DIY Projects, Home Decor

How to Glam-Up Your Vintage Door

Welcome, friends! It’s back-to-school-time and with that I am finally feeling the need to do some fun DIY/crafting projects. 🙂 Today I am sharing how to glam-up an old door I have had in my stash since 2008…

Tools needed for this project

  • drill and drill bits – for wood and metal
  • scroll saw or jig saw to cut out small wood pieces as needed
  • pliers and screw drivers
  • wood glue (I used regular wood glue and Gorilla wood glue), paintable and stainable
  • blue painter’s tape
  • sand paper
  • sanded grout, paintable and stainable
  • paint and paint brushes, various sizes
  • black spray paint
  • antique/vintage hardware escutcheons and glass doorknobs plus center hardware

How to begin?

Start with cleaning your door with a little soap and water (or even just plain water) on a damp cloth, then wipe the door dry. I took my time cleaning the windows with glass cleaner and to clean the lead pieces.

Next, I used a little Lemon Pledge on the stained side of the door (the original outside of this door), and then began figuring out what needed to be done to prep the door for new hardware. 😉

I gathered a drill and drill bits, some old screws (from a box of screws and closet hanger hardware we have had since our first home closet rebuild), and five craft and chalk paint containers from my craft room.

The escutcheons (decorative but purposeful flat door pieces to go behind doorknobs) I picked up at Second Impressions Antique Store in South Dakota when Mr. Ethereal and I were driving home from Peter and Justine’s wedding in 2016.

I am soooo glad that I found those escutcheons since I have had this pair of antique glass door knobs waiting in my stash of goodies for over 20 years! It is nice to finally be able to use these pieces on this door project.

Many of these things I had intended to go on a future birdhouse (back then), but you know how that goes… Eventually you use them where you need them, regardless of the original thought you had for them, lol!

Hubby used a super large, round paddle bit to drill these circles for me! 🙂

The first things which had to be fixed on this door were the big gaping holes where contemporary door hardware used to sit. I asked Mr. Ethereal if he’d help me drill some round inserts from a leftover 2″ x 4″ we had.

The grout shows here on the backside of the door as I was staining it and adding paint striations to help “blend it in.”

They ended up a little smaller than needed, but a bunch of globs of Gorilla wood glue and regular wood glue helped fill in the gaps. I placed blue painter’s tape around to catch any drips and to contain the glue while it dried.

When the glue was mostly dry, I filled in the backside of the inserts and remaining gaps with sanded grout. Let dry completely/overnight.


Next, I mixed various shades of chalk and acrylic paints on a folded paper towel in medium grey, teal, light teal (more of a white), black and brown to create a hue close to the green side of the door.

On the backside, I used some old stain we had in a reddish tint to color the grout then added brown paint and later some tiny vertical brown lines to try and “match” the grain of the oak door.

You can just see some of the paint attempts made to match to door (practically impossible!). It’s not great but at least there isn’t light tan anymore from the grout and wood inserts! 🙂

Adding the Hardware

I grabbed four 1/2″ all-purpose screws from the leftovers box and used the driver drill to screw the white escutcheon on the green side of the door, making sure the piece was aligned vertically with the door edge.

The backside escutcheon will be added after drilling the doorknob hole.

Testing out the door knob in its freshly drilled hole!

Drilling the door knob hole

By adding the front escutcheon first (the white one), I was able to use its door knob hole as the template to drill through the door. Once drilled, I tested the door knob to see if I needed to drill out more or to straighten it.

It’s a little off, as I didn’t have a jig to keep the drill bit completely square, but it’s not going to be used as an actual door, just as an accent piece, so it’s fine. 🙂

Adding the back escutcheon

This particular escutcheon is meant to be embedded into the door, for safety purposes, for the original lock to function. I didn’t want to bevel out the door, which could have been done but I haven’t done that before. We actually have wood carving tools, but I thought I’d add a piece of wood to the back to take up the surrounding space instead.

Using a scroll saw is a lot like using a sewing machine. You have to move whatever you are cutting around the blade, much like you move fabric around a stationary sewing needle.

To cut out the inner piece without going through the outer edges of the wood, turn off the saw, undo the tension (top knob at the back of the arm) and undo the saw blade knob (the one zooming up and down, on the lower-right at the front of the arm. 🙂

Drill a pilot hole through the center of the inner square to begin the inner cutting.

