Tell Me About Your Interior Doors!

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SleazyG
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Tell Me About Your Interior Doors!

Postby SleazyG » Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:43 pm

While considering my options for a new kitchen, I've become concerned about the interior doors throughout the rest of the home. I definitely want to retain the use of slab doors, but rather than the white doors there now, I'd like to have veneered doors or something at least less "apartment looking." My question is, if I use the same wood I've used on my kitchen cabinets to veneer all my interior doors, is that too much? This would mean I'd only have one wood finish throughout the entire home and as you can see in the floor plans posted at , there is a lot of square footage that would be covered with this wood finish. Right now I'm leaning towards Brookside Veneer's "Gold Teak" (pictured below).
Image

What do the interior doors in your homes look like? Painted slab doors? Amber-shellac'd birch doors? Curly or figured maple doors? Does anyone have a home where the interior wood is the same species with the same finish applied throughout?

What are your thoughts about door hardware? I was thinking a simple, chrome lever like this . I know a doorknob such as Schlage's Orbit or Tulip is more period appropriate, but I've always preferred levers. Emtek has some of the coolest, googie levers I've ever seen, but I can't justify paying $140 a piece for door hardware. Does anyone else feel that brushed nickel or the satin metallic finishes have been overdone lately (like granite countertops)?

Also, for those who have white walls, is your paint a pure white or some variant of off-white?

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:01 pm

birch slab hollow core. mahogany works well too. depends on your wood/color scheme. just replace the door itself, don't rip out the jams. If you take your doors to a door shop (not Home Depot, Lowes), they can size and dap them correctly for each opening making installation easy. Door should cost you about $40 each.

there are plenty of discussions on hardware on this board, I prefer schlage plymouth to be more authentic in shape to the period

guest bath door amber shelac to match patina of older birch kitchen cabinets

Image

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Postby egads » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:55 pm

First a little internet posting board suggestion:
Post all your questions in your existing thread that has plans and pictures.
This will help everyone keep everything straight.

Now as to doors, I do not think having that wood on all your doors would be too much. However, finding or having doors custom made will be expensive. Doors that open to the hall (your entry) will need to be solid core and fire rated. (in this case veneering the existing doors may be the best bet) hardware for those doors will need much better lock sets than the kwiksets you propose. In fact, those kwiksets are kind of cheap looking (and feeling) for doors with such a rich finnish. Schlege (now owned by Kwikset) does make a commercial lever that looks and feels better at about $30.-60 (depending on whether they are just passage or privacy or keyed) You might, as Joe suggests, check on using some vintage stuff. The old schlege stuff lasts forever and has no screws showing. Besides Liz's, there is:

Rick's Hardware at 4382 Lankershim Blvd. (818) 508-7948 call ahead, Rick keeps his own hours

just above Universal studios that has a ton of old stuff. Do not be put off when walking in (there is a lot of very old antique stuff there) But there is a lot of modern office lever-sets there. I understand your desire for a lever. It is just far more ergonomic. i just think you should try to get much better quality than anything at Home Depot/Lowes etc. I would use bronze with that dark rich wood. In fact I am using bronze because I think it blends better with my old wood and looks like tarnished brass. In fact the bronze will wear off to reveal brass. I'm sick of bushed nickel everywhere as well. (I did use it on my gate though)

My interior is painted an off white, somewhat yellowish. A tweak of the once common Navajo White. My paint color is called "oatmeal cookie" from Dunn Edwards. I find plain white just looks kind of ghetto after a while. Just do some experimenting with small test cans, rolling if possible. I even insisted on having the jams done in old fashion oil base enamel. (my trim is very limited, like Joe's, no door casings) It is officially outlawed in California. I had to get an paint that was sold as "fireproof" for commercial buildings. Most of my house is flat. Do not let anyone talk you into eggshell. (unless it's a kitchen or bath) Shiny walls must be perfect and few of us have them. I figure you are in a high rise with lots of glass. That makes flat walls even more important. Also, flat is very easy to patch when moