This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click on my link and buy something, I will earn a small commission from the advertiser at no additional cost to you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Update on Pirate Room - Faux Closet Doors

At last an update on the Pirate Room!!! 
 We have finally finished pimping out the closet doors. 
 (Don't judge me on how long we spent on the closet doors!)  
(Crazy I know, but it's all in the details)
Here's our inspiration picture.

I'm going to share how we did ours and what we learned in the process.
 (That implies we made some mistakes.
(I call it the Learning curve.)
So, last we talked these were the boys doors. 
 Plain white!  
Not very good for a Pirate!

Step one,
 (Stick with me this is a long post)
I painted the doors a chocolate brown color.
I wasn't very picky on the color,
 so I just went with some left over opps paint my sister had. 
 That made the first step FREE!
(I love free.)
It was flat paint but was only the base coat for the faux finish so it didn't matter.

When done the doors looked like giant Hershey bars.
(I know I think too much about chocolate.) 
After they dried really well, I prepped them for the next step. 
 I used painters tape and taped off the middle, top and bottom sections.
(see below

For the next step I used the following products: 
Black and Brown craft paint
Valspar Clear Mixing Glaze
Wood graining tool

Then I just dumped a lot of brown craft paint and a little black
 (cause I wanted it darker
and some glaze into an ice cream bucket. 
  I'm not very scientific about it 
but I took a picture so you could get and idea of how much of each I used.  
(If its not right just dump more accordingly
Then mix it up and your ready to start faux painting.

I just painted on the glaze in a section then I pulled the graining tool through the glaze, 
gently rocking it as I went.

The grain needs to go the direction it would on a real wood door. 
Below the red shows which direction I did the graining in each section. 
 The green numbers are the order I went in.  
The blue is where I put the painters tape while doing glazing step one through three. 
(This gives you a straight edge and looks nice.)  
Take the tape off before you glaze sections #4.

Here's where I made my first mistake. 
(I know you can't believe I make any mistakes!! lol )
After removing the tape I tried taping it over what I had glazed. 
 Don't do this,
 unless you want to have to go back and touch up where the tape rips off your new faux finish.
 (And yes, I waited for it to dry!)
(Maybe if you waited a day it would work, but I'm too impatient for that.)
So, just use a steady hand on section four.

Here's what I had when I finished this step.  
(see below)
And here's some tips I learned by trial and error.

1. Make long gentle rocks. 
My first doors I just rocked it quickly which just made the door look fake with way to many knots.
 (If you want to fix this like I may have done, just reglaze it and rock again.)

2.  Don't apply too much pressure. 
 You want a lot more of the glazed and small amounts of the base coat peeking through.  

3.  Stand back and look at it often and adjust your technique.

4.  Start on the back where it won't be as visible untill you really get your technique down. 

5. On the edges and hard to reached parts I used the comb part of the tool.
 Since these parts would show the cross cut of the grain on a real wood door.

After you stand back and admire your work for awhile, let this dry for a few days. 
Then your ready to put on the clear coat to protect it.
 I use Minwax Polycrylic Protective finish in satin sheen.

Now we come to the part of the story that made me cry and curse! 
 The Clear Coat!
That sounds easy right?
I painted the first coat with some leftover product I had from my bathroom. 
 It looked fine. 
 But the can suggest three coats. 
 I decided I would do two. 
  I ran out just after I started the second coat on the first door. 
 So off to the store I went so I could finish them that Saturday night. 
 I went to Walmart and purchased a new can for $16.22. 
 I came home and did the last coat.  
After it dried it was freaking glossy

It looked like crap! 

 I was so upset that I had done the second coat.  
Then I realized that the section I had done with the first can was a nice satin finish. 
 I decided that I had purchased a can that had been mislabled! 
 I had just put a high gloss finish on all that hard work and it looked terrible.
 I was so mad and decided to call the manufacture and demand justice. 
 I mean all that work and now I would have to sand off that shinny finish to apply a new one and probably screw up the faux paint finish.  
I just knew I would have to start all over. 
 But that was Saturday and I had to wait until Monday to call.  
All weekend every piece of wood I saw taunted me with, 
"Look I have a nice satin finish!"
(I know your worrried that I'm talking to wood!)
Monday morning finally came and I made that fateful call to Minwax.

