Home Improvement

Closet doors! (and other things…)

My life feels all sorts of crazy right now. I’ve been playing on a co-ed softball team that started in early April and taking an interior decorating class that started in May. Between my evening obligations, work and the holidays in between (birthdays, Mother’s and Father’s Day, weddings), I feel like I have lost all free time! That is hardly the case, but losing two evenings a week has made me surprisingly less productive. Instead of wanting to get things done in my free time, I want to relax… which is why our door project took from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day to complete!

Even though it took a little (OK, a lot) longer than it should have, I am still so happy we did it. And I am so glad it is finished! French doors versus sliding doors = biggest life improvement EVER.




The doors were a pain to install. The hubby had many choice words during the process. MANY. We learned that we are not professional door hangers, nor do we really enjoy hanging doors. Unfortunately for him, we have another set of doors we need to hang… and I’d also like to replace all of our doors in our upstairs hallway eventually (they are plain, hollow boards with no design in them — boring!). We’ll see if he tries to veto that project haha.

We had to cut the doors down to size, re-glue in the bottoms, cut some more, hang, re-hang, move the hinges when the screws became too loose in the original holes… paint, re-hang, put on handles, put on a magnetic door latch…. yeah. Tedious stuff, folks.

Still, I am pleased as can be that they are finished and there are no more 1980s gold doors in my house anymore. The only remaining mirrored slider will live on in our bedroom, mainly because it’s the only full length mirror we have now. Plus, we probably don’t have enough room for French doors. Hopefully the hubby counts that as a win for himself.

Aside from the door project, I’ve been busy working on a bunch of other things. I’ll be sharing some fun tips from my interior decorating class after it ends this evening. We’ve made some furniture changes in our living room (finallyyyyy). Plus, I’ve been working on a fun graphic design project and have some exciting news in that realm.

Oh, and I made some jam from mulberries I didn’t know I had growing in my yard until last week! And it is delicious!!!! I’ll share that recipe later, too.

Enjoy your weeks!

Home Improvement

Front Door Reveal

Ever embark on a project with the thought, “Hey, this is gonna be easyyyyyy”?

Some projects are in fact super easy, but I should have known better when we started our front door and car port door project that it wasn’t going to be easy at all. You see, our house is super crooked. SUPER CROOKED. So the installation itself was a pain. Then there was the painting. It seems painting a door should only day a few hours, right? HA! I would have been so lucky.

Any way, buckle your seat belts because the transformation is definitely worth the wait.

Remember our old door? Well, probably not. It was old, ugly and way boring.

{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door Red

In an attempt to plan for our new front doors, I painted the ugly red doors a pretty mint green.

{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door Mint

Too bad my husband hated it. I mean HATED.

So I reached out to you all on Facebook for color suggestions, and my cousin-in-law responded suggesting teal! About the same time she responded I Was flipping through Lowe’s doors photo gallery where I stumbled upon a teal door on a white house and totally fell in love.

We ordered our doors and picked them up a few weeks later, protecting them from our dog with ou kitchen table chairs. Shockingly, succesful, actually.

{A Smith of All Trades} New Doors1

We were waiting for my step dad to come help us install our doors (read: install our doors graciously while we attempted to help as much as possible). 

John came over early one morning and we got started immediately demolishing our car port door.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Inside Before

Buh bye!

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Before

The door came off pretty easily, followed by the time and the frame.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door No Molding

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door No Door

Within an hour we had done all of the demo on the door. … or so we thought. Like I said earlier, our house is super crooked. As we got to the installation portion of our project (which I will in no means give you any instructions on! Holy cow it was a process), John realized the molding attached to our pre-hung door wouldn’t fit in the existing space in our car port.

Enter the reciprocating saw.

{A Smith of All Trades} No Car Port Door

So he literally cut out pieces of our house until the door fit. He also had to trim the brick molding on the door frame down a lot (thanks for letting us borrow your circular saw, Chad!).

Hours and hours later, we had the door up and installed.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Inside No Paint No Molding

Progress, woo!Installed front door

We decided to wait until later to add the trim and get started on the front door (which I demoed all by myself while the boys finished up the car port door!). That was a good choice because that door was also a huge pain in our butts.

