tutorial :: vintage door restoration with chalk board panel

this is one of the doors from the craigslist vintage door score.

after a close inspection, i noticed mold on these doors.  so, these are being refinished to be used in outdoor areas.

this one’s a single panel door which will eventually have a black chalk board in the panel. single panel vintage door tutorial

first, i washed the door to see if the black stuff was dirt or mold.  it was obvious that these craigslist doors had been sitting outside for a long time.

mold isn’t your friend.  so i wanted to figure out if these doors should stay outside.single panel vintage door tutorial

look at how awesome this hardware is.  i was able to scrape it all off to get the brass keyhole back!

lifted veneer on vintage door

i put on my goggles, got out the chisel and lifted this part of the veneer.  yup…mold.  bummer.  but it’s ok b/c this will be a perfect piece for a beautiful garden.

hardware close-up on vintage door

i absolutely love this hardware.  they don’t make ’em like this anymore!

hardware close-up on vintage door

single panel vintage door tutorial

next step was to paint the inside panel with a dark chalk paint.  it’ll eventually be a black chalkboard panel, and rather than stripping or sanding the entire panel, i figured chalk paint was a perfect primer.  we’ll see.

single panel vintage door tutorial

notice this is where i pulled up the rotted and moldy veneer.  makes for an even older look.  i sanded these edges so that they weren’t so noticeable.

single panel vintage door tutorial

i painted the first layer on the white door with Annie Sloan Paris Grey.  i didn’t fill in all the white as i wanted to preserve some layered look.

Minwax water-based stain + several drops of Old English

in the same bucket with the darker Annie Sloan chalk paint, i added the Paris Grey and about 8 drops of Old English dark wax.


single panel vintage door refinishing tutorial

after brushing the Minwax/Old English concoction on, i used a previously used rag that was crunchy to wipe it off.  this served two purposes….to wipe off the excess and to use the rag as a pseudo sand paper.  you can see that it worked as parts of the white and Paris Grey are sneaking through.

close-up of layered paint on vintage door refinishing

i finalized the Restoration Hardware wood finish look by generously wiping on Annie Sloan dark wax with a soft rag all over the piece, going with the wood grain.  the blue-ish, grays are poking through, and the layers are rich.close up of Restoration Hardware wood finish on vintage door


close up of Restoration Hardware wood finish on vintage door

my client is going to be so happy!

lifted veneer on vintage door

what do you think?

single panel vintage door before

brass keyhole on antique door Matthew 7:7 verse on vintage door's chalk board panel close up of vintage door slider track hardware

Matthew 7:7 verse on vintage door's chalk board panel

this is the perfect verse for this door, which also happens to be my friend’s life verse. so good.

check out the finished door with the chalk board panel!


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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. Kathie says

    I found you from the Mop it up Mondays link up. I would love to have you come share your post with my readers over at Sassy Little Lady’s Show and Tell Saturday. Hope to see you there!


  2. Kathryn says

    Hey! I have just loved your pieces lately. Just “dry brushed” (which I had never heard of before) an old mirror and in 10 minutes flat I have a “rustic” addition to my little mans room. Took a couple days to get the guts to try but then I thought “why not?” Anyway, I want to do a “antique/rustic” white headboard and I’m thinking that a layered look of the wood (it’s raw but two different colors…) and old white, sanded a bit and then AS dark wax would get me there? Thoughts? Thanks!