My New Craftsman Front Door – Part 2

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Last week I showed you my AMAZING roadside find.  The fabulous Craftsman door that I’ve been longing for for quite some time.  Well, maybe not THE door I’ve been longing for but a Craftsman door, none the less.


Do you remember this beauty?  I know…beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think it’s beautiful.  It is beautiful because of its potential.  It has GREAT potential!!

Now, if you remember, our home is just over 100 years old, 103 years to be exact, and this door is estimated to be 90 some years old, it is going to fit our house PERFECTLY!!

So, here’s what we’ve done to turn this $15 roadside find into a beautiful masterpiece.  First of all, we tore off the old dilapidated door frame.  We would need to build one that fit perfectly and this one was just falling apart anyway.  Next, I removed all the old hardware.  For security and to update the look a bit, we decided to get new hardware.  You’ll see that later!  Then began the time-consuming process of removing all the old finish off the door.  This took quite some time and energy from me and my palm sander and then My Better Half got serious with his belt sander.


After the initial passes from the sander, the door already looked 100 times better.  We filled the holes from the old lock system with a wood block, cut to size.

craftsman door 20

Then filled in the remainder of the spaces with wood filler.

We had to use a stripper for the areas around the windows and some of the tiny, hard to reach places.  Getting sand paper in the little cracks was just NOT working.

Craftsman door 21

Getting all the finish off took several weekends, a ton of sandpaper, and some very sore wrists.  But, it was WELL worth it!!


Once that was finished, My Better Half wanted to offer support to this old door so he added several lag bolts to the sides of the doors.


First he drilled the hole for the lag bolts and then screwed them in place.


This also forced the gaps in the old joinery together which helped square up the door.  I would have never known to do that.  He’s SO smart!!



This closed up any gaps and made the door stronger than it was before.  To fill in the holes from the lag bolts, we used a dowel rod that fit the hole perfectly.

craftsman door 18

We glued the dowel rod in place and then cut it down to size and sanded it, so you can barely tell now that it’s sanded.

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Next, we moved on to creating a dental shelf for the door.  It didn’t have one to begin with, but we love the look that it adds to a craftsman door and so we decided to add one to ours.

We searched the internet for different versions of dental shelves and copied them.  We tried several different designs before we settled on this one.

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We didn’t attach it to the door at this point.  It’s just sitting on there while I get a bird’s eye view.  We waited until after we stained the door to make sure there was a good waterproofing behind the dental shelf.

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So, are you on photo overload yet?  I know it’s a lot to take in.  There was a lot to do to get this door ready for stain and sturdy enough to hang.

The next steps are staining, sealing, and building a frame.  But we sure have come a LONG way and I can assure, it’s gonna be amazing!!

Until next time,

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  1. […] seen how all this started, I’ll give you a brief recap or you can check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this door project.  This door started with My Better Half seeing it along the side of the road […]

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