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Installing a Vintage Sliding Door

There’s lots about this house of ours that made us fall in love with it. Little quirks like two staircases, hidden character, and slanted ceilings.  When we bought the house there was a lot that needed improving. The wood chip wallpaper painted peach was one of the first victims of our restyling, along with the embossed wallpaper in the kitchen. I had completely forgotten it ever existed until last Saturday when we removed the door bell fitting from the kitchen wall. We needed to make space for my long-planned sliding door.  Once the Bavarian unscrewed the fitting, one last remnant of that awful wallpaper fell to the floor. I almost felt sorry for it, having survived there as it did for over seven years.

For the past three years we have been without a kitchen door. It was all my doing. I couldn’t stick the sight of the glass door that the previous owners had put in. It hung crookedly, for a start, and it blocked the door of the fridge when open. Worst of all was the rain-splattered pattern on the glass, like someone had decided to make a door out of the glass you’d put in the poky little window of a 1980s bathroom.

I’ve long been a fan of the reclaimed door made into a sliding door and had had it in my head to use that idea within our home, long before we ever had a place of our own. Last year, when I almost given up on the idea of ever realising the dream of such a door, I came upon the perfect solution. Someone – to whom I am forever grateful – left a door out for the bin collection. An old white door with a window in the top half. The paint was blistered in places, showing off the wood beneath. In other spots the high gloss finish was worn down and revealed streaks of bright blue.  I couldn’t believe my luck.

With the help of my eldest son – embarrassed in case he was spotted hauling someelse’s trash down the road with his mother –  we lugged the door to the car, rearranged car seats, shoved the contents of the boot to one side and slid the door in.  It fit! I was just about able to close the boot. I wasn’t not going to risk leaving the boot open and losing my precious cargo on the road.

This weekend just gone we finally got around to hanging the door in the kitchen. The Bavarian measured and drilled holes above the door at intervals specified by the manufacturer of the sliding rail. Next up was attaching the roller brackets to the top of the door. Given that this is an old, crooked house and the door is an old, crooked door, it wasn’t all that easy to get things looking straight, but I am thrilled with the result.  It slides smoothly and the vintage door adds a lot of charm and character to the room.

I love the feeling I get when a long-held wish comes true and that is the feeling I have since we installed our sliding door. Knowing that underneath all those layers of paint – there’s a lovely green in between it all, we noticed as some strips flaked off the door during the installation – there’s solid wood fills me with reassurance that if I ever tire of the current look we can strip it back to bare wood.

The total cost of this project was less than €75. I can’t find the receipt for the hardware on the wall, but it was something like € 65 or €70. We bought it from a German company on Amazon. In addition to that we needed four large bolts and matching nuts from our local DIY store. They set us back a grand total of  €1.35. The door, of course, was free.

At the weekend I was so thrilled with our home that I set up new Instagram account to follow our home projects and to focus on eclectic home styling. I’d love you to follow my handle make.mine.eclectic over on Insta. I’m really excited to let you all in on more of our home improvement and styling projects.

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7 thoughts on “Installing a Vintage Sliding Door

    1. Thanks Lins. I can’t stop looking at it. I had hope for it to be nice but it has turned out really well.

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