Updating flat-panel doors

Page 1 of 2  
We have a 1950's era 4-level split level house in the Chicago suburbs. The top floor, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and several closets, has a total of 3 30-inch doors, 2 28-inch doors, 10 24-inch doors and 1 18-inch door. These doors are all original 1950's hollow-core, flat slab style, with a na tural wood finish. We want to freshen things up and are considering painti ng the doors a slightly off-white color to go with the adjacent walls.
Rather than completely replacing all these doors, we are considering adding /gluing trim to these doors and then painting them. The idea would be addi ng trim to the doors in the shape of a digitized "8". This would make them resemble, slightly, a normal 2-panel door. The trim would be moulding str ips from a local home-improvement store, about 2.5 inches wide. The thing we don't know/understand, is the height/location of the middle cross-piece of the "8". Obviously it would be somewhere above the equator of the doors .
I plan on doing some measuring of doors at our local home-improvements stor es, and maybe using strips of paper scotch-taped to a couple of our doors t o envision how they would look with the new trim.
My question now is how to set the height of the middle cross-piece? I am pr etty sure that it should be at the same height across all doors, no matter what the width of the door, but how high?
Polite responses requested.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

In you case I'd use a narrow strip of molding to "frame" 2 panels onto the door . Bottom "rail" should be about 8" wide , center rail and top about 5" . The mid rail is centered on the knob , stiles (vertical strips on the sides) are usually around 5" wide too . There are moldings specifically made for this type of trim .
--
Snag



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 4/11/2016 12:37 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

<frown> Are the doors presently "natural" (or stained)? I prefer seeing wood as "wood", where possible. Just something to consider (once you paint them, going back is a lot harder).

You will discover that there are lots of variations. Exterior doors tend to have the "split" (waistband?) higher.
You should consider what is adjacent to the doors "on" the walls.
E.g., wainscoting might bias your "waistline" up or down (probably not EVEN with the top of the wainscoting as that's often pretty low). But, if your waistline ends up too close (in height) it may look visually jarring (as if to conjure ideas of "hmmm... shouldn't those things have LINED UP with each other?"). If, instead, you deliberately alter the levels so that there is no question that they are NOT intended to be aligned...
Likewise, a chair rail, bannister, etc. also have visual impacts on this waistline "competition".
Don't take what you see at the millworks as "gospel"; evaluate the decision in your own context.
I'd suggest cardboard instead of paper strips as the depth effect will alter your perception of the "finished" door (the stuff you tack on will give "visual weight" to the door in a way that paper strips can't convey.
You should also think about whether you want a truly plain Shaker style "trim" around each (imaginary) panel or something more ornate (quarter rounds, etc.)
Finally, look at more than one of your doors, this way. What looks good in "quantity one" might get overly busy if you have it on lots of doors (esp if you can see multiple doors from any given vantage point). We opted for simple, rounded "slab" doors on our ~40inch kitchen cabinets simply because any amount of detail (even a simple Shaker trim) got to be *too* busy with all those doors in close proximity. We wanted the wood grain/character to be the focus, not a bunch of machines bits of wood.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, April 11, 2016 at 3:37:07 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

l of 3 30-inch doors, 2 28-inch doors, 10 24-inch doors and 1 18-inch door. These doors are all original 1950's hollow-core, flat slab style, with a natural wood finish. We want to freshen things up and are considering pain ting the doors a slightly off-white color to go with the adjacent walls.

ding trim to the doors in the shape of a digitized "8". This would make th em resemble, slightly, a normal 2-panel door. The trim would be moulding s trips from a local home-improvement store, about 2.5 inches wide. The thin g we don't know/understand, is the height/location of the middle cross-piec e of the "8". Obviously it would be somewhere above the equator of the doo rs.
Above the equator? Don't most paneled doors (2, 4, 6, +) have the rail (or the lower rail) *below* the equator?
http://stratawindows.co.uk/images/hardwood-designs.gif
Assuming we're on the same page, you could (obviously) go to a home center/door and window store and measure, or you could use an image like the one below and determine the percentage of top vs. bottom.
http://www.blackfordwoodworking.com/images/mdf_doors.jpg

to envision how they would look with the new trim.

r what the width of the door, but how high?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| The thing we don't know/understand, is the height/location of the middle cross-piece of the "8". Obviously it would be somewhere above the equator of the doors. |
It's really up to you. The knob is typically at about 36", so that's a good place to put OC. But there are different kinds of panel doors. We have old ones that are 4-panel, with the crosspiece about 24" OC. A typical 6-panel door, in contrast, will have the large panel at the bottom. So it's really just a matter of what you think looks good.
I've seen designs like you're describing where the molding forms a semi-circle around the door knob.
Aesthetically I'd find the idea questionable. You're pretending the door is something it's not, which will just make it look cheap. Panel doors can be had for about $80 apiece. Failing that, flush doors are not bad, especially in a modern house.
There was a great diatribe about this in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. He goes on about what he calls Quality, by which he means something like dignity and elegance, as opposed to degradation, debasing, artlessness. One of his examples of degradation is plastic cabinets with walnut grain contact paper. I thought he was making a very important design point: Plastic cabinets are not great, but they have their own dignity. There's nothing wrong with them. Covering them with a picture of expensive wood grain doesn't make them look better. It just expresses an attitude of poverty and degradation: Our world isn't good enough on its own merits. We feel depraved, that we need to lie about ourselves and try to somehow be more impressive. Kind of a philosophical point, I suppose, but that kind of degrading design is very common and does affect peoples' state of mind. The world of fashion, name brands and product design is one big display of that attitude.
A weird example of it currently is plastic doors and shutters with wood grain texture. If it's real wood we try not to have grain showing through the paint. Yet with plastic doors there's a sort of embarassment about the plastic, so the manufacturer goes overboard in the other direction, applying a ridiculously overdone pattern of wood grain, as though that might somehow lend some kind of authenticity to the plastic. But the plastic was always authentic in its own right. It's just not authentic wood. With the fake wood grain it becomes debased junk, no good for any use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:27:55 -0400, "Mayayana"

