It’s been a couple of months since I’ve done an update on my kitchen progress. The reason is, I was emotionally crippled by painting a door. It went so wrong I couldn’t even talk about it. But I’m ready now. I’ve recovered from the horror. (I wish I could tell you I’ve learned from my mistakes but the truth is, I have no idea what went wrong so I don’t know how to prevent it from happening again.)
A bit of backstory. The original kitchen door lead to the laundry at the back of our house. When we extended our house I hated having a big door blocking the flow from the kitchen to the new family room, but Em liked being able to close off the front of the house so the door stayed. And I continued to loathe that door.
At some point I realized that if we replaced the door with a glass door we could still use it to separate the areas, without having the visual block of a solid door. (Actually it might have been Em who had that great idea but I’m going to claim it as my own.) If I had all the money in the world, I’d buy a nice French door for the kitchen. With minimal funds, I did the only thing I could – I stalked gumtree (the Australian equivalent of craigslist). Then one day the unthinkable happened. Some rich fool was throwing away a French door! The picture online showed it lying on the kerb!! Barbarians!
These were my exact words: “EM!!! MIND THE KIDS! I’M GOING OUT!” I tore the baby booster seats out of my car so frickin fast. I was worried the door would be gone by the time I got there.
(Aw, look how little #1 and #2 were 😊) I remember taking pictures of Em replacing the door because it was such a momentous occasion. The crappy, old, hollow door probably went out on the next verge collection, but in my mind I burnt it to the ground, laughing hysterically.
This is how the door has looked for the past few years. I hadn’t painted it, it was that blue colour when I picked it up from the kerb. I liked the blue door and blue walls for a fair few years but lately I’ve been wanting to change it up and add more contrast.
Usually, I shy away from anything trendy. While it seems every blogger has been painting their doors black for years now, I’m still loving the abundance of white doors in our home. But there’s just something so stunning and classical about a black French door. As I was scrolling through Pinterest I kept coming back to the same look: black french doors and white walls.
My mind was made up – I’d paint the French door black and the kitchen walls white. Even though it’s fiddly due to all the glass panels, I wasn’t intimidated by painting the door. This isn’t my first rodeo. I got this.
I gave the door a good sanding and then taped around each panel. My nifty trick for crisp corners is that I use a putty spatula to rip straight edges on my tape.
The first coat always looks lousy but I could already see that I was going to love the contrast of black against white. It was about this time that Em and I were debating wall colour. She wanted to keep the blue but I didn’t like the blue now that the door was black. I decided to live with it until I’d completely finished the door.
Painting the door with three coats of black water-enamel took me another couple of hours (I was doing it during nap times). After the last coat I gently started to peel off the tape and, to my utter horror, giant strips of paint peeled off the door along with the tape. I tried peeling faster, peeling slower, peeling on an angle, waiting for the paint to dry and then peeling … nothing helped.
I really didn’t know where to go from here. I could tape it all over again and try using primer first (although my water-enamel has primer in it already). Hours of taping then primer then three more coats of black paint wasn’t a welcome thought.
Maybe I hadn’t sanded thoroughly enough? I’d only sanded lightly on the trim around the glass (afraid I’d scratch the glass with the sandpaper) and it was only on the trim that the paint had peeled off. I bit the bullet and sanded all the trim again, right up to the glass, scratching it in the process. Then, without taping, I painted all the trim again. The paint got on the glass but I was giving zero shits by this point.
Scraping the paint off the glass took way less time than the previous taping had done. I was nervous that the paint would peel away from the trim while I was scraping but thankfully that didn’t happen. The paint stayed stuck!
Thank goodness the door is finished and it looks great! I’m loving the colour of the brass door handle against the black (it’s the same handle as before). I painted the walls while Em was at work one day and luckily she likes the result. Em and I both agreed the kitchen looks bigger now that the walls are all white – a happy, unexpected bonus.
So that’s my craptastic paint job story – how not to paint a door. All up it took me two months to finish this door. Two months! If you preferred the door when it was the old blue colour then for goodness’ sake don’t tell me! I truly, madly, deeply love my French door now that it’s black. Was it worth all the trouble? To me, the result was definitely worth it, but I’m in no hurry to paint it ever again!