In case your in tears now, don't worry the Minwax people helped fix my problems.
It turns out the only difference between gloss and satin finish is a flattening agent. 
 That agent tends to sink to the bottom.  
You need to stir it well and often to get it off the bottom. 
(Stir don't shake, that produces bubbles.)  

(Ok it says right on the can to stir and I had. Maybe not for three to five minutes like the lady on the phone said but I had stirred it!)

I also found out that I had purchased a can that was four years old!!  
 (You can image how settled that flattening agent was.)
 She also taught me how to read the date code on the top of the can. 
I also learned
(can't believe how much I learned in one phone call)
that you don't have to sand the gloss finish off. 
The last coat applied is the one that reflects the light. 

Armed with all my new knowledge I returned to Walmart, 
returned my can, 
found a new can on the shelf with a newer date,
 and purchased it. 
 I then did a light sanding like you should between coats, 
and stirred my new product for 5 minutes
 (Yes, I timed it!
 I then repainted the doors and waited for it to dry. 


If you are still reading this novel,
 I hope this story saves you some heartache!! 
Moral of the story STIR when it says stir!!!

So after much ado, here they are.

That could be the happy ending to our door story,
 but we still have the iron studds to put on. 
 You can buy real iron studs from $1.50 to $3 per stud. 
 I needed 16 studs per door and I have four doors. 
 That's 64 studs. 
 OK do the math,
 that's about $90-192 for just the studs. 

 Not in our budget!!!

Here's what we did.  
We  purchased 1inch wood plugs or buttons. 
 They came in bags of 6 at Lowe's.  
They cost about $20 for all 64. 

That saved me about $70 to $170.  

Then Les sanded about 30 flat spots on each head with a belt sander.
(He's just as crazy as I am.)
(That's one of the reasons I love him so much.)

Next he sprayed them black and hand painted each one with a coat of stirred satin clear coat. 
 (I know I'm pictured slaving away painting those cute little buttons,)
( but I only painted like two.  Les painted over 60!)

Here's what they looked like out of the package, sanded, and finished. 
 This was totally Les' project.  
He makes me so proud.

Next Les marked the door with his high tech gauge 
(Scrap wood and a nail.) 
 Then he drilled the holes.  
(Yes, this is scary making huge holes in your lovely new doors.) 

We had a little learning curve here also.
  Pay attention when drilling. 
 Our last door Les got a little use to it and didn't realize the tip had pierced the backside of the door.  

(Touch up! Its a lovely thing.)

 Les then used his thumb to clean up the fuzzies around the holes.

He used his fingers to apply the glue and popped them into place. 
 (Make sure you wipe up the excess glue before it dries.)

Last step was to add the handles.  
We used gate handles.  
They worked great except we had to use lag screws to attache them and then paint the heads.

So finally here's our Pirate closet doors.

Close ups.

What do you think?
  I would love to hear if you can sympathize with my learning curves 
and if they are of any help to any one. 

 Well now for my favorite part. 
How much did I save?

According to the guy at Lowe's all four doors would have cost me $800 to $2000. 
 (depending on if they were solid wood or not)

How much did it cost us.  

Doors(two from the Restore)...............................$20
Doors(two damaged doors from Lowe's)...........$57
Paint and clear coat..............................................$24
Wood buttons.......................................................$20
Misc. and door framing wood .............................$40
Grand Total for all four doors 

Got to love it! 
I think they turned out pretty good.
Tell me what do ya think.
  I need some comments after such an ordeal!!

Thanks for stopping by.



Anonymous said...

Absolutely stunning doors! LOVE THEM!!! Makes me want to do some more projects...But not til after Thanksgiving!

The Olde Farmhouse on Windmill Hill said...