Then, push down on the front-top of the needle housing and the blade will easily pull out. Slip the blade through the drilled hole, reattach the needle, tighten the blade knob plus the tension knob, and saw away!

I realized I’d have to bevel the edges after (or during) the cutting process, so I did that after seeing if I needed to cut off any more wood.

Rechecking the cuts…

It took about an hour to fine-tune this wood insert, a little sanding, then it was ready to set into the black escutcheon and screw onto the backside of the door.

I took a little time out to spray paint the wood black, let it dry out in the 95 degree heat while eating lunch, then aligned the pieces on the door. Painting the wood piece black helps it to not be so visible when the door is viewed from the side.

Upon figuring out where the doorknob hole needed to be, and where the escutcheon needed to be placed (to cover over some of the filled door holes), I realized the escutcheon needed to be drilled.

Mr. Ethereal helped me drill through the lower part of the inner metal creating a hole for the doorknob center hardware.

Had to use the pliers to remove the one short screw which didn’t work and wouldn’t come out without a little assistance. 🙂

Going back to the hardware box, I pulled out more 1/2″ screws, but they were too short to hold the escutcheon on the door, now with the wood piece taking up space.

Adding (4) thin 1″ wood screws worked perfectly! And they were galvanized and a bit black with age ~ absolute perfection…

And that’s all there is to glamming up your vintage door! Please share doors with me which you have redone, I’d love to see them. 🙂

Happy creating, friends,

Barb 🙂


Sunday Sentiments ~ Catching Up and the Victorian French Farmhouse Shelf

A lovely panetiére  is for sale in downtown Dallas. The upper piece just needs to come off and be re-glued but otherwise it is strikingly beautiful! I wanted to share an image with you but alas trying to save any, even with appropriate linking of the source, caused issues.  Well… The cabinet once put together is not what I thought it might be… Let’s put it together and see what we’ve got!

A little history

First off, panetiéres are decorative pieces for storing breads and food stuff which have a central door, open fretwork in both their fronts and sides (for good air flow) and sometimes a solid back piece. The cabinet I have is less ornate than  so maybe it is a reproduction of Louis XVI style? 

Grandson of Louis XV and heir to the throne after his father, Louis, the Dauphin de France, passed away at the young age of 36.  The furniture made during his reign is much less ornate than his grandfather’s was. So this was possible.

This is where we left off 

The two panels are now glued together and then I was left wondering, “What in the heck do I have??” Well… after a weekend away visiting my daughter in Austin (drove down on Friday afternoon and just spent the day with Amy on Saturday for about 6 hours, with masks). 

We went to the Lady Bird Johnson/Texas A+M Wildflower Center (like last year), to our favorite Half-Priced bookstore, picked up Mexican food at Cabo Bob’s and brought that back to my hotel room and ate a late lunch. Nice to see her again after her visit up here for Thanksgiving last year!

So after the weekend, then a busy week prepping and doing some trainings for school, I am back dry-fitting and glueing this cabinet all together and…

Victorian Shelf

I think it is a Victorian piece or maybe up to a 1920’s French-styled bookcase/cabinet (of sorts) with three shelves and two drawers sandwiched in the lower middle. It is meant to stand on something, perhaps a small lower buffet.  My father-in-law stripped most of the paint layers of black and white off the piece but it was always painted. The original color was a soft white, which shows on the back of the curving front top piece.

Here I am glueing some popped veneer and trying to unwarp the drawer at the same time.

Using a corner clamp for the first time. This one you unscrew and sit the slots down over each side, set an angle if need be, and screw in the clamp parts. Pretty easy! 

I was hopeful it could be a panetiére but there doesn’t seem to be somewhere to attach doors and I’ve looked over where any nail and screw holes are for clues. Also, French bread cupboards are wider than they are taller. I’m okay with that as now I have another pretty shelf for displaying home decor pieces.


Photograph from when I laid all the pieces out in the yard at my inlaws’ home from
the first post.

Those extra, larger turned spindles (lower right, seen above)?? 
I haven’t a clue where they go… There are some extra holes in the top but nothing that corresponds with openings big enough for those long pegs to go into. 

