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Choosing Doors for the Basement Remodel

April 3, 2012

One of my most favorite things about living in an old house is buying antique furniture to fit the surroundings and restoring the original woodwork. We lucked out on the purchase of our home because all the original woodwork is untouched – never painted – and in great shape for 80 years of wear. The only woodwork I’ve had to bring back to life is the front door. The antique furniture in the home I either refinished in the past or bought in good shape. I try to leave the original finish and patina and only refinish items that have been painted or are in rough shape.

When we took on the basement renovation I didn’t plan on buying salvaged doors that matched the interior doors in the rest of the home, but it was important to me to make the new space transition seamlessly into the rest of the house. I HATE going to an open house or a home tour, walking through a beautiful old home and then stumbling into a super contemporary addition or remodeled space that looks like it just dropped out of the sky. I know not everyone agrees, but I think that the remodel or addition should be done in the same style as the original house so it becomes part of the home.

Any who…I found beautiful two panel birch and pine doors (pine stiles and rails and birch panels) in OK shape at the local architectural salvage shop Materials Unlimited. The doors will be used for the laundry room, bathroom and closet. If I had checked to see if they were shellacked I wouldn’t have h to refinish them (blast!), but more on that later.

To read the tutorial on refinishing antiques click here.

Bathroom Door Before:

Bathroom door before

Bathroom Door After:

Closet Door Before:

Closet Door After:

Laundry Room Door Before:

Laundry Room Door After:




10 Comments leave one →
  1. narroyo permalink
    August 28, 2012 1:04 PM

    curoius about the door jambs. did you have to purchase or make new jambs, or did you just adjust the existing jambs? also, the doors have a beautiful finish. were they lacquered or just cleaned up? thank you.

    • August 28, 2012 4:47 PM

      since the basement wasn’t finished before we had to create door jambs from stock jamb material. The doors were stripped and then stained with a minwax oil-based stain and then padded with shellac. I’m glad you like them. Lots of elbow grease 🙂

  2. April 19, 2012 4:52 PM

    The doors look really good. You should start a side business!

    • April 19, 2012 10:17 PM

      I’ve thought about it…opening an Etsy shop to sell refinishing antiques…..maybe someday off in the future 🙂 Who knows where life will take me.

  3. saaraahsaaraah permalink
    April 4, 2012 12:30 PM

    Fantastic job! The doors are *stunning*. The hardware and hinges look wonderful as well.

  4. April 4, 2012 10:28 AM

    These are definitely amazing, and I sincerely hope that our bathroom door turns out half as good.

    • April 4, 2012 10:31 AM

      Thank you! The shellac was so easy
      too. I am going to coat the inside of the bathroom doors with poly for the waterproofing you talked about. We haven’t finished the shower yet though, so the shellac works for now.

  5. April 4, 2012 9:53 AM

    I can’t show this to my boyfriend because he will want to redo every door in our house. Every door that is buried under 60 years and 14 coats of paint. Yours turned out SO gorgeous.

    • April 4, 2012 10:33 AM

      I wouldn’t either if I were you, haha. 3 was a lot to do all at once. If we had 10 or more it would have taken forever…


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