The Mission: To install a solid pine door with full glass, decorated with a frosted effect and the word ‘Laundry’ imprinted on the glass. And to do it on a budget.
The Total Cost:
- $250.00 One finger joint pine door with full glass
- $ 10.00 One can of Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass Finish
- $ 5.00 One can of spray adhesive (we had some on hand)
- painter’s tape
- your time required to shop for a door, decide on a lettering style for ‘Laundry’, paint the door, install the door and spray the door.
The Process: Review the budget to see what we can afford to spend and what we think is a reasonable price to pay at the retail level if we can find what we are looking for. If the budget limits our ability to pay retail price, then review how it can be done as a do-it-yourself project.
Do Your Homework: You will spend a number of hours calling local stores and browsing the Internet for out of town sources. We stopped in at Central Home Improvement in Antigonish, N.S. to see what was available. The pine door (finger joint) with full glass was available for about $250.00. We asked about getting it frosted with ‘Laundry’ and were shocked to hear it would cost about another $500.00. Ummmmm…..no. So we figured, order the door and get the frosted work done at a local print shop using a self adhesive vinyl. We ordered the door and were told it would take 2-3 weeks to arrive. Warning –be prepared to wait over two months for the door to arrive. Either accept that, or find an alternative source for your door.
The door finally arrives a couple months later. **If your door arrives with a protective film on the glass (used to protect the glass in shipping) DO NOT remove this film. You’ll read why later.**
We head over to the local sign shop in town, Admiral Auto Glass and Sign Making. When my wife explains what she wants, they pull up a sample in their inventory on the computer. Apparently they’ve done this before. They wanted $150.00 to produce the vinyl and to apply it to the door. Still too much in our opinion. So we ask about just getting the word ‘Laundry’ cut out and we take it and apply it to the glass, and apply a frosted spray. They wanted $25 for the word. Still too much in our opinion. I suppose for many folks it might be worthwhile and given the time involved, they quoted reasonable amounts but we knew we could probably do it for less. Besides…I have an idea!
We’re not trying to do it on the cheap, we try to support local business whenever possible. On many occasions we pay more for the convenience. I suppose in the end that’s what its all about, paying for convenience. I mean I could probably have made the solid pine door for less than $100 in materials. Anyway…onward we go.
So we head back to the Central store and pick up a can of Rust-Oleum Specialty Frosted Glass Finish in a spray can. Cost about $10.00
So what’s the next step? We put the door in place and determine what sort of layout we want. The word laundry will obviously be in the middle at about eye level, and we want a border around the edge. We measure how far off the edge we want the border and how wide the border should be. Using the painter’s tape we have on hand to mask out the border line, about 3/4 inch. We place that border off of the edge 1-1/2 inches. Doing a mock up with tape we determine the word laundry should be about 12 inches wide. The height will be whatever it is depending on the lettering style we use.
Now we have to decide what lettering font we want to use and how we would like it displayed (arched). Using graphics software on my Mac, we came up with something we liked and printed it on a sheet of 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper. We scaled the word to be 12 inches long so the lettering got cut off on the letter Y but we will ‘free hand’ that when the time comes.
Remember I mentioned about keeping that shipping film on the glass? Here’s why. When it comes time to paint the wood frame of the door, you don’t have to worry about getting paint on the glass. Not a big deal but its one less thing to clean up. **The film also becomes important in another step. You’ll read why alter on.**
Painting the door: Ok, now the fun stuff begins. Start with applying a single coat of primer to the door. Let dry and apply 2-3 coats of your finish color. We just used a sash brush and sponge roller. In our project we used the same trim paint color that appears throughout the house. Remember that protective film, its still on and its going to stay on a bit longer.
Install the door: In about 2 hours I installed the studding, drywall, door jamb and hinged the door.
Prep the door for spraying: At this point the door is painted, hinged on the door frame and still has the protective film on the glass. Now we are going to take the ‘Laundry’ word that we printed on the sheet of paper and position it on the door. All we did was fold the paper in half, just enough to place a small crease on the top and bottom edge of the paper, then marked the center line of the glass. Align the marks and your word is centered on the glass. We used a spray adhesive and applied it to the back of the paper, waited a couple seconds for it to become tacky, then stuck it to the protective film.
Cut out the word: Using a sharp cutting tool, trace around the letters. This is the most tedious part. Taking time, we cut through the paper and the protective film, right to the glass surface, applying a bit of pressure. When that’s done, we peeled away all of the protective file EXCEPT the lettering. Now we are left with a door that has the word ‘Laundry’ on the glass, both the protective film and the paper layer that is stuck to it.
Mask the border and cover the area: Next step is to use the painter’s tape to apply the border 1-1/2 inches off the edge of the glass. Then tape newspaper in place to mask the door and surrounding area from overspray. If you are spraying in a finished room in your house I would not advise it. We did it because the room and surround areas are still bare drywall.
We’re ready to spray: First…read the instructions and be certain of the steps. The can says to apply a thin layer with slight overlapping. Allow a few minutes to dry and apply another coat if desired. The frosting effect will occur about 10 minutes after your final coat is applied. Starting from the top I spray left to right, right to left, slightly overlapping and making sure not to spray too heavy. Its much better to spray many light coats than a one heavy coat. We waited 3 minutes between coats since the spray looked like it was just drying, we applied another coat. We ended up spraying three coats. We had one surprise while spraying. After the first coat and just as we were ready to apply the second coat, the paper letters which were glued on earlier, started to peel off. No panic though. Remember….the protective film is still underneath that so we can continue spraying. We were hoping the same would not happen with that protective film, but it stuck. We think that the spray must have had a reaction with the adhesive spray used to apply the paper.
WARNING: This product when sprayed indoors gives off nasty smelly odors that will slowly dissipate over a couple of days. If you have an air exchanger, put it one high for a day or so. You get used to the smell. We only noticed it after being outdoors for a couple hours, then come back into the house. If a person is sensitive to such odors, I would recommend the spray be applied and allowed to cure for a couple of days in a different building, separate from your home.
The Results: We let the door dry for about an hour, actually we went upstairs for supper. 🙂 All we had to do was peel away the ‘Laundry’ letters and clean up. The photos below speak for themselves. We think the job turned out pretty good!