Front Door Fixup

Remember how I told you I did all kinds of getting-ready-for-winter tasks a few weekends ago?

Well I had planned to tell you about a quick little project much sooner… but, like most things home-related, things took much longer to finish up than I had planned or guessed.

But today I have a freshly painted and face-lifted front door!

First, a little background.  The door is in bad shape, no doubt about it.  And if I was thinking, I would have replaced it before my house was painted… But I didn’t.  The fake plastic mullions are broken and have yellowed with age, and the bottom is bent and rusting. Three summers ago I gave the door a little mini makeover– spray painted the mullions white, neutralized the rust and gave the whole shebang a fresh coat of paint.  I even spray painted the doorknob with oil rubbed bronze spray paint (this method is highly controversial in blogland, but it held up great for me!  I used some fine-grit sandpaper and a deglosser before spray painting)

Here’s a collage I made in 2012. Check out that yellowed plastic! Yuck!

I painted the door Benjamin Moore Agave and I loved it.  The spring green looked great with the old brown-on-brown paint job.

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Unfortunately, I had the house painted this summer and the agave color totally clashed with the new green trim!

I pulled out my trusty Benjamin Moore Affinity Colors paint deck and started testing options.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find the one.  So I went to the paint store armed with a few choices that were close.  I didn’t find a paint chip that grabbed me, but the store was having a sale on their mis-tinted paint… and I found the perfect shade of purple.  I got so lucky!  A whole gallon of a good quality exterior paint for $3!

I followed the same steps as I did 3 summers ago, including neutralizing the rust and re-spray painting the mullions.  They still looked great from the street but the paint was starting to peel a little, so I thought it was a good time to touch it up.  Last time I wasn’t so careful with the masking…  but this time I made sure to protect that new paint!


The next day I put the first coat of purple paint on!


I made sure to follow all the instructions on the paint can. The main requirements were the temperature has to be above 35 (check!), 2 degrees higher than the dew point and no rain in the forecast for 24 hours.

after the first coat…

It looked pretty good!

Until it didn’t.

Even though I thought I was in the clear, weatherwise, that evening it cooled off fast and everything was quickly covered in dew…  within hours of painting.

In the morning I found little purple puddles in the mud room (I just left the door slightly ajar – this is the door to my mudroom, not my actual front door) and it looked like this:



And then it rained.  And rained.  And rained.

What’s funny is that when I bought the paint, I told the cashier “yeah, I gotta get going on this before I run out of painting weather!” and he said “you’ve got a couple weeks left!”

Well it rained for at least 14 days straight (there go my “couple weeks”)!!!

Finally this past weekend I was able to finish this up.  I gave everything a quick sanding (luckily it just looked worse than it was) and put on 2 coats of paint!  And last night I installed a new (not spray painted) doorknob!


So there’s my “quick” front door makeover!  And just in the nick of time– it’s almost too cold to paint these days!  Mission for next summer: find a better light fixture!



One of the things I love most about living in Alaska is the extreme change in seasons.  The days get noticeably shorter and the temperatures descend week by week.

Our winters are long and there are lots of chores to complete before the snow flies. This weekend I tackled a few.

First, I installed new weatherstripping around my front door.  I went to check the mail the other day and it was getting dark.  I had left the light on inside and as I went to go back in, I noticed all the light I could see through the gaps in my door!  Yikes.  No wonder it’s felt so drafty the past few winters!

The new weatherstripping is magnetic (high tech!).  It was pretty easy to do.  The pieces come longer than necessary and they’re trimmed to fit (just with kitchen shears). The pack I got had 2 sides and a top piece.

In the trim around the door, there’s a kerf, or groove in the trim that accepts store-bought weather stripping.  So handy!

Here’s a handy graphic showing how it works.

While in the process of trimming the weatherstripping to fit my door, I ended up cutting a perfect cross section:

The tree shaped part is what is jammed in the groove.  The magnet on the bottom seals to my metal door.

It’s not easy to take pictures of weatherstripping, but rest assured that magnetic strip is sealed tight against the door! (That’s the trim on the left, the weather stripping in the center and my door on the right)

Fusible Web Appliqué 

Remember I told you I had plenty more posts about the Row by Row quilt I did?!  Well, I wanted to expand a little on fusible web appliqué. 

I use a product called “Softfuse.”  You want to make sure whatever you use is meant to be stitched through, and I like Softfuse because it doesn’t feel like cardboard when it’s fused together.

Most appliqué patterns come with 2 parts: a page of items to trace (usually reversed since the fusible web is applied to the back of the fabric) and a layout page so you can get the pieces put together correctly.13-IMG_4749

I trace the outline of each piece using a sharpie (use black and not colors!).  Then I cut roughly around the shapes arranged by color.  I fuse these to the corresponding fabric with a hot iron.  Then, I turn on a good tv show and cut, cut, cut.  I use a nice pair of scissors made for detailed fabric cutting.  I splurged on them at Joann’s (with a 50% off coupon!).  There was enough cutting for this quilt that my hands got a little crampy.  Actually I just realized I had told someone (in a self-deprecating way) “eh, yeah, you just iron these things on…”  Geez, I should have remembered how my hands felt when I trivialized the amount of work I put into this!


So here’s a shot from one of my cutting sessions– you can see my fine point sharpie, some bears, a tree and some dragonfly bodies I had already cut out.  The dragonfly wings are waiting to be cut.

After everything’s cut out, you fuse it to the background fabric!


Love those fish!!!

Softfuse is soft but it doesn’t seem to hold up to much abuse, so you definitely should sew it down.  I used an invisible thread (filament) for most of the blocks but I didn’t sew everything down.  I kind of wish I had but I can always do that later if it bothers me.  For now the quilt is hanging in my office!  It makes a very colorful decoration!