Once again, I'm in awe! You guys are just. amazing. These doors totally ROCK! Totally worth all the 'blood, sweat, and tears! ~Rachel

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, Ronda! They look FANTASTIC!!!

The Mac's House said...

Wow love those doors!

Feral Turtle said...

That looks fantastic! I bought one of these tools about 4 years ago as it was on sale. Never used it....YET......Thanks for the awesome tutorial. Might have to give this a try. Cheers!

dee dee said...

Wow,these turned out fantastic!
I could have used your lesson a few weeks ago.... when my mudroom cabinets turned glossy vs the satin matte i purchased! I ended up putting a hand wax ontop to fix the problem, guess I could have just mixed it for 5 minutes and re applied! Who knew? Your doors look like real wood, I would have never guessed they were faux!
Can't wait to see the rest of the room!
Dee Dee

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Wow, those are amazing. Looks just like the inspiration picture. Thanks so much for joining Wow!

Heidi @ {Junk in their Trunk} said...

Holy Moly this is amazing!! I want to do this somewhere in my house now!! So awesome!! I would love to have you come share this at our link party...junkintheirtrunk.blogspot.com/2011/11/link-it-up-wednesday-4.html
P.S. I am your newest follower...I love your blog! Come check out mine too when you get a chance!! =)

Karie said...

I love them! Awesome work!

Unknown said...

Wow! Those are nice looking doors! I'm so impressed. It was worth all of your hard work!

Celeste B. said...

Wow! They look awesome.

House of Smiths said...

AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Those turned out SO GOOD! I LOVE them! Way to go, girl!

Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

Your doors look fantastic!

Dee ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ said...

WOW! You are very talented. The doors look fantastic.

Your new follower

Maury @ Life on Mars said...

That is stinking AMAZING! They look incredible... like very expensive doors! Great job! I'm a new follower. I hope you'll follow me back but no pressure.

WhyCuzICan said...

SOOO cool! I've heard those "rocker" (graining) tools worked good but this is so much more than GOOD!

Congrats on being featured this week at Wow Us Wednesday!

Suzanne in NW Illinois

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I am totally impressed! The doors are fabulous.

Pamela said...

Wow this is an amazing project!!! I am now looking around and wanting to faux all my doors!;) Heading to share with my FB peeps!

Laura Everyday Edits said...

Newest follower! Love this project. We are working on doors right now and we are at the stage of the hardware. I will have to go search for the wood buttons. I will link back to you when finished! laura@imnotatrophywife.com

ps would love a follow back!

Rachelle said...

Holy COW, they look amazing!!!!!


Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Hopped over from Wow Us Weds. These doors are stunning. Well worth all the time and effort you put into them!

Unknown said...

Hi! I'm coming from Kim's party! THESE ARE AMAZING!!! You did such a phenominal job! I'm sure after battling these doors, you have a new found confidence in your painting abilities! Love it!

Debra@CommonGround said...

Just came from the SSS feature, great job!! Bet they love them!

Sibel-ish said...

As soon as I saw your doors, I fell in love with your work and became a follower. I am Sibel from Turkey by the way:)


Youaretalkingtoomuch.com said...

Awesome job! I can't wait to see the whole room! Found you through Savvy Southern Style! Love, Me www.youaretalkingtoomuch.com

Anonymous said...

Totally awesome doors!. Gosh you have some great talent there!

Kelli @ The Loss Cause said...

Great job with those doors! I seriously am amazed at the transformation!

New follower.

Unknown said...

You both did an amazing job on those doors!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

I'm swinging over from Kim's at Wow! I am so impressed.. what an incredible change. What team work! Your children have to love their new pirate doors... I cannot say enough!! Thanks for sharing all of your ups and downs... the finished project shows your attention to detail.
hugs ~lynne~

Kathy said...

I read every single word of this, you are amazing, coming from Kim's party and so glad I did, you should next try garage doors, that is what I want to do!

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

I sure hope your pirates appreciate all the TLC that was put into this amazing project. Yes, you qualify as crazy...but a good crazy! Beautiful work!

