Monday, June 14, 2010

Can we get a little privacy, please?

Thank you all for the kind comments about my last post.   They were each very encouraging and sweet and I really appreciate them!

We finally finished a pretty simple project that we started two or three months ago.

Jeff and I originally thought we'd go the traditional route and use normal doors in the house, but we ran out of time to install them before we moved in.  Since moving in however, we no longer feel rushed to make decisions about the unfinished parts of the house so we decided to do things we really love and we really love old doors on tracks. (I nearly fainted the first time I saw ALVN's door!)  Naturally this lead us to abandon the traditional door and hunt down an old one for the bedroom.
After a few unsuccessful attempt to get Jeff to go flea marketing with me, I kidnapped my sister for a few hours until and made her chauffeur me around instead.  I'm so glad I did, because she took me to a new flea market I didn't know about where we found this beauty...

It was perfect.  I wasn't necessarily looking for a door with a window in it but because of the window, I couldn't pass it up.  It was love at first site.

Jeff hung the barn door track (purchased from Lowe's) and the door right away because he's a go getter.  Me, on the other hand, I like to take my sweet time getting anything done and waited a good two and a half months to paint it. 

Actually, "running to the store" to pick up a quart of paint with five children in tow is about a three hour task and not having an abundance of spare three hour time slots, I quickly forgot about the paint and got used to having an unpainted bedroom door with a huge window and no glass.  Who really needs privacy anyway?

Then I read that Kim at Twice Remembered is painting a door in her house and she shared some beautiful examples of what she likes which reminded me that I have a door I need to finish too.  Thanks Kim, you were just the motivation I needed.

The technique I used is also how I finished the top of my coffee table but with a lot more layers of watery paint.  The Flea Market Style magazine I got from my friend Lisa had a beautiful example of this type of paint technique in it too.

I love the blue cabinet on the right which actually has fresh paint on it, believe it or not.  It looks like it was painted years and years ago.

So here's my attempt at a lighter colored version of what they did.

First, pick your color in latex paint.  I chose Jade Island from Valspar.  Then mix a little of the paint with water in equal amounts...half paint, half water.  Then paint on layer upon layer, wiping up the drips and puddles as you go.  You'll want to let the layers dry between coats so that the color can build up.

First layer

Second layer.

It's a little bit time consuming, but the goal is to have a paint that's a little bit transparent so you can see each layer which you can't do by painting with undiluted paint.

After about four or five layers of Jade Island, I used two more darker shades of blue plus a little white here and there (each color getting its own layer.)  Those last three colors I diluted with even more water so that there was very little paint in the mixture.  I wanted those colors to be very subtle, almost invisible.  Then I knocked off a little paint on a few edges; the holes, scratches and rusty nails were already there.

For the window, we used plexi glass which Jeff sanded on both sides to an almost opaque finish.  He likes the idea of a little privacy.

So there it is...finally.  I still feel the urge to tweak it a little but I'm sure the urge will pass if I keep putting it off long enough.



  1. Okay... this is exactly what I am wanting to do in my house. I do not know which room yet, but I recently picked an old door {from my neighbor's junk pile} that looks very similar to yours.. glass window and all.

    Hopefully it looks half as gorgeous as yours when we finally find it a home!

    Have a great week!

  2. Wow! It's great! and I love the color! You really do great work!

  3. That is amazing! I have door envy now. You did a great job.

  4. It looks great! It has so much character. I love it! I have openings between my kitchen and dining room that I have thought about closing off with barn hung doors. Normal doors would be in the way. Now I may try it! Thanks. Lisa~

  5. The shade is just perfect. Love it Celeste.

  6. Awesome door and color! I might have to try one of those doors somewhere in the house. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who procrastinates when it comes to projects....too much work with kids! Enjoy your privacy :)

  7. So beautiful Celeste! I have that magazine and love it!
    Your project turned out so beautiful. Love the color too!
    Have a wonderful week,
    Li :-)

  8. Your paint job looks fantastic. I love the layered look and the colour looks great! xx

  9. I love it, it looks fabulous. Great color.

  10. I LOVE it!! I was wishin' that y'all lived closer-like in my county-that way y'all can "help"{hee, hee} build us a little house. Oh well...I will live vicariously.

  11. Celeste - just discovered your blog and are just loving my time here! What a breathtaking job you did on that door! I never would'ave thought of doing that type of paint technique on it. Just perfectly vintaged! Count me in as one of your followers! --- and looking forward to more of your posts and ideas!

    xoxo laurie@heavenswalk

  12. Hello~~~~I just found you this morning, and I'm lovin' your blog! That door is fantastic!! You and hubby did a great job of pulling it all together.

  13. Doors and windows are truly important in the aesthetic design of a house. We have no problem with our doors. The problem that we dealt with happened yesterday. When I was cleaning our living room windows, I found out that there are cracks on the side and I had a hard time closing them securely. We have 3 kids and safety is my number one concern. As luck would have it, Macy, my neighbor suggested I contact the local contractor to check the windows. Bay area residents are fortunate to have reliable home contractors to provide them with repair and construction solutions. They came this morning to install the replacement windows. San Francisco is my husband's hometown and I think that we made the right decision living here. I can say that we have a very friendly neighborhood. By the way, I love the over-all look of your door. Great job guys!

  14. Hi Celeste,
    Well, that was worth thinking about and waiting for. I can't believe how gorgeous that door is. I would never have known to dilute the paint and keep adding layers like that. Brilliant. Love the color choice and how clever of you to use the plexiglass like that too! How nice to have a husband with the same taste that jumps right in to get projects done.

  15. Holy moly you amaze me! I am totally in love with that AND I've actually never seen doors like that.

    Can you come decorate my room now?

  16. i've seen these tracks at race brothers, but not lowes....very cool!!

  17. Holy cow- you and your husband are rock stars! I'm new to your blog, so I read back a few posts to kinda catch up. You and your family are an inspiration. Looking forward to new posts, when you get a chance!

  18. I just came across your blog. I love it. I love that you show the behind the scene, real life pictures! We have been remodeling our house while we live in it and can so relate to so much that you have posted. I have got some great ideas from you too. Thanks! I'm looking forward to more posts from you.

  19. Just checking up on you..... :)

  20. Hi! I just found your blog through 'Life Under the Moon' and you have a beautiful blog! I am in love with that door! I always wanted the big barn doors but they are a tad pricey! :) I love your idea and the color is my favorite!! And that fact that they are at Lowe's, bonus!!! Can't wait to see more of your blog!

  21. I just discoved your blog and love it. Would love for you to visit My Dream Canvas. I am hosting a jewelry giveaway so do drop by!

  22. THIS IS WONDERFUL! And just what I needed to read as I'm wanting to do something to our armoire for our TV...I'll be using this'll take forever I have a feeling but it'll be worth it. I just love seeing your progress...we hope to come see you all sometime and see this wonderful home you all have built for yourselves!

  23. Oh my, this is just beautiful! You did an excellent job - it's aged to perfection! Wow!

    Thanks for the shout out...that was so sweet! Hope you are doing well!

  24. Wow... this sis perfection! This is my first time here and I am so impressed!

    Btw, since you like cottages, today I've posted about a RESTORED SPANISH COTTAGE. If you have some time, please go take a look and let me know what you think.


    Luciane at

  25. I just love how that door turned out. It is beautiful! You inspired me, so I am right now working on my night stand and so far it looks great.