I've seen plastic shutters and fences but I don't think I've ever seen plastic cabinets. Where would I find them?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| >. One of his | >examples of degradation is plastic cabinets with | >walnut grain contact paper. I thought he was | | I've seen plastic shutters and fences but I don't think I've ever seen | plastic cabinets. Where would I find them?
Good question. I don't think I remember plastic cabinets, either, other than maybe for medicine cabinets. But I do remember lots of "walnut grain" contact paper. (There was even some knotty pine contact paper. :)
Pirsig's book was from the 70s. I'm not certain, but I think he might have been in a motel when he saw those. I haven't seen that book for many years, but I remember the setting of his diatribe was a motel/hotel. It made a big impression on me at the time because I had never thought about design, but immediately recognized what was wrong with things like walnut grain contact paper when he pointed it out. Whether it's the gaudy, monarchical fetish of blue-collar kitsch, or the pseudo-socialist, understated, Scandinavian-quasi-intellectualist design of social- climbing hipsters who festoon their sterile environs with "modern art" carefully chosen not to express anything in particular, there's a sense of shame in the whole thing -- that the owner feels a need for it to be something more than it is. That they feel a need to be something more than they are.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:20:53 -0400, "Mayayana"

That I remember. My mother even used some, but it was a good idea in that case. The finish on something was terrible, maybe a card table, with folding legs with a paper top, that couldn't be refinished any other way that I can think of. I think it had metal corners which she tucked the cedges of the contac (no T for the most popular brand name) paper under.
And I used something heavier at the end of a formica counter which had no end.

LOL When I feel the need to be something more than I am, I post on Usenet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| LOL When I feel the need to be something more than I am, I post on | Usenet.
:) Don't we all.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
To Derby Dad,
I agree that your picture does show the crosspiece below the equator. I'll see what I see at the local HD and Menards tomorrow.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 04/11/2016 2:37 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote: ...

The "center piece" is the middle rail (verticals are "stiles")
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/step/0,,20732383,00.html
As another said the typical installation will have the lockset centered on the rail; if it's just a simple knob that will be centered; in an older house with a long rectangular escutcheon and skeleton key, say, the escutcheon will be centered so the handle will be somewhat offset.
The actual proportions will be somewhat variable depending upon the number of panels (4, 6, ...) and somewhat lesser degree, the age of the door (those in the old farmhouse (ca 1916) here are somewhat wider bottom rail than most modern doors, but the ceilings are 9-ft on main floor rather than current common 8-ft which tends to need a more massive-looking door to counter. (The baseboard is 10", too.)
Anyways, as the above piece from This Old House shows, do some layouts to find pleasing proportions that are consistent across all the sizes so you don't end up with a higgledy-piggledy hodge-podge.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DPB, u
Thanx for the Old House website, it was exactly what I am planning to do. Now I can show the clip to my wife so she doesn't think I am crazy for doing it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 11 Apr 2016 20:47:35 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

IMO, that door looks like a hollow core door with picture frames attached to it. I'd never mess up a door like that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 04/12/2016 9:26 AM, Vic Smith wrote: ...

Well, I'm not certain I'd either, but it was what OP was asking for... :)
--




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 10:26:45 AM UTC-4, Vic Smith wrote:

The OP didn't post a picture of the current doors, but based on what I picture as "1950's hollow-core, flat slab style, with a natural wood finish" door, I'm guessing he's going for this something like this before/after look:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/27/ba/97/27ba973120570e3bef22867534ae89ca.jpg
...without the writing on the door, of course. ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 04/12/2016 1:07 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

Yeah, but I'd raise the bottom "rail" location by at least an inch and widen the middle and make it symmetric w/ the latch plate--it's off a little...
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 12 Apr 2016 11:07:30 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

That looks better, until you get close enough to open or close it. I just think this is a bad idea. A paneled door can be bought for $40, and a real wood one for about $100. I suggest the OP do one of each and see which looks good.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Vic Smith wrote:

Time was - maybe still - a lot of frame and panel doors were made by "sticking" the panel; i.e., the panel was not in a groove but was either the same thickness as the frame or thinner and let into a rabbet so it would wind up flush with the frame. In both cases, the panel was retained by "sticking" a molding; on one side if let into a rabbet, both if flush.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 11 Apr 2016 12:37:03 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

That's an awful lot of doors, 16 doors, 32 sides.
Be sure to make one side match the other, or some wiseacre like me will notice.
Maybe you could combine them in to 1 404-inch door.

I do like natural wood. We had just one like that in the den and I spent hours looking at the grain.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
for vic smith,
I agree, the moulding that was shown in the video stuck out way too far, but the idea of adding something to the flat panel is what I was interested in. My wife will have the final say-so on the door design and on the moulding.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.