patio doors before & after…amazing!

I’ve shared that we recently celebrated our daughter’s graduation from high school. What a week it was too. Just to recap, our 4th child graduating from high school, our 5th child, that baby of the family turned 16 that same week. To add more tension to this mix of excitement, hubby lands a new position in his company and not only do his hours change (for the better) but he lost all of his vacation he had secured in his previous position. The bids came up in April, his vacation schedule was set, he had taken the week of DS’s birthday and DD’s graduation. Good for me because we had his dad and step-mom coming in from out of town, his sister and brother-in-law coming in from out of town, our other daughter was coming home with her hubby and their five little darlings. Now before you begin to hyperventilate…all of our guests stayed in other places. Our daughter and her family bunked with our son (her brother) and his wife and kids, and the in laws opted to stay in near by hotels. But when he lost his vacation slot for that week, he was gone from 8am until 9pm each day. You see, my husband owns a pool cleaning service, which he runs during the day, and he works for FedEx part time, now in the evenings. Yes…he is my hero!

The story isn’t as grim as I make it sound, hubby did take a personal day and joined us for dinner at Babe’s, our favorite place to go to celebrate our birthdays. It’s tradition.

The rest of the week my hubby’s wonderful parents had to put up with me. Lucky for them the kiddos were around, not sure I could be that entertaining for three whole days. All kidding aside, it was fun and frantic all at the same time.

You know the drill…company’s coming, time to clean and spruce up the house.  All of the sudden things that you’ve learned to live with and overlook, begin to stick out like a sore thumb, in this case it was an “eye sore” of gargantuan proportions.

See for yourself…this was our back patio doors.  Want the back story?  It was a project that never made it to completion.  Bet you don’t have any of those do you?  🙂  Well we have plenty but this was the biggest and the worst, thanks to Rudy, the family dog. Yes, it’s all his fault that we procrastinated for eight years!  Yep you read that right, EIGHT YEARS!

Minus the dark brown smear, these patio door only received the green coat of paint shortly after they were installed, but we never finished the trim work and then we brought Rudy home…wouldn’t you know we brought home the smartest dog on the farm.  That little stinker quickly grew and just as quickly learned how to jump up on the door and hit that lever with his paw and waltz right into the house.

Unless the door was locked….then he would still jump and flip the handle but when it didn’t open he clawed the door.

and this is what came of my beautiful wood french doors.

The picture doesn’t give you the detail of how deep those ruts are, but let’s just say the door was probably a loss.  Shocking…but more so because we just grew complacent and learned to live with it…until we painted the front door.

You know the drill, start one project and you find another problem, fix that and then there’s another issue to deal with.

But this was just a cold slap in the face when we finished the front porch and then came out back and with opened eyes and saw what we had closed our eyes to for so many years.

You would assume that Rudy received tons of splinters, but that was not the case.  In fact to this day we are not quite sure why he doesn’t jump up on the door anymore.

Now he just barks and we let him in.  Why was that so hard to learn and why did the door have to suffer in the learning years.  I’m sure the dog whisperer would say it was my bad parenting.

So if the door wasn’t bad enough, the lack of protective coating on the wood left it vulnerable to years of weather, rain, wind, sun and even snow.  It took it toll and this is one reason we finally faced reality, our doors where wonky because the frame was deteriorating.

This was the worst of two sides…as you can see it was completely rotten and falling apart.

This side…not so bad, but it would be eventually. It was time to face facts and move into renovation mode.  A trip to the surplus store up the road a bit, we were able to purchase the materials to build a new frame and threshold.  Armed with our power tools we faced our giant that day.  I looked at my husband before we began and asked him if he was as terrified as I was.  He said yes…comforting ugh?  Our plan was to begin early enough in the day that if we couldn’t get it done correctly, we could hopefully call for emergency back up.

Down came the doors and out came the dilapidated frame and threshold.  Because I’m a freak about a clean work zone (but I can go years with my doors looking like crap) I would take time to clean up the debris  as we went.  My thought was that it would be less mess in the end.

I was not sure the door was salvageable, but funds were limited and we were working against a deadline date, so a massive repair job commenced.  I’m considering a profession in cosmetic surgery for doors 🙂  You’ll see why in a minute.

These were my instruments used to repair the damage to the doors.  I slathered wood filler as if I was icing a cake, glued and patched peeling veneer.

I felt so professional using my clamps…as if I knew this would work.  It did work, but my confidence was lacking until that last coat of paint went on.

This story is long but hang with me…it has a great ending!

We hit a minor snag when we noticed the door frames weren’t notched for the hinges…

Guess what I learned to do that day?

Yes indeed…I can now ad wood chucking to my resume!

But the best part about this minor glitch…

I scored some nice new tools!  How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?  hummm…about six hinge notches I would imagine.

okay…fast forwarding a bit because I’m probably loosing you.  New frame is in, doors are up, sanding will now commence by hand because the wood putty instructions say no-no to the power sander 😦

this is fine…my arms needed the workout.

Sanding done and it’s almost as smooth as a baby’s bottom.  I still have my doubts that these doors will look presentable, but I must stay the course and keep a positive attitude.  Wood putty, glue, sand paper and paint are cheaper than two new doors.

Hold on…I’m almost to the grand finale!  Here are the doors painted…wow! We still have to put up the trim, caulk and paint.  But WOW!  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?   I’m thinking if wood putty and paint can make these doors look like this…maybe I should try this on my thighs!  LOL!!!!!

Okay.  Are you ready for this?



Do you see my sweet little Rudy?

Yeah he looks really cute sitting there with his little pink bear.

I know…there are still scars in the door.  It won’t ever be perfect. But for now it’s working and for the life of me I can’t figure out why we let it go so long. When my son came by I led him by the hand and showed him the doors.  He said that they looked really nice.  You know what I think…I think he had forgotten what they really looked like, or like us he just got used to the way they looked.  Have you forgotten too?  Quick…scroll back up to the top photo and then scroll back to the last photo.  Nice?  No they look FANTASTIC!

If you made it all the way to the end…thank you!

Your awesome!

I guess I should feel a little bit embarrassed by our neglect.  But for some reason I don’t.  Instead I’m proud of our accomplishment and our teamwork.   Little by little we are reclaiming our home.  There is another long back story about that too….but I’ll let your eyes rest for now.


Linking to:

Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday #127

BoogieBoard Cottage: Masterpiece Monday #26

4 thoughts on “patio doors before & after…amazing!

  1. They look amazing! I’d be worried about the dog getting to them again! You did a great job.

    Boy, you’ve been busy too! Enjoy a beautiful summer!

  2. Embarrassed never, proud yes! The doors look lovely, hard work paid off. Just a thought about your sweet fur friend. Perhaps you could cover the area where he claws to open the door with some clear plexiglass or metal plating. Something that does not distract from your lovely doors. Sorry, unsolicited two cents inserted in this comment.giggle, Big Hugs!!
    P.S. new giveaway going on don’t forget to enter 🙂

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