A French Vaisselier | Edith & Evelyn |

Maybe there was more than this piece ~ maybe another bigger cabinet at one time?? Maybe those spindles just belong to something else that was part of a set of furniture. No way to know, so they will become something else. Here is Cindy of Edith and Evelyn Vintage new post about this Vaisselier.  Her piece has holes drilled, I’m sure, for those decorative finials! Love it!!!

See the soft white?
Meanwhile, I got the top piece glued together before the first weekend (when I went down to visit Amy) and stacked all of the pieces indoors just incase it would have rained.

Mr. Ethereal has worked hard this summer on setting up his workshop/man cave so it is much easier to work on projects out there now! My job while he worked on that was making lists for taxes and boxing up and donating 10 large boxes of items we no longer need to our local Salvation Army, plus a bunch of old lamps and bases. The garage is now much better organized and Hubby has moved all the hand tools into his Father’s Day present, his new large tool chest! 

Still more to organize but it is coming along and Hubby is happy! He enjoys puttering in the garage like I do inside the house. 🙂

It feels good to let go of some of this stuff!!! We’ve been feeling weighted down by it all. We both wish we had sold way more things when we were at our last house… If only we’d known!

Here I am adding the right side piece, aligning each shelf and support piece into its slot and tapping the piece into place. I already added glue into this piece’s side slots before flipping it over and aligning each piece underneath. The small bracket between the lower and upper drawer shelves is quite visible.

It took that extra week to realize that a couple of cross pieces didn’t fit in the original slots that I thought they did ~ they were cross pieces. The slots are for this small rectangle piece you see (above) which fits between the two shelves keeping them separated. This piece is also decorative as it hides the hole. 😉

Originally I thought these shelves were separated far apart and the two long cross pieces went into the slots (which would make sense for a panetiére, which could have two shelves in it). They did fit side by side perfectly into the slots but then I re-examined the small bracket and realized the bracket went there instead. 

So where did these long pieces go then?? The tenons of the cross-piece supports fit exactly into the small slots you see on the side pieces at very tops and bottoms at each sides’ back (see white arrow).

Glueing a case piece together

Since I don’t have a large elevated work table to use, Mr. Ethereal suggested I work on the floor since it is nice and flat and level. (Big “Duh” moment for me!) Oh, if you haven’t seen some of the really nice woodworking shops out there, check out some on YouTube. Just look up woodworking and you’ll find some really nice ones!

Using more wood glue, an old ratty artists paintbrush I have, and some  1″ wood screws, I clamped this support bracket to the lower shelf one day. The next day I glued and screwed top shelf to the bracket and set it upright in the left-side slots, aligning the fronts and setting in the wood screws (using 1″ to 1 1/2″ screws; graciously left to us by the former homeowners for the playhouse and shed that were left over from those builds.)

The finished shelf

Now I’ll give it a good sanding and lightly paint it. I really like the blond wood so I might just add some gesso into the graining and wax it with clear wax. From the underside of the decorative header, it was painted a creamy white originally. I love white so I think it’ll be pretty when completed!!

So that’s what we’ve been up to this past month or so around the house. The garden is hanging in there with the summer heat. Blissfully, we have had some lovely winds all weekend to dry us out and lower the humidity!

There it is in all its glory! I still have to re-find the two French style drawer pulls that were misplaced. Otherwise, I love it! What do you think?

Sharing with
Hearth and Soul ~ April J. Harris

*An update as of August 2020 ~ My mother-in-law says my father-in-law was doing some furniture repair work for a long-time family friend who gave him this shelf sometime around 1995. He worked on it stripping the layers of paint but with a young grandson living at home, it was hard to work out in the shop and watch young Corey while his mom and grandmother were at work. So, Pete “shelved” working on his woodworking projects. Later, he had a serious eye injury (which I knew about) and never went back to furniture stripping and refinishing. And, that’s the rest of this shelf’s story… 💙

Beginning a Victorian Woodworking Project… Part 1

Bringing back  pieces of a Victorian style cabinet from California this past month, a project my father-in-law had begun refinishing back a few years ago, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself in for…

view larger image ofEighteenth-century French Carved Walnut Panettiere For Sale

I had seen antique French panatiéres on the internet, like this one found on 1stdibsand was mildly excited (okay, really excited!) when I found this pile (below) in the big shed while my husband was cleaning it at my inlaws’ home.

