Asked on Nov 26, 2014

1950 Doors

by Rose
I hate these doors. I'm not a carpenter. Was wondering if these would look better painted? What can I do with these door knobs? The plating or whatever is coming off. I bought new knobs. The holes in the door don't line up. If I hired a carpender, could he drill new holes or would this not work?
  43 answers
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Nov 26, 2014
    We had the same doors in aprevious house. They made the hallway dark, so we took them off thehinges, cleaned them, sanded them lightly and painted them white. We usedthe same hardware after cleaning all the knobs. We thought, buying newhardware would be too complicated as you find out. You can also adddesigns/stencils to the door or add trim to it. See also some inspiration. Good luck.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Liliana Wells Thank you. It sure made a difference in this door.
  • The Chirping Frog The Chirping Frog on Nov 26, 2014
    You could add some trimwork to jazz them up......
    • Rose Rose on Nov 26, 2014
      I have thought about that. Im not sure I'd like it. Was wondering if others would like that look.
  • Carole Carole on Nov 26, 2014
    If the new knobs don't fit the holes, I would return them to where you bought them. Remove one of the existing knobs and take it with you to size up for buying new. Once the doors are painted it won't matter if the knobs are the same type as you already have as they will look better as they are new and won't be all tarnished. I would paint white and try to go with a silver colour door knob rather than that gold/brassy colour. If you are adding trim to your doors, be careful if the doors are very lightweight and hollow. You don't want to wreck the doors bashing nails in. A strong glue might be better to hold on any wooden battens or trim that you might want to add to give the door some character. Ask in your hardware store as I don't know what brands they sell where you are.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Carole Great ideas. Check out the rest of the posts. I'm going to paint the doors white. One post had a yellow door with white door knobs. Think I will paint or have the knobs and hardware painted white also.
  • Cathy Kurpil Cathy Kurpil on Nov 26, 2014
    spray paint the old hardware, return the new. Remove doors clean and paint white.
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    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Z Later there is a post of a yellow door with white knobs. Thinking I'll paint doors and knobs/hardware white. It's only paint right?
  • Z Z on Nov 26, 2014
    @rose, do you just hate that they are flat or are you not liking the wood itself? As for the hardware, I'm with @Cathy, and would remove them to spray paint them. To protect them I'd advise using a few coats of spray on polyurethane too.
    • Rose Rose on Nov 27, 2014
      @Z I hate everything about them. They have no style. I thinking maybe it is also that there are so many doors in such a short hallway. Usually all the doors are open to make the space seem a little bigger. The hardware and doors are 60 years old and aren't in the best shape.
    • Rose Rose on Nov 27, 2014
      @The Chirping Frog WOW maybe a combo of all these ideas would be what would work great. A paintable wallpaper with trim around the outside. Paint it all white and spray all the hardware. I have 6 of these doors in a very short hallway. I have a doorway also that goes to the living room. It is the only natural light. Maybe I will just start with painting one door and its hardware at a time. Then I can better tell about the trim and wallpaper.
    • Rose Rose on Nov 27, 2014
      @AvonelleRed Thanks, that does look better than I thought it would.
  • Heather Heather on Nov 26, 2014
    I have the same doors and I thought about taking them off and retrofitting antique doors...not sure if I could find a match with the sizes though. Just a thought...
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Heather not sure I could find that many doors that match and they are 3 different sizes. I have a local place were I can check.
  • Dusty Dusty on Nov 27, 2014
    That was our solution. Doors were found curbside or at our town landfill (they put aside useful things). We collected and installed them over a period of a couple of years and returned our 1920's era interior to a more authentic look. It's a shame to waste those old doors - they're so well crafted.
    • Heather Heather on Nov 30, 2014
      @Dusty It's encouraging that someone else was able to accomplish what I was thinking! Thanks for sharing!
