A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Much Better Now!

Well of course my “impromptu” back door project took longer than I wanted/expected it to, but it looks sooooo much better than before!

I can’t believe it, but I don’t have a decent shot of the interior side of the door. It was splattered with white paint from one of the PO’s paint jobs and while it was never painted or refinished, it was super grimy and needed a good cleaning. I happened to have a refinishing solvent which dissolves the finish and allows you to refinish it with tung oil (or I guess whatever you want to use). I normally wouldn’t buy chemicals like that, but seems we’ve had it for a long, long time so I thought I’d use it instead of disposing of it at the Household Waste center.

I haven’t put the final finish on it, but it lightened up the color a fair amount so that it’s a closer match to the kitchen trim, and I was able to scrape off all the paint dots and sloppy brushstrokes along the edge.

Below is the fully stripped and sanded exterior side of the door, ready for “prime time”.


For this side I decided to paint the door a nice green that would look good with the kitchen wall color while the door was open. I originally thought I’d paint it a pale green, but any lighter paint swatches I looked at really washed out the kitchen wall color — it looked so much better against a darker green. I chose Guacamole from Benjamin Moore (2144-10). It works deliciously well with the wall color, Wasabi (AF-430).


This is the only “before” photo I could find of the exterior, which dates back to 2008.


And how it looks now.


We also ended up buying a new screen door (in a putty/taupe color that matches the garage siding) because the old one was just hideous. It also swung open from right to left instead of toward the brick wall. While the screen door handle is now opposite the exterior door handle, it makes it easier to open and hold the screen door this way as you unlock the door.

The upper screen rolls into the door as you lift the storm window, so it’s super easy to switch it back and forth, and the door itself has a nice, sturdy feel to it and closes quickly but gently. Another one of these “why did I wait so long to change it?!” projects.

Speaking of which, a bathroom update is next, so stay tuned!


  1. Jan on June 17, 2015 at 3:04 am

    Love that green shade. I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers are going with that bright green on their doors and I’m not of fan of that color but your shade is a rich green without being too bright.

    Don’t you love it when you strip an old door and find that it is in much better condition than the paint lead you to believe? And it closes easier without all the many layers of paint on it, too.

    • denise on June 17, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks Jan, it is a really nice, rich color. Really love it! Yes, the door had its dings that we filled but it’s definitely a nice quality door. You’d think it’d close easier but we took off so much paint that I think we may have to adjust the door strike! 🙂

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