We think we found all of the pieces to it and I know I have all 22 spindles, which is cool! 

So even if I can’t recreate the original cabinet, I may be able to put enough of it together to make some kind of panatiére instead.

Laying out the pieces in my inlaws’ backyard. Notice the four big spindles??!
That’s what makes me wonder if this is some kind of panatiére….

I started laying it out again this past weekend and sanded all of the pieces for these side pieces. I was able to get one side together before the high humidity and 95 degree temps got to me. 

It threatened rain in the night so I hurried out at 3am to bring everything inside the dining area to protect it. Beginning again on Monday morning after breakfast and a walk with Yoda, I worked on side #2.

It was really warped and that’s where most of the water damage was. It took a lot of sanding and “motivation” with the mallet and sweat equity to get the second side all together. 

I even had to sand the warped tenon and the articulating mortise to get the wider middle piece to fit together (the bugaboo in this project). You can see how warped the long connecting piece is above.


It was joining to this other warped piece which holds a shelf… Crazy! It took a lot of thought and about two hours to put this side together and get it glued and clamped.

Here are all the pieces laid out and side one (right) clamped with side two (left) to still join. I only had enough clamps to do one side at a time. I’ve since bought one more pipe clamp ~ the really long ones. Part 2 of this woodworking tutorial project can be found here.

Sharing with

Will keep you posted,

A Mixed Media Valentine’s Pinterest-Inspiration Project

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching I was invited by my friend Cindy of County Road 407
to take a Pinterest idea and run with it for a fun project for Valentine’s Day and this sweet
mixed media Valentine’s Heart is
what I came up with!
Thank you, Cindy!

 A list of all of the participants in the
From Our Heart to Yours blog hop
for you is at the bottom of my post. Come
back by if you aren’t able to visit everyone’s
blogs and see their fun projects to begin again.
Everyone participating today has
this same list linked within
their posts.
{drum roll, please!}

Come along together  as we make a Mixed Media Valentine’s creation…

Pour yourself  a fresh cuppa and enjoy
this quick and easy how-to
tutorial and our sweet
blog hop graphic ~
Please so

Mixed Media Valentine’s Heart project

Supplies and part of the How-to ~ 
  • vintage frame with backing ~ mine was a thriftshop find that I turned into a chalkboard and just repurposed.
  • “baby batting” – used by quilters and good for padding the frame.
  • burlap to cover the batting and board.
  • packing tape or hot glue to secure the batting and burlap to the backside of the frame’s backing.
  • grapevine roll
  • wire for securing grapevine as the heart is wrapped.  I used what originally wrapped the grapevine from the store. Another repurpose!
  • flowers and crystal letters I had on hand in my craft supply stash.
  • ephemera ~ I used these little “Instant Ancestors” from a package of 100+ pieces.
  • pliers and wire cutters for twisting and really pulling the wire tight.{I cheated and used my old Fiskar scissors… I know. Bad Barbara, bad!}
  • wooden board and nails to make a jig ~ for holding that wreath taught when drying.
  • dinner plate and something heavy to hold it down.

Here is the original photograph we were given as our inspiration piece:

Sooo cute! Love it as it is ~ you can see where I grabbed the idea for
the heart shaped wreath, the lettering and the frame. This one uses
dropcloth as it’s background covering, I’m pretty sure from its texture.
I immediately thought of a grapevine heart as when we were first married I bought one and hot glued on dried German statice flower bunches in dark purples and pinks all along the hearts’ edges.

Heart shaped grapevine wreaths were all the rage in the 1990’s along with big hair and stretch pants. I had that heart above my bed for years and loved it!

The Big Heart How-to

This is a BIG POST so pour another of your favorite hot beverage… 😉
First you’ve got to soak your grapevine overnight and start it in warm water ~ speeds up the process. Check throughout your evening to see how it is progressing. You want that grapevine to really absorb the water so it is pliable and won’t break as much when it’s bent.

 This is the first go-round of the wreath after creating the top bend and tying it off ~ hubby later came in and helped pull the wire tighter. :X

Next morning begin with one grapevine end and bend it upwards to create a sort-of point (about 3″ in). Now bend the grapevine with your fingers flexing it into a heart shape. 

Decide how large you want your heart to be and bend the wreath at 90 degrees and tie off creating the upper bend in the wreath.