  • Dianne Methner Dianne Methner on Nov 27, 2014
    Sand varnish off, purchase small trim molding, measure and cut each corner at a 45 degree cut. Nail onto doors in the shape of small rectangles going in from the sides about 4". Make three or four of your rectangle boxes then prime door and paint. This would look nice stained. This gives your doors the illusion of having more depth. Hope this helps and good luck. P.S. if you bring all your measurements to your local big box store, they will cut it for you. You will only need two measurements for this project. :)
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    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Dianne Methner Thanks for the ideas and encouragement. I will get a low nap roller to use. I saw a tip that suggested using a lint roller on the paint roller before using it for the first time. I'll see if that works too.
  • Trudy Bledsoe Trudy Bledsoe on Nov 27, 2014
    My son just bought a house built in 1951. He replaced all the doorknobs & hinges. The doors had little holes for the doorknobs. So he ordered from Lowes a guide you clip on the door and drill out the bigger hole. Worked like a charm. I'm sorry I don't know exactly what it is called, but I'm sure a hardware store would know. He had brass type hardware & replaced it with brushed nickel.
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    • Trudy Bledsoe Trudy Bledsoe on Nov 27, 2014
      @Rose Yes! It was a time & life saver for him. He had them all done in one afternoon or less! @Trudy Bledsoe
  • JBug JBug on Nov 27, 2014
    Wow...this hits home. Our whole house has these types of doors/finish. I'm going to paint my bathroom in the next month and I have decided to, at least paint the one side, of the door that goes out into the hallway and paint the "closet door" that is inside the bathroom. on both sides. If that looks good then look out.......I hate painting but something has to be done to improve the look.
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    • JBug JBug on Nov 29, 2014
      @Rose You absolutely hitting the head right on the nail...LOL....I'll try to do some before and afters.......but I won't be starting this project until AFTER the new year.
  • Sofia Saraiva Sofia Saraiva on Nov 27, 2014
    Here's an example
    comment photo
  • Djr778659 Djr778659 on Nov 27, 2014
    I've painted and decorated these doors. They do need more paint to cover that ugly wood though!! The trim really dressed them up. We've moved in the meantime and I haven't talked hubby into doing the same thing here, though I did paint closet doors and one bedroom door.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Djr2310 This will be a major project for me. Think I will paint them with KITZ first. Hope it doesn't take too many coats.
  • The Chirping Frog The Chirping Frog on Nov 27, 2014
    Whatever you decide post after pictures.... Can't wait to see what you come up with.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @The Chirping Frog I have so many projects to do. I am going to paint the hallway and the trim first. Probably won't start the door project until I can take them outside.
  • Lucille T Lucille T on Nov 27, 2014
    All my doors in my condo are like this. I painted all of them. Used Kilnz as a base because it covers so good. Then used paint made to paint cupboards. Not at home now so I don't have access to the name or brand. I got it at Home Depot or Lowes in the home remodeling section where you buy cupboards The Door knob problem I don't not know. Not quite sure what your problem is there. Didn't understand the post.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Lucille T Thanks. I didn't know they made paint for cupboards. I'll check that out. Probably is a more durable.
  • Sheri Nolen Sheri Nolen on Nov 27, 2014
    Yes, painting is a great idea. You could give it a distressed look and you could either add a hook for different wreaths or add some words or be really artistic and draw and paint something.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Sheri Nolen I neglected to include in my original post that I have 6 doors in my hallway. UGH
  • Rosie Walsh Rosie Walsh on Nov 27, 2014
    I did all the doors and woodwork in my former house. It was amazing how great and light filled the areas were after. Would recommend doing one at a time, one side at a time. Clean really well as a first step. Put the door on saw horses. Tape around the hinges and knobs. Buy the very best primer you can find. Don't settle for a lesser one to save a few dollars. And ask the pros at the paint store which brush they recommend. A really good brush is worth its weight in gold. Also ask about sanding, which grit they recommend, and learn how to thoroughly remove all the sanding dust. Sounds like a lot of work, but I think you'll be rewarded!!!
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Rosie Walsh It does sound like tons of work. Just taking off all the hinges and door knobs. I will have to do one door at a time. Probably one door will take all day. (A day without a bathroom door, oh my)
  • Susan george Susan george on Nov 27, 2014
    I have these awful doors also, and until I can afford new ones I painted mine... I took one off at a time and spray painted with white semi-gloss first before painting with a paint pad for the second coat with a good white paint.........saves a lot of work to spray the first coat! I also sprayed the hinges and knob with hammered sp.paint by rustoleum.......much better for now........good luck
    • Rose Rose on Nov 27, 2014
      @Susan george why didn't you spray paint the second coat?
