how to refinish an old door to look new again

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schlage. The opinions and text are all mine.

One of the joys (and I use that in the most sarcastic way possible) of owning an old house is cleaning up other people’s messes. For example, my tiny bungalow was a rental for many years before I bought it, which essentially means that all kinds of weird stuff happened to my house. For example, before I painted the living room, I noticed that someone had written tiny bits of graffiti in pencil all over the walls and trim — but tucked away into corners and along the thin edge of window trim. It was so bizarre and none of the words made any sense. I painted over it, but I still wonder… why?? One thing that has always irritated me in our home is how sloppily it has been painted over the years. Every window sill and door is covered in gobs and gobs of dripping paint, almost like a kindergartener was let loose. Two years ago, my good friends Susan and Will Brinson taught me the most satisfying way to refinish an old door and trim, so today I partnered with Schlage to share it with you guys + talk about the new Schlage Custom Door Hardware collection (trust, it is so gooood).

Our bathroom door has always bothered me. It has a really beautiful insert panel with little steps for trim that goes so nicely with the period of our home. The details, though, have always been covered up with years and years of paint. Plus, the existing hardware never properly fit and the latch never actually worked… so the dogs could just barge in on me in the shower! It was time to do something about it, so I gathered my paint stripping supplies and got to work.

How to refinish an old door to look new again with @schlagelocks. Head to Jojotastic.com for this fixer upper DIY tutorial to strip paint and install new bathroom door hardware! #SchlageCustom #ad

To refinish an old door, you’ll need a few tools:

How to refinish an old door to look new again with @schlagelocks. Head to Jojotastic.com for this fixer upper DIY tutorial to strip paint and install new bathroom door hardware! #SchlageCustom #ad

I also suggest doing this outside, over a tarp and on either an old table or saw horses. You’ll definitely need good ventilation and I highly encourage you to wear a respirator while removing the paint.

How to refinish an old door to look new again with @schlagelocks. Head to Jojotastic.com for this fixer upper DIY tutorial to strip paint and install new bathroom door hardware! #SchlageCustom #ad

You can begin this anywhere on the door, but I usually pick a corner and start there. Hold the heat gun a few inches from the surface of the door. You’ll see the paint start to bubble and blister up. Press the edge of the scraper against the surface and push it under the bubble. The paint layers will scrape up and almost peel away from the door because of the heat. If you’re lucky, you’ll get it to come up cleanly, but sometimes there are a few bits left behind that will need to be sanded.

How to refinish an old door to look new again with @schlagelocks. Head to Jojotastic.com for this fixer upper DIY tutorial to strip paint and install new bathroom door hardware! #SchlageCustom #ad

This is roughly what your door will look like when the paint is all scraped off! From here, sand away anything that is raised, so that when you paint the door is totally smooth. After you’re finished sanding, use putty to fill in any holes (for example, I filled in the hole for the old lock that we no longer needed). Wait for that to dry according to the instructions on the package, then sand it so the surface is totally smooth.

Once the surface is completely smooth, wipe it down to remove the dust and debris, then prime and paint as usual. In my case, I used the same white from the rest of our house (Greek Villa by Sherwin-Williams).

How to refinish an old door to look new again with @schlagelocks. Head to Jojotastic.com for this fixer upper DIY tutorial to strip paint and install new bathroom door hardware! #SchlageCustom #ad

And now… the pièce de résistance: our new Schlage Custom™ door hardware and hinges! As you probably know by now, I have an obsession with matte black hardware in our home, so I was immediately drawn to the Bowery Knob with Century Trim. First of all, it came in my preferred finish (and many others) and, second, the silhouette was just too stunning. While I was checking out the 74 options (!!) available in matte black, this combination stood out to me the most.

How to refinish an old door to look new again with @schlagelocks. Head to Jojotastic.com for this fixer upper DIY tutorial to strip paint and install new bathroom door hardware! #SchlageCustom #ad

I love how bold and graphic this knob and trim combination looks against our looks-brand-new bathroom door — especially finished off with the matching matte black hinges.

How to refinish an old door to look new again with @schlagelocks. Head to Jojotastic.com for this fixer upper DIY tutorial to strip paint and install new bathroom door hardware! #SchlageCustom #ad

Even though we’re not quite ready for a full bathroom renovation yet, just this small change really helps to make the space feel fresher and nicer. When you live in a fixer upper, that can make all the difference! If you’re looking to update the doors in your home, I highly recommend checking out the new Schlage Custom™ door hardware. They have so many mix and match options with premium style and long-lasting finishes. I’m sure you’ll find a fab combination that will be perfect for any space.

photography and styling by Jojotastic.