I learned about your blog at Savy Southern Style!
Best to you,
The Treasured Home

Krista-Artista said...

Absolutely amazing. I can't believe the finished product! I know it took lots of time and patience, but it was so worth it. Those doors are perfect!
I'm your newest follower.

Vintage Rose said...


Sherry said...

Fantastic transformation, no one will ever know these were once plain white doors. I'm a new follower, please drop by for a visit when you can.

Unknown said...

Those are amazing! I love them! You did a great job.

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Great job so I pinned this on Pinterest :)

Laura in IA said...


Tina said...

You and DH did a wonderful job on these doors! They look great!

A room with a view said...

That was quite an ordeal and an amazing accomplishment. Sounds like you have patience and determination. You should be proud..looks stunning! New follower.

E @ Act Fast Chef said...

AMAZING! Can you come do mine?!

laxsupermom said...

Stopping over from Better After. Love these doors! You did a terrific job! I'm a true believer in doing up a kid's room with a theme and painted my son's closet doors here as lockers. You did an amazing job with these doors! Just tweeted about them.

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

I am SO majorly impressed! What an awesome project. You deserve flowers! candles! cookies! Much more than just comments ;-)

Sheyenne said...

Those doors are amazing! I am seriously inspired by you!

fixitfaerie said...

Those doors look AMAZING. Your attention to detail really shows. Now I am going to have to follow your blog, and go all over it to see what else you have done. lol Blessings

Steph said...

I never comment on anything, but these are AMAZING! I linked here through "Better After" because I was so impressed with the finished product. Looks like a million bucks--even better than the inspiration picture!

Tiffany said...

I am blown away by both you and your husband's patience and attention to detail. Absolutely amazing!!

Marti said...

Your doors are seriously awesome! I have tried to do wood graining before - same tool and everything, and my results were disastrous. Yours are very professional, and the wood button bolts add the perfect touch. I know your boys just love it.

Laura said...

Ronda, you have done an AMAZING WORK! The result looks sooo great! I hope your son knows the value of what he have got :-)
And what I love the most about your work - all those great details, amazing care and creativity that your project radiates! It is incredibly inspiring for me! Thank you so much for sharing it!

Ronda Batchelor said...

Love Love these!! I am getting ready to switch my son's and daughters room! He has a pirate room now and I am sooo sad we have to change it. It is my favorite room in our house! cant wait to see the rest of the room!

This comment was orginally posted by anislandlife and I accidentally earased it. Sorry!

Kristel said...

These doors are GORGEOUS! All that hard work definitely paid off. I would so love to try this out in my sons room. Thank you for the inspiration!

NotMrs.Jones said...

OK I want to do this top every door in my home. I don't have a pirate them I just think the color is amazing and look expensive.

Tawnya said...

They are over the top beautiful doors!! I LOVE them!!

Casa Del Paca said...

These doors just made my Christmas! I also learned a new word....Clavos. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Remodelaholic said...

Rhonda- This as amazing! absolutely genius! I love how these look! I would love to feature this if you are interested... let me know! Merry Christmas!

Unknown said...

I just saw this posted on Remodelaholic and incorrectly left my comment there about what a great job you (and your husband) did on this. There were a lot of techniques involved; I'm sure I'd have had more mishaps than you. I hope your heart fills with pride every time you look at. Nice work! Thanks, too, for including those missteps along the way. They are often the best learning experience.

Anonymous said...

The Doors look beautiful!

Hank Hendricks said...

WOW This is an amazing project i really impress by your brilliant work..


T said...

These. are. amazing. I am stunned by your insight, creativity and talent!! It BLOWS me away!!

Lisa E said...

I just came over through a couple of blogs. Sorry, having a brain cramp right now. These are simply stunning. I am in awe.

Debbie said...

Gorgeous!!! Wow!!! Very impressive. Thank you for sharing the tutorial.

Mcgypsy9 said...

Hi...well it’s what 7 years later and just wondering how well the doors have held up? You really did do a gorgeous job and they look fantastic!