Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cleaning up the front Door

Why, oh why didn't I take a before picture? I mean, the front door was a complete mess. The trim paint was peeling, there was a 1 inch gap above the door that needed to be filled with Big Gap Filler, and the metal lintel was quite rusted. I did get some in-progress pictures though.

This project spanned several months. The first thing I noticed was the large gap between the top of the door and the lintel. The only thing keeping the cold air out in winter was the interior wood trim. So I found Big Gap Filler at Lowe's which is just what it sounds like. It is an expandable foam that hardens in place after it is sprayed in. You can trim off the extra to make it flush with a surface.

The next step was what I thought was going to be the final step. (Oh was I wrong!) I was going to just go out in one afternoon and scrape off the old paint, do some light sanding and then paint a fresh coat of white. Oops! That wasn't happening. What seemed like an afternoon job turned into 5 weekends involving both Joe and me.

I did scrape the peeling paint off pretty easily, but along with that came the original caulking. Aw man, that wasn't good! Of course some of the caulk came off quite easily and some needed a lot of scraping. Next came sanding the wood, and we're not just talking the light sanding I was imagining. It was definitely time to pull out the trusty mouse electric sander. Joe got involved here and did a great job sanding the wood trim. You can see how smooth it came out. 

Isn't that nicely sanded?

We scraped and sanded the metal lintel so that I could epoxy and paint that too. This was in rough shape. You can see in the picture above how it looks after the scraping and sanding. I also sprayed a rust stopper and put an epoxy in a gap on the front side.

This shows the epoxy well. It was a pain to apply, but I was able to sand and paint the finished product.

After scraping, sanding, epoxying and taping, I finished the prep work with a paintable exterior door caulk. I caulked over the Big Gap Filler to provide a smooth paintable surface and an extra layer of sealant. I also caulked along the window edges and joints of two pieces of wood. Phew! The prep work was finally finished, and now I was ready to paint. It only took me 5 weeks longer than I was planning. You can see the final results below.

Oh if you could only see how it looked before. 

I'm very happy that this project is done. We don't use our front door much, but I'm glad that we put in the time and did it right. I'm also hoping it will improve our heating bill this winter with the extra insulation and caulk. I'm looking forward to having a nice place to showcase some pretty wreathes in the upcoming seasons.


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