so happy

i struggled for a while with what to name this post. after all, with all the posts i’ve written about doors — looking for them, finding them, sanding them, hanging them — i’ve pretty much used up every possible pun and rhyme using the word “door” already. so i’m just telling it like it is. the fact that we’ve finally found the last door for our house makes me so happy.

about six weeks ago, finding a door so we could officially finish the bedroom (a room that i started on in may) snaked to the top of my priority list. after an energizing breakfast at lazy daisy’s, my friend liz and i hit three restores in one morning, scanning battered door spines for the elusive 24¾″ measurement. we couldn’t find one and the disappointment continued, as i couldn’t find anything suitable at  the door store a few weeks later, either. i thought i might need to go custom. i got one quote…and it was for $966! so, no.

two weeks ago, finding ourselves in the general vicinity of the restore on carlaw, i convinced pierre to let me have one last look last for a shaker door. up until then, i’d been looking for doors that were the exact right width, not wanting to deal with having to cut a straight line for nearly 80″. it’s much easier to take length off than width, but finding a 24¾″ wide door was proving to be impossible and, while $966 for a custom door should be in no one’s budget (unless, maybe, you’re david siegel), it’s definitely not in ours. the only shaker door in the building was the right height, but 1¾″ too wide. it was in relatively beautiful condition though, so we decided to buy it and try to take the width off with our circular saw.


besides, the restore manager (fellow east york bungalow owner and crystal doorknob aficionado) decided i could have the door for $20 since it was going to a good home. so pierre figured even if the door didn’t turn out perfectly, he could live with whatever the result was for $20.

to cut the door, pierre set up a makeshift guide using a plank of wood and some clamps, unfortunately, the guide didn’t turn out to be the best idea. there wasn’t enough clearance for the saw, so our straight line started to shift inwards about 6″ into the cut. when pierre tried to ease the saw back towards him, it kicked back, gouging the door a little. he removed the guide and freehanded the rest of the door, which turned out, ironically, perfectly straight. so there’s about 10″ where the door is 24½″ wide instead of 24¾″ wide. but at least now we know that it’s possible to cut a steady, straight line with a circular saw without the use of a guide.


we took all the width off one side, the hinge side. we couldn’t take a fraction off each side and keep the door looking even, because we wouldn’t have been able to fit the lock into the door. so our panels are fairly off-centre, but i didn’t think it would look bad since the doorframe is pretty ornate and hugs the door. but you can be the judge of that in a few swipes.


a few nights after the slicing took place, i sanded both sides of the door using 60 grit sandpaper and our powersander and did the beveled edges with our dremel. then: several coats of paint (bm sugar cookie in pearl) + shiny old hardware collected from home again, the st. lawrence market, bob’s apartment, and maccool’s reuse + hung = all done!



take that, custom door place!


cindy maccool of maccool’s reuse in bloomfield sent me all these hooks in the mail for $5 about a year ago. i’d seen a couple of them strewn around the store, liked them, couldn’t really think of where i would put them, didn’t buy them, and then thought better of it once we’d driven back to toronto from our weekend in the county. it took me a year, but i finally found a place for all of them.


such a little thing no one will probably notice — but i love how the ladder panels on the door mirror the look of the dresser drawers in the closet.



with the bedroom door closed, you can probably tell where we goofed on the slimming. but i’m not too concerned. and i do love seeing all the doors together — there’s the first door we did, the one i found on the side of the road and painted black, in the background. it opens into our mudroom and does a much better job of keeping the cold air out of the kitchen than the flimsy door that was there before. i wish i could get all four into one shot, as there is a spot you can stand in the house and see all four doors at once.


this is the second door we did, the bathroom door. it’s across the hall from our bedroom and has six panels like the bedroom door, only there’s an extra beveled detail in each panel. we got this door from home again for $30 after donating some old doors that didn’t fit any of our frames (found on the curb, carted home, and then left on our porch for six months).


finally, facing our bedroom is the studio. at $60, the french door was the most expensive, though i’m fairly certain all four doors were steals.

since this is our house and we have no immediate plans to sell it, i know this shouldn’t really matter, but i’m just curious how other people feel about original details — am i totally nuts, replacing home depot-new doors with ones that are a little wonky and pulled out of peoples’ garbage? i keep thinking, when we do decide to move, that some real estate agent is going to tell me to put new doors on all the rooms since these ones are all a little weather-beaten and crooked. are they a character-filled bonus? or would a tile-scraping bathroom door hit the curb with your empty moving boxes?