Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Building an Entry Door, Part 2 of 3

Our stairwell has a tiny window at the very bottom of the steps.  The rest of the stairwell is a fairly dark, narrow space that I've not touched with a paint brush yet.  We wanted a glass insert in our door to allow light into our dark stairwell and to increase a feeling of openness when climbing the 12 steps to the top.

We couldn't find a large piece of plexiglass that was the size we wanted, so we used a 24" x 48" pane, frosted it, and added trim around it with a panel below.

  • Timbron quarter round ($0, scrap shoe moulding)
  • 2x2 @ 2 ft long ($0.25, shorty from Re-Use Hawai'i)
  • 1/2" A and B finished Maple/Birch plywood ($0, leftover from kitchen cabinets and media console)
  • Quarter round, 3/4" wide @ 16 feet ($10, City Mill)
  • Half round, 1/2" wide @ 8 feet ($4, City Mill)
  • DAP Glazing compound ($4, Amazon.com)
  • OOK Glazier Points ($3, Home Depot)
  • Rustoleum Frosted Glass Spray Paint ($5, Home Depot)
  • 24" x 48" x .25" Plexiglass ($70, City Mill) 
$97 (rounded up) for plexiglass, glazing supplies, and trim.

Hitachi cordless drill, Ryobi miter saw, Skil circular saw, Kreg Jig Jr., 2 1/2" pocket hole screws, putty knife, red sharpie (tools already owned)


After drilling the holes for all of the door hardware, I decided to work on adding a design to the plexiglass we bought.

Frosting a design on plexiglass
The plexiglass had a protective film on both sides.  I drew my own version of a fantastic tree my husband and I saw online with a red sharpie.  Then, using our kitchen shears (because it was handy), I cut through the film around the leaves and branches and pulled the background off.

I think I may be the world's worst spray painter.  Does anyone give spray painting class, because I may need it.

My husband has yet to notice the spots, but if he asks, I'll call them "happenstance texture."  You know, so he'll think I've embraced it as part of the design, for a moment.  :)

When I peeled the protective film leaves and tree, I had this hard to see design:

Mitering the trim to use as glass stops
Since my plexiglass was considerably smaller than the door frame, I needed to place the plexiglass inside the frame and measure how large of a bottom panel I'd need and take measurements to add Timbron as stops on which the glass could rest.

One day, when I become better at mitering, I will provide some mitering tips, but at this point, "miter cut" might as well be a curse word in my vocabulary, especially because the door was upstairs and the miter saw was downstairs in our garage.

For now, here's what my process looked like:

 Adding the bottom panel and trim

Timbron and non-wood trim are not my ideal, but they were inexpensive, and I had them on hand.  I'm doing what I can to prevent waste and transform some of the things we saved from our gutting phase of the apartment.

Exhibit A:  Reclaimed non-wood trim from the kitchen, before.

On the opposite side, I did the same procedure, but I had to purchase new trim for it since I ran out of the old trim I saved from gutting our kitchen.

At the end of Day 3, everything was ready for wood filler, caulking, sanding, and finishing.  =D  Next, I'll show how we finished our entry door and how it looks now.


  1. Spectacular! Love Love Love the plexiglass with the fabulous tree design. The trims at the bottom are awesome. Super super job! JoanneS

    1. Thank you, Joanne! :) We saw the tree design and loved it. I'm a bit disappointed by my lack of spray painting skill, though.

  2. This looks wonderful! Creative use of materials and fab skills! Love the glass and the design!


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