  • Recreate Recreate on Nov 27, 2014
    Paint can change alot and it would change these doors for sure, you will not be disappointed. Even if you just paint for now and maybe some time down the road ask someone you know to put trim on for you , but paint will help and brighten the area too. For the cost of paint to the price of new doors does not compare. GO FOR IT!1
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Recreate I have to paint the hall way and trim around all these doors. Think I will paint the doors white. Probably will wait until spring when I can set them on saw horses in the garage. I'll see how they look and then go from there.
  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Nov 27, 2014
    Hi Rose Just the other day I saw something online somewhere about making plain doors look great with some added simple trims. I don't know exactly the site and didn't save it because none of the doors in my home are completely flat, so I couldn't use the idea. Anyway I did a search online and came up with this site. This girl completely changed the look of one of her plain doors by adding trim work. Here is the link: I guess just copy and paste the link to see her door transformation step by step. I am going to save this idea now that I found it since it is a great door transformation.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Kim Dagenais I'm going to start with painting them white and go from there.
  • Jan Jan on Nov 27, 2014
    @sofia saraiva great job with the door. Loved how you added bead board to the front and changed the door knob.
    • Rose Rose on Nov 27, 2014
      @Jan u must have better eyes than me, I can't see the bead board.
  • Mansetomboy Mansetomboy on Nov 27, 2014
    Very nicely done! The whole entrance is looking fresh, functional and balanced. The "new old" door connects with the accessories on the opposite wall and all of it goes very well with the white walls and the wood floor. The light fixture is the cherry on the cake. Congrats, hard-working gal!
  • Bra373318 Bra373318 on Nov 27, 2014
    Have two coats professionally sprayed with good quality oil paint. Nothing you can do at home will look as good.
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    • Bra373318 Bra373318 on Nov 29, 2014
      @JBug It will all depend where you live and prevailing rates. Friends, coworkers, or sites like Angie's list can give you an idea. Make sure the quote includes everything you want. If they're to be done at his/her shop, is transportation included, is it cheaper if you bring them in and pick them up (though it may be best if they transport them - they know how to do so the best. installing hardware, hanging. Think ala carte.
  • N. Susan Hart N. Susan Hart on Nov 27, 2014
    We have these doors from the 60's. We just had a large renovation done in the house that included painting the doors and woodwork the same color. We also changed out all the hardware. The result is amazing. You would love it with yours I think.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @N. Susan Hart Think I'm gonna paint them white and spray paint the hinges and door knobs. See how that works.
  • Z Z on Nov 27, 2014
    Rose, since you're not happy with them at all, then I'd paint them. If you like the paneled idea, you can even get that look, with just paint too. Check out the video below for the easiest way to do that.
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    • JBug JBug on Dec 02, 2014
      @Z This is FANTASTIC!!!! Thanks!
  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Nov 27, 2014
    @rose Which holes in the door don't line up? Do you have the wrong backset? Latch sets come with different backsets. Some sets are adjustable. Read this:
  • Jan Jan on Nov 28, 2014
    sofia, there was a picture of 2 doors, one old and one painted white. Like the video above instead of paint they used 1/4 inch molding stripes, glued those one, then painted the door and changed the hardwood. It was really nice.. Not sure where the picture went.
  • Teri Mauerman Shehorn Teri Mauerman Shehorn on Nov 28, 2014
    Add some inexpensive trim molding sold at any home improvement store. some are not solid wood, more like compressed styrofoam. Decide on your design, measure and add a few feet for drops (the short pieces at the end of trim pieces that are unuseable), sand the door first, using a good quality glue you can glue the pieces on, caulk and paint. Here is one example.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Teri Mauerman Shehorn wow This was a great tutorial. Thanks
  • Vicki O Vicki O on Nov 28, 2014
    I saw the doors, they used simple trim and trimmed them out and then painted. They looked modern and beautiful.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Nov 29, 2014
    Since the trim around the doors and the baseboards are painted, I would paint the doors. I'd sand lightly and use a roller. I like the idea of adding trim. Adding a back plate around the knobs would dress up the hardware, and can be used to hide old holes if necessary. You could make a template with measurements of the existing holes and take it to your hardware store.
    • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
      @Marion Nesbitt That is a great idea. Thanks
  • Rose Rose on Dec 01, 2014
    Thank you all for your comments. I Can't wait til spring to start this project. Think I will love it!!
  • Sheri Nolen Sheri Nolen on Dec 01, 2014
    Rose, six doors would be a chore. But all that work would help burn holiday calories! :)
  • Lucille T Lucille T on Dec 01, 2014
    Rose, I am home now and found the paint. It is called Cabinet Rescue. It is a waterborne acrylic enamel. I bought it in the cabinet department of either Lowes or Home Depot. Check that dept first just in case they have moved it to the paint dept It was easy to work with, covers great and holds up really well. Doesn't chip or yellow and easy to wash.I painted my bath vanity that was dark brown and 5 doors just like yours. Good luck. Joy
  • Cher Kalil Cher Kalil on Dec 05, 2014
    Here's a how-to for the trim pieces to create panels. If you go to Home Depot or Lowes and find a helpful person they will cut the trim to size for you. Then all you have to do is glue them on the door and you have real looking trim. Then just paint... yes, I would paint them to match the painted door jams. You can also spray the existing hardware with Rustoleum spray paint to look gold or silver to match other hardware in the house! Good luck!
  • Susan Bott Susan Bott on Dec 06, 2014
    Also, use Rustoleum Metallic to repaint your doorknobs to a different finish!
  • Marj MRC Creations Marj MRC Creations on Dec 06, 2014
    Great advice from everyone! I would also love to paint my doors, but in my case, the trim is NOT painted. It is the same wood color as the doors and varnished. I don't mind undertaking painting doors, but to refinish all that trim is going to be a monumental task and not something I can/want to do. Should I still paint my doors or will that make this trim really stand out like a sore thumb? thanks for any help! :)
  • Rachel Hinks Rachel Hinks on Dec 06, 2014
    try trim or moulding on it to give the illusion of faux panelling id draw it out first Pinterest what you want the outcome to look like whether you have a certain design in mind then glue and finish nail to the existing door and paint and viola! you have a designer door! as far as the door knob goes return your knobs gets some primer and silver matte paint and prime and spray paint the existing knobs ive done this to my old closet doors stunning results look brand new. and cost alot less and no outside labour all DIY!!! Good Luck!!!
  • Michelle Michelle on Dec 06, 2014
    try a pretty contact paper or self adhesive temporary wallpaper to cover the doors.
  • Kim Kim on Dec 29, 2014
    We just moved into a 3 bedroom cottage built in the 60's and we have the same doors. I thought of all of the same ideas. I am going to paint the doors white the same as the trim in the rest of the cottage. I am going to use trim from home depot to give them some character and charm. I would like new doorknobs for all of the interior doors but If I cannot find what I want I will take the hardware off of the doors and spray paint them with Rustoleum. It is work but it will be worth it. Have fun.
  • Pat Langlois Pat Langlois on Feb 27, 2015
    Personally I have seen a lot of doors that were just painted white. I sell real estate. They just look like painted doors and not too appealing. My son added moldings to his solid wood doors, painted them and they look like paneled doors.
  • Janice Janice on Apr 16, 2024

    I would scuff sand the doors and paint them. It would be fun to color block each door..perhaps mask off a diagonal line and paint one area a glossy finish (where the door knob is and the other portion(s) in a flat paint that coordinates well with your home's decor. Personally, I'd use the same knobs to alleviate the hassle and expense of new ones and the carpenter getting involved. Their are some great metal spray paints available now from Rustoleum and Krylon.

  • Dee Dee on Apr 16, 2024

    Clean, sand lightly prime and paint. Use molding to make nice squares on the door. The hardware can be used again. I have painted my door knobs with Rustolem primer then Oil Rubbed Bronz, I also painted my hinges the same color. Love my new door.s.