that after my nevermore and ghost trees AND my tree branch swags that I’m eager to see what she’s up to!
Update on bathroom: Unreasonable goal. I need another week. Do you know what this is?
It’s not a frog sculpture. It’s a big sticky ball of Frog Tape. I wasted an entire roll today. I hate set backs but I’m over it after a short screaming tantrum and kicking it around a little. 🙂