Vintage Screen Door

Repurposing Vintage Screen Door

A few weeks ago I shared with you the details of the tile floor in the 2nd bath. If you missed that post, HERE is where you can read about the tile floor and how I found the right one after ordering ‘samples’ online.

In that same ‘2nd bathroom’ we have an antique screen door in use. Here’s the story…

When we first bought this house, a later Mid-century with very little character that we’ve been renovating into a Colonial Revival Cottage style, (see this page with all the renovation projects I’ve so far written about HERE) what we now call the ‘2nd bath’ was actually the master bathroom. In it were both closets for the master bedroom. Not ideal, to say the least. All I could imagine was all the steam from the shower soaking into the clothes in the closets…

My design plan changed the floor plan by taking down a couple walls and adding a few walls. That changed what was the master bathroom into the hallway guest bathroom. Where it used to connect directly to the master bedroom in the new plan it would only open to the hallway, thus becoming the hall and guest bathroom, or as we call it the ‘2nd bath’. Fortunately, that bathroom switch-a-roo also moved the closets for the master bedroom… no longer were the clothes going to be hanging in the bathroom closets. (What a weird design plan that was!)

So originally this was the bathroom entering from the master bedroom:

vintage screen door

One of the closets was on the left, (which we completely ripped out and became part of the hallway)

Then turning the corner inside the bathroom, the other closet:

Repurposing Vintage Screen Door

In the renovation, we ripped out pretty much everything. I did decide to have a closet in the bathroom, NOT for clothes, but for toiletries, wasn’t a bad idea as long as it got good ventilation. So, that one corner closet basic frame and plaster got to stay put, just the door and floor to it were removed.

Here is the bathroom after pretty much everything, (except ceiling stuff) was cleaned out, and the new window was installed:

Repurposing Vintage Screen Door

Going back a bit… even before we had started the project on this house, I had found this fantastic vintage screen door. It popped up on my Facebook garage sale site for sale, and I snagged it immediately. I knew I’d use it somehow on this house project, just wasn’t sure where yet, as I hadn’t actually worked up the design plan… as I hadn’t actually bought the house yet, had looked at it and agreed to buying it, but was still working out the details. (OK, so maybe I should say ‘I hoped I’d use it somehow on this house project. Whatever. Details, details. In my head it felt like I knew.)

This vintage screen door had years and years of dust and ‘barn’ gunk on it. Literally! The seller told me it had been stashed away in the barn for years!

Good thing was, it was free of dry-rot, and so charming, even with the bird crap and a hundred years worth of old spider webs encasing it.

Repurposing Vintage Screen Door

Having the door ‘in-hand’, before the project was started was important. By having the door for the carpenter ahead of time was good so he could get the rough opening of the closet doorway rebuilt just right for it to fit properly. Albeit this was a titch early for the project that hopefully would happen, but vintage screen doors in good condition are pretty hard to come by. Sometimes a gal needs to snag it when you see it.

The new tub, walls, floors and other pieces got put into place.

Repurposing Vintage Screen Door

In fact, the screen door was pretty much the last thing to go in.

The actual mechanics and installation of the door are super simple.

I had the carpenter build the doorway so that it was a cased doorway, so that the wood trim encased it completely. I painted the entire room, white, (HERE is the paint I used throughout the house) including the cased door that would be getting the screen door. (so much easier to paint it first!)

Then I found some sturdy black hinges for the screen door that the carpenter mounted the door right into the casing. Even though the vintage screen door is fairly lightweight, and we probably could have gotten by with only 2 hinges, I chose to use 3 to help prevent any warping that may occur in a humid room, and just to hold it super sturdy.

vintage screen door

I did do a lot of cleaning to the door, but didn’t do any painting or refinishing to it at all. I wanted that contrast of the white walls and trim with the vintage distressed door.

Repurposing Vintage Screen Door

When I bought the door, it had this simple old handle on it. It works great. I love that it’s obviously old, and has lots of real wear on it. I can just imagine this screen door on the farmhouse porch, slamming shut in the summer… one of my favorite sounds.

Repurposing Vintage Screen Door

In this bathroom, to keep the door closed, we installed this simple magnetic cabinet hold. Just enough to keep this lightweight door shut, but still easy to pull it open.

Screen Door

I have still yet to organize and make the stuff inside the closet ‘pretty’, (just got the kitchen done last week!) but even though the screen is somewhat see-through, it’s not enough that you really notice the stuff in the closet. Your eye does tend to stop and notice the door instead. (at least my eye does. LOL)

Repurposing Vintage Screen Door

I love this authentically vintage screen door in the bathroom. It serves a smart purpose, to keep the closet well ventilated, and is a fun and unexpected design detail. I think incorporating vintage pieces of character in a room, like this vintage screen door are such great design character builders for the space.

Repurposing Vintage Screen Door

To read more…  Read here to see some other vintage pieces I’ve incorporated into room to build character.

Did you know I now offer e-decorating? I can help you with your decorating needs via email, without having to step foot in your home. If you’re interested in more information, visit my e-decorating site: Frame and Frills. I’d love to help you with your project!

Here are more closet and storage ideas:

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  1. Cheryl says

    So creative – leaving the door unpainted added so much to the vintage feel of the room. Such a fun transformation.

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