Like Magic ! An Old Wood Door is Transformed Into "stained Glass"


I'm sure ,by now you have all seen our wild and crazy Unicorn SPiT posts, featuring the most interesting and unique upcycled transformations out there ! But did you know about the supernatural properties of Unicorn SPiT ?...Like it's mythical namesake, this stuff casts spells on the old, to bring new life...kinda like the Fountain of Youth, or the Evil Queen's Mirror ! ..really....take a look !
A wizard in his own right, my talented husband upcycled an old door with broken out windows ,and some leftover desk parts into a one of a kind halltree ! He used recycled pallet wood to fill in the empty panes. My first thought was to go rustic...isn't that what you see when you look at this cool piece ?...But then it hit me..... let's "replace" the glass !!!
So, I was thinking butterflies..like only butterflies....but a few of them looked more like flowers..so I went with it....I simply began by using my Unicorn SPiT Vibrant colored stains, and my hands ! It's like fingerpainting with watercolors. The colors blend into one another so well ! ....The translucent properties of Unicorn SPiT allows the wood grain to show through....I mean really....we can all blend colors and fingerpaint flower and butterfly shapes !
I really wanted to see if my vision was in fact possible to achieve, so I grabbed a detail brush and Unicorn SPiT's midnight blackness, {a true black stain, by the way}, and began to outline the petals and leaves...ok....yeah, I see it.....we can do this ! ..I also tried my hand at connecting lines to simulate the individual glass pieces that will make up the background. The pattern is very random, just sort of came out of my head.
The more I outlined, the more the design resembled actual stained glass. I did try laying the piece on it's back for a more steady surface, but to no avail....it rocked back and forth too much to keep a steady hand. So, the lines were drawn in upright...not optimal , some of the lines are crooked and the thickness varies, but this is art..anything goes !
More detail is being added....just sort of eyeballing it, blending as I go...stepping back alot ! I tried to keep the colors somewhat even, not too much purple or yellow, or pink in one spot. The bottom panel, smaller than the others, and not likely to be a focal point was done to resemble more of a border effect.
Having finished the lines, simulating leading on an actual window, I used my hands, fingers and antibacterial wipes to blend in more detail on the flowers and butterflies. Smaller areas were filled in with a detail paint brush. I tried to keep the color coats as thin as possible....I didn't want the design to have a PAINTED look. Unicorn SPiT is concentrated and can be used up to 70% diluted. Most of this particular design was done with a dilution of about 50%. . Because Unicorn SPiT is a water based stain, it is easily diluted.
When I was completely happy with the colors, design, and blending, I allowed the Unicorn SPiT to completely dry. I chose to seal the panels with SPAR gloss polyurethane. This pic shows the magic that happens when an oil based sealer like the one mentioned above is applied to Unicorn SPiT. The top panel has it's first coat of polyurethane. I wanted to show the vibrancy of this amazing stain in comparison to the bottom panel, not yet sealed....It's beginning to look more and more like real stained glass...right ?
In order to keep the shine, and the colors alive, I actually applied 5 coats of SPAR polyurethane. Each coat was allowed to completely dry, and a light sanding was done between coats....don't forget to brush off any dust from sanding before applying the next coat of sealer !
The wait time was killing me !! ..I wanted so badly to finish this piece ! Patience paid off, the panels look awesome ! ...I chose a very neutral gray for the paint color, as I really wanted the panels to be the focus.
However, I cannot leave well enough alone, and...I'm a color addict, so....... I dry brushed a little Purple Hill Majesty and Navajo Jewel Unicorn SPiT randomly on the sides, and seat. Lightly sanded to blend the SPiT into the paint, and dry brushed the gray paint over the spots where the colors may have been a little too vibrant. HEY, another really great property of SPiT; can be used over paint, and even mixed into paint to enhance the pigment.
Loved the hardware concept..hated the brushed nickel finish. SO......I used a little Purple Hill Majesty and a lot of Zia Teal {best color to simulate patina, by the way} ...and fixed that ugly brushed nickel..... sealed with SPAR polyurethane, satin finish.
I'm happy with my decision to make the door frame look chippy and shabby, like an old window.....Usually I shy away from shabby anything, but I really think this works ! I painted 3 coats of gray, blending a little color as I worked...after proper drying time, about 2 days, I sanded the entire piece with 220, making sure each surface was smooth. Then sealed with 2 coats of satin finish polyurethane, and finished with 2 coats of satin Varathane. I wanted a contrast from the painted parts and the SPiT panels...that gloss needs to shine !
Here you have it.....super smooth satin halltree, with amazingly magical panels of "stained glass"....It really looks as though light is shining through !

Suggested materials:

  • Unicorn SPiT  (www.unicornspit.com)
  • Old door  (on the curb)
  • Wooden desk parts  (on a different curb)

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