Finish bending the wreath around to the beginning and tie off. Start the first row of the grapevine winding around (second time around the shape).  Retighten both sets of wires around the joined end and the upper bend as needed.

Begin the second loop leaving slight gaps and a little looseness {found this out with trial and error} as you wind and pull.

As you come to the upper bend of the heart ~ get someone to help you hold it and pull the wire closure really tight. Mr. Ethereal helped me pull it tight with a set of pliers.
The lower left photo shows me wrapping grapevine around the wire to hide the wire as best as I could.

I thought about painting the wire with brown chalk paint ~ and you may want to do this. I forgot so all finished photographs show the wire a bit.

Soak the wreath again if needed as you work ~ just tie off the loose grapevine until you are ready to finish. This also helps flatten the wreath out since it will be out of shape.  Finish by tucking in the loose ends of grapevine into the wreath and run some wire around the ends and tie tightly ~ hiding the wire.

 Make a jig

Next you’ll want a way to hold the heart wreath in shape and flat while it dries completely. I used penny nails tapped into an old piece of board we had and slightly stretched the wreath around the nails. Add extra nails as needed.

Add a plate with something really heavy on top of it to hold the wreath down flat.  It was a windy day ~ perfect for drying the wreath out. Check after a few hours and move the weights to any parts which still need to flatten and leave until dry. Mine took about four hours to totally dry ~ the wind was a great help!

Last parts ~ Make the burlap padded frame

I made this chalkboard in the fall and repurposing it for this project isn’t permanent so I pulled the backer board out.

Lay the batting down on top of the freshly ironed burlap piece and cut out the raw cotton batting with about a 1-2″ selvage.  Cut the burlap with about 2-3″ selvage bigger than the board.

Make sure the burlap looks straight vertically (which is why the board is slightly crooked in the above photos – because it is but now the burlap is where it should be.) from the front of the board before you tape or glue it on.

Just like upholstering a chair, begin by pulling up the middle of the top and bottom sections securing with tape or glue. Tape working outwards then fold in and tape the corners. Pull up the sides using the same method.

Put the covered backing back into the frame. If it doesn’t quite fit, tape it to the back of the frame and call it good.  🙂

Remove the dried wreath from the jig and add a ribbon loop run through the grapevine from the back.

Since grapevine is really tough to pull anything through ~ use a 6″ doll needle to “thread” the ribbon underneath and rethread one end as needed in order to make the loop and then run the ribbon back to the top of the wreath again.  Does that make sense? Hope so! 

Tie the ends to the hanging wire on the back of your picture frame and adjust the ribbon as necessary to hang in front.

Affiliate links used in this post ~ anything you purchase through my blog
will help me keep creating fun projects for you. Thank you and it doesn’t
cost you a cent more. 🙂 For complete affiliate info, please see my top bar.

Now the fun part!

Add whatever ephemera you’d like! I found these old fashioned “Instant Ancestors” at Joann’s ~ Jim Holtz idea-ology paper dolls ~ and wanted to create an anniversary or wedding theme with my Valentine’s mixed media project.

For this last part, tear a few sheets out of an old book you don’t love and fold them accordian-style. Glue the ends of one to the next until you have enough to make a “fan circle” when glued in a round. 

Mine took two pages made into two fans first, then glueing them together along one edge and fanning them and finally glueing where they met ~ creating the circle.

Hot glue on your “ancestors” to the middle of the newsprint circle hiding all the joined pieces. Glue wherever you’d like on the burlap as decoration.

Add floral picks and other goodies and wire those or hot glue them on next.

Add some crystal letters (similar) in your favorite Valentine’s Day saying ~ I chose the same wording LOVE as the inspiration piece.

Project Costs

  • $11.99 on sale – grapevine garland ~ I used the whole thing!
  • $ 6.49 – Tim Holtz paper dolls with almost a full bag left for future projects and album decorating.
  • burlap fabric – I bought 1/2 yard at Walmart. Linked is a roll of burlap ~ 18″x 3 yards.
  • baby batting – this natural cotton batting runs $4.97 for a 45″x 36″ piece (1 yard).
I am really pleased with how this Valentine’s mixed media project turned out and you can see the similarities to the original Pinterest inspiration…

Our Pinterest project was inspired by Christina of The DIY Mommy who shared this originally as a video tutorial called Make a Book Page Heart Wreath.  So cute!!!

