Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Carriage Doors on a Cottage Budget

Everyone knows carriage doors are a hot trend with high-end homes.  But what most people don't realize is standard doors can be upgraded to stable doors in a day, and for less than the cost of a riding lesson.

Carriage doors typically have windows, hinges and handles that resemble stable doors on southern horse plantations.  

The character and curb appeal of carriage doors will set your house apart from others on the street.  And can be achieved for less than $50.  

Home improvement stores, online retailers and eBay all sell lightweight metal handles and hinges, and a quart of black paint can mimic windows.  I ordered mine on eBay and paid about $30 for two sets.  

I have used this trick on two houses now, and neighbors always beg me to convert their doors, too.

Here's what you need to do:
  • Clean your door/s and consider a fresh coat of paint.  
  • Order your carriage door kit and buy a quart of high-gloss, exterior paint in midnight black.
  • Purchase a tube of Liquid Nails and a caulk gun. 
  • You'll also need masking tape, a measuring tape and a small, foam roller with a tray.  
  • Tape the top section of squares across your door/s in a window pane pattern.  See below:

    • If you repainted your entire door before starting, paint overtop of the tape to create a seal.  If not, you'll need to use a clear paint to form the barrier.  This step is necessary to avoid bleeding under the tape.  You'll be disappointed with the final result if you skip this step!
    • Use a small, foam roller to apply the black paint to the top squares.  Paint one coat, let it dry and reapply for best results.   

    Now move on to the hinges and handles and follow these steps:
    • Use your tape to place the hinges and handles.  Make sure you measure and mark the placement.  Once glued, they won't come off!  
    • When you're certain you've got them in the right place, use Liquid Nails to create a permanent bond.  
    • Use more tape to hold them in place until the glue is dry.  

    Want to see the final product?

    Ready to run to the store?  

    I really love the way the addition enhances our house.  I think it actually balances the facade and tones down the bright white door.  

    This trick is so easy and inexpensive and can have a big impact on your home. 

    I hope you're inspired!

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