Last week, we took some time to tackle a project that has been a thorn in our side for a long time now. A couple years ago, we hand-painted all the upstairs doors a bright white and changed out the hardware. But by the time we were done, my hand was a claw and I needed a breather before we did the same update to the 7 doors downstairs. Before a fresh coat of paint, all of our doors are a peachy-ivory color.
Our walls are painted Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. This is a clear example of how the color wheel and a simple knowledge of complementary colors can help you understand why your walls are looking green instead of creamy white. Red and Green are complementary colors, so in this case, the pink undertones in the doors are so intense they are actually bringing out the green undertones in the walls. If we eliminate the pink undertones in the doors by painting them a bright white (I like using off the shelf white in semi-gloss for trim), our walls will appear more true to color, like this!
I painted the baseboards, door trim and all 7 doors doors the same Semi-gloss Bright White from Valspar Signature. While I brushed on the paint for the trim, this time around, we decided to try spraying all the doors with a paint sprayer (we’re long time fans of the Wagner Flexio 590), instead of hand painting them. #fighttheclaw
Here’s how we did it:
We removed all the doors from their hinges and carried them up the stairs and outside on our front pad for a good scrub down first. A clean surface before you begin painting is crucial to help the paint to adhere its best. You could definitely just use a bucket of water and a rag for this step, but I don’t know if you caught on to the fact that Chris is obsessed with our little pressure washer. It was a quick way to get the doors clean and it was pretty impressive, or maybe gross is the word, watching the tinted water from all the dirt wash down the driveway.
After the doors were dried off, we moved a few at a time into the garage where we taped a large drop cloth to the wall and a part of the floor to protect the space while we painted. A few finish nails along the top helped keep the tarp in place. Then, it was time to paint!
The Wagner 590 doesn’t require thinning down the paint before spraying, so it’s a quick pour and go.
One coat on all 4 doors took about 10 minutes. We gave each side 2 coats about 30 minutes apart, and then flipped them after a couple hours to do the other side.
After these 4 were done, we moved them downstairs and brought the last 3 in for the same treatment.
After trying both techniques, the conclusion we made about hand-painting vs spraying is this: If you choose to use a paint sprayer, the whole process will probably take longer. It took about a day and a half from removing the doors to putting them back with new doorknobs–we’ll get there in a second. But, (and this is a big but!) the active work time is so short. It would have taken me probably 5-6 straight work hours to paint all 7 doors by hand. Spraying the doors only required pockets of 10-15 minutes at a time and freed up a lot of time to do other things. Plus, no claw. Highly recommend going this route if you have a bunch of doors to paint.
Once the doors were dry, it was time to add the new hinges and knobs and rehang the doors. The squared off black doorknobs we ordered came with matching black latches and strike plates, but the latch was a different shape than our doors previously had. So, we traced the shape on the door:
Notched around the edge with a hammer and chisel, and then notched out the center part.
Then we were clear to add on the new knobs and attach the new hinges (we picked up at Lowe’s for a couple bucks). Knobs found here.
When I looked back at the before pictures, I was shocked at what we were living with for 3 years. I always forget how much of a difference these projects make. Although a little unglamorous and not nearly exciting as room re-dos, these details matter and help make our whole home feel cleaner, brighter, and more up to date!
Have you tried a paint sprayer before? Which do you prefer?