I am already thinking that I can remove the wreath from the frame later on and hang it on the front door of our next home like I used do at our past homes.

And of course  it may end up over our bed again after Valentine’s Day is over…

If you’ve enjoyed today’s crafty Pinterest Challenge post I’d love it if you’d sign up for future posts!
I appreciate you and your friendship.
{think big heart!}

Now please follow the links to all the ladies in the From Our Heart to Yours blog hop. There are so many great ideas being shared today! And thank you again to Cindy for all of her hard work putting this fun hop together. Woot woot! 

You may also enjoy these two Valentine’s posts

10 Valentines Ideas on the 10th

Hanging Lock Heart


{Crafts to Make ~ Hanging Lock Heart}

Here is the cute little heart craft project
just finished
for you!

Actually, I finished it a week ago…
We are having some technical difficulties again
with our computer.
Also having issues uploading photos from
the camera sometimes.

So, that’s partly
I haven’t been blogging…

The other reason is that Hubby and I have been working hard on finishing up the kitchen cabinets
repainting and fixing where we had a water leak under our sink two or three years ago.
(we had a reverse osmosis water filter that got old and leaked…)

The finished photos for that is coming soon!
Looks really good, too!

Hanging Lock Heart

1.  I used a leftover piece of reclaimed pallet wood with a heart drawn on the part that had the look

I liked.

(Obviously, use anything you have laying around, or run down to your favorite lumber yard and buy a pretty piece of wood.)

*The holes were already in the wood and I thought they would make cute “eyes” for hanging the ribbon hanger through!

2. Cut to length and cut out with a jigsaw or scroll saw. I like using the scroll saw that I bought at
Sears about 20 years ago.

I used to make yard signs like teapots and animated holiday signs I designed for people to put in their yards during the holidays.

A scroll saw operates a lot like using a sewing machine ~ you move the wood on the machine much like you would do when moving a piece of fabric when sewing along curved seams.

The beauty of the scroll saw is that you can back-cut. by coming in from the opposite angle/direction when cutting a piece out.  This is exactly what I did to get out the little triangle piece from the top of the board.

3. Once the heart is cut out, take some 60-grit sandpaper to take down the edges. Finish with 120-grit sandpaper or finer to make the edges nice and smooth.

4. Paint, stain or white-wash the front side, which is what I did here.

5. Attach your lock and/or other cool metal pieces. Add a wire or beautiful ribbon as your hanger.



Your Hanging Heart Lock is complete!!!

Beautiful in its wonkiness… 
Not perfectly symmetrical, just imperfectly cute!

Add lettering around the edges. Stamp the back piece.
Keep adding whatever comes to mind.

Happy Crafting 
blessings to you!

Fall Furniture Re-do

My Fall furniture re-do
last year was working on my dining room chairs.
I had thought about refinishing them for several years
having grown tired of them being brown.
They were quite pretty as they were, but
I was tired of them,
so I knocked out four in one weekend!

First, sanding with 60 grit sandpaper.
I know ~ really, really rough.

It took off the varnish really fast and I was careful
not to knock down any of the carvings.
As pieces of sandpaper wore down on the legs and seat, I would use the still good parts folded
to get into the grooves of the chair carvings and around the little flower parts.

On the caning, I just lightly sanded the fronts and backsides. The caning was already worn from 
years of use, so I was pretty sure it would take the paint really easily. It did.


When you refinish your furniture, you may want to go over your piece with a much finer grain sandpaper after the first coarse sanding to close your wood grain before painting.

I just did a light dry-brushing of the paint so some of the grain and original dark stain would show through.

didn’t do that as my hands gave out… But, I am pretty happy with the results! Now these chairs have a kind of chalk paint-feel to them which I really like.

Really loving how they turned out! 

I just dry-brushed the white paint onto the chair lightly going over the carved parts.

Now, this fall to finish the other two.

Here are the chairs in our dining room at one of my teas this past winter (a mini preview of Christmas-time!!!)

Happy decorating and redoing around your home!
Thank you for “Liking” my posts and “Sharing” and “Following” them!!! 
Please leave me a comment. Have a lovely day!

Blessings to you,