Look out, I am coming to your house with a can of paint and a screwdriver. I spruced up my front door this weekend, and it looks so amazing, we need to do yours, too!
I have been reading online about what improvements to do before you put your house on the market. You have to consider the source on these things. Actual data that shows an increase in the sale price of homes or gives approximate returns on investments are very hard to come by. Most of these lists are made by pockets of the home improvement industry that clearly have an agenda. The plumbing sites say change all the faucets. The flooring sites say redo all the floors. The paint company websites say repaint everything including the carpet. HGTV type places say redo absolutely everything, and let us show you how after this ad. After some consideration, I bought in to the idea that the first impression the front door makes matters.
When we first bought this place, I felt like I should do something about the door. The paint on the door was faded, and the knocker said “NELSONS”. But after you spend so much money repainting all the lame neutral paint inside that the previous owners slapped up the week before they sold it to you (on HGTV’s advice, of course) you just don’t feel like spending any more money. Since the people we bought if from were called The Chau’s, I’m guessing they felt the same about the NELSONS nameplate for the 5 years they lived here. Besides, we never came in through the front door. I only remembered it with twinges of embarassment when I did something like creep out the neighbors with my Macbeth party signs.
So as of Saturday, our door was badly faded and streaked with moving injuries. The handle was even more decroded, and the tarnished, peeling knocker with old spider egg sacks behind it still said, “NELSONS”. It didn’t need the Macbeth quote to look like a haunted ruin.
Step One: Read Home Owner’s Association manual online. We have an incredibly strict HOA that has burned us before on using the wrong color or brand of paint. Even though it looks dated to me, the door had to be Sherwin Williams Georgetown Green and the hardware had to be polished brass. Someday I will paint my door raspberry. And then peacock blue. And all sorts of things. Just not this door.
Step Two: Buy paint ($15), paint tray ($3), semi smooth surface small roller ($5), brass knocker ($12), and door handleset ($100). I initially bought the super cheapy handleset and installed it, but the brass was so green it looked horrible next to the other hardware. So I took it out and upgraded.
Step Three: With a screw driver, remove all the hardware. This was intimidating, but not hard.
Step Four: Roll paint on the door, and fill in the moulding with a paintbrush. Both times you paint over the peephole, quickly wipe the paint off with a paper towel.
Painting the door was so satisfying! I was shocked at how much our door had faded. The door started out a dusty grass green, but the Georgetown Green paint was so dark it looked almost black. What an incredible difference the paint made.
Step Five: Return to compulsively admire the door every five minutes while it dries for a couple of hours.
Step Six: Install the new handle and door knocker. The instructions on the two different door handles I put on (see Step Two) took a little figuring out, but I found this to be a very easy owner DIY project. Definitely will never pay anyone to do this. The knocker was even more simple since the holes had been pre-drilled. I can’t believe I left the NELSONS up for almost 6 years. Gah!
A word about knockers (So many jokes should go here starting with, “Did you catch MadMen last night?): They are awesome. In our next house, I might get ours engraved. I love the Established 2003 idea. What a beautiful thought. What do I put on it, Craw or Kemeny, or Craw-Kemeny. Admit it. You think it should be Kemeny or Kemeny-Craw.
I am also buying this one for my sister for her birthday.
If we get a house that is sufficiantly grand, I might need a lion or a dragon.
But we’ll probably end up with something even cheesier like this:
So my door looks great. Yes, I’m going to polish the kickplate as soon as my metal polish wipes arrive, thank you for pointing that out. Of course, now the doorbell looks pathetic beside it. But if I had changed the doorbell, then I’d want to repaint all the trim, and then…. You just have to stop at some point before you build the next owners an entirely new house.
I feel remiss that I haven’t been capturing all my home improvement projects as I’ve been getting this house ready to sell. For one thing, I should have taken some pictures of the way CLR and a couple of old toothbrushes completely transformed the grout in the bathrooms–and gave me a serious headache and sore throat. But what’s a little cancer when you’ve got clean grout? Tonight I will cross my fingers and bring the camera to my first foray into puttying.
So what do you think?! Would you buy a house with a front door like this?