french door redo

it’s 9:30pm on a saturday night and i can’t sleep.  jim rome is on in the background…husband is sleeping, tightly gripping the tivo remote despite having been asleep for at least 20 minutes.
i’m cruising free stuff on craigslist when i spot this old beat up French glass door hiding in the back of this picture!
this whole free stuff on CL was new to me.  you’re telling me people give away free stuff!?  i can just drive up to their house and put it in my car and no one cares?  in fact, they’re happy when they look out the window and see fewer items on the curb?
ok then.  lil G is sleeping.  husband is sleeping.  will this door last until morning…my heart is racing.  i want that door!
i’m 9 months pregnant.  i can’t do this alone.  it’s late.  it’s dangerous.  who do i call?  cousin Rich!
cousin Rich thinks i’m nuts, but is always up for an adventure…especially since i offer a stop at del taco on the way home!  we hop in the car.  cruise to the curb’s location.  load the car.  tie the bungie.  sneak out like we’ve just broken the law.
i’m elated!  i facebook the location should we never return…at least a few hundred people would know where to start looking.
since i’m new to this furniture refinishing and blogging thing, i’m still getting used to taking pictures of every step of the way.  so here are the two pics that i’ve taken since completing the project.  i’ll add more once the piece gets placed in the new house.
First, I removed as much of the hardware as possible.  It was old and nasty.  It was apparent that the back of the door was exterior-facing….with tons of varnish just slapped on over the years.
One of the screws was stripped, so I left that hinge on.  It’ll add a nice touch to the distressed look.
Next, I used the trusted electric sander with 80 grit to remove as much of the varnish as possible on both sides.  Wiped and vacuumed all dust (yes, I work outside and wear a mask through all of this!)
Because I wanted the real wood to show through, I didn’t prime.  Using my trusted Purdy brush, I painted a light blue Valspar paint that I had mixed at Lowe’s.  Despite wanting a rustic look, I still go with the grain and try to use techniques I’ve learned from my good buddy Andrew through the years.  Always use good products and technique…
Let dry.
Sand to show natural wear and tear.
Glaze with Minwax honey stain mixed with Behr glaze I had sitting around.  Probably a 1:2 stain to glaze ratio.  Let sit for 3-4 minutes, then wipe down with husband’s old tee shirt.
Let dry.
Rub in minwax pasting wax.  Sit for 10 minutes.
Buff.  And there you have it.  A rustic, French glass door that will sit in our entry at the house.  I’ll get mirrors inserted or will try the Looking Glass spray paint to replicate an old mirror.  Not sure how that will turn out.
Restoration Hardware inspired height & wood growth chart (5)
What do you think?!
About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.


  1. >yes, mom. i refinish furniture to make it look old. 🙂

  2. Leslie says

    Ok so I see this was two years ago! Funny! I do the same thing with Craig’s list! But I need to find a family member to go with me too on these adventures! Did you try looking glass spray? I just did it on a door and I love! I have a French door too that I want to try!


  1. […] the french door on the right is one of the first pieces i refinished.  it was my very first craigslist curb alert. […]