{A Smith of All Trades} No Front Door

Everything we went through on the car port door, we went through on the front door — and them some. We had to completely remove the brick molding on this door to get it into the opening, which was way too wide for our door. *sigh*

BUT, my step dad is the man. Seriously, he is the man. Not only did he save us like $700 by helping us install these doors, he patiently explained everything he did and let us be a huge part of the whole process. He was amazing. He was/is the man, and he figured out (after much cursing) exactly how to get the front door into our crooked, too-wide opening.

Apparently I don’t have a photo of what the front door looked like from the inside, but picture this: A nice new door hung with about and inch or two of light peering in from the outside all along the edges. We put painter’s tape over the holes until John could come back and help us with the molding on a later day because it was nearing 10 p.m. and we were all pooped.

Time check – 1 day

In between doing the doors and the molding, I painted the outsides of both doors. Teal!!!!!

{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door No MoldingAnd more teal!!!!

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Painted no molding

That was the easy part of painting. Then John came back and he and I installed the trim around the doors. For the car port door, we essentially made our own trim to cover the nasty parts of the brick that the old door frame used to cover. John ripped down three pieces of wood to frame the brick molding, which I primed before we hung them around the edges.

The front door was even trickier (imagine that). I cannot even explain what John had to do to get the brick molding to fit and look nice around the door, but he did it and it looks fabulous.

All of this was finished last weekend, and I managed to put off painting until Thursday evening and Friday afternoon.

Thursday evening I tackled the inside of the car port door and it just took forever. You’d think white paint on a pre-primed door would be simple enough — but the white paint needed three coats. Holy cow, that’s what I get for not buying the paint and primer version of my paint! Lesson definitely learned.

Friday afternoon I tacked the other door  and all of the molding. The molding had to be sanded down from all of the wood putty and this door also took three coats.

Once everything was painted, I touched up the teal sides of our doors and then started re-adding our hardware on the door. I also installed a new doorbell! That was satisfying.

{A Smith of All Trades} New Doorbell

Finally, our doors are done. And even thought the whole process too far longer than I could have ever imagined (even this blog post took longer than I imagined), they look fantastic and I love them. The light the add to our house is epic, and the teal just POPS right off of our boring white house.

{A Smith of All Trades} My House

{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door After

They look so pretty, I just adore them.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door After

And the inside doesn’t look too bad either 🙂 Even if they did take forever to paint.

{A Smith of All Trades} Car Port Door Inside After


{A Smith of All Trades} Front Door Inside After

All in all, this project took about four days to do. I would have guessed two. Oh well. Glad it is done, but I’d definitely do it again — just with realistic expectations this time around!

Our next project on the front of our house… shutters and a new light fixture.

{A Smith of All Trades} ShuttersThanks for being patient for the door reveal! I would have loved to share it earlier, but that’s how life goes, huh?

Have a fabulous weekend 🙂

And thanks again, John! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Home Improvement, Paint

Hey new doors, heyyyyyy

After running around like crazy people last night doing some long-overdue grocery shopping and a Costco run, we finally made it to Lowe’s to pick up our new doors! Who wants to see some terrible photos of our doors? Hopefully you do.

I totally sissied out yesterday when it came to carrying them into the house, but we got them in and laid them on our floor. They are rather… beige. But that’s just for now! I am nervous that they will look too fancy on our Plain Jane house, but I am also fabulous at second-guessing my decisions when it comes to things I cannot return. *gulp*

{A Smith of All Trades} New Doors

The door on the left will be our front door, and the other will replace our crummy car port door.

I was a little nervous about leaving them ont he floor because of the pup, so I made a door cage out of chairs to keep Rem out.

He doesn’t seem too interested though.

{A Smith of All Trades} New Doors1

On to the swatches! I am loving the idea of a teal front door. I think the mint will get lost in the whiteness of our house, so a bolder pop of color is in order. I also like the vibrant blue. The hubby also likes the blue and hates the teal… so I should be nice and go with that. But I make no promises.

Sometimes a girl just needs a teal front door! And even though my hubby doesn’t quite believe it, I can always repaint the door if we hate it.

{A Smith of All Trades} Paint SwatchesThose were some quality photos, huh?

Hope you enjoyed. I have no idea when we’ll get a chance to hang them, but you’ll be the first to know once I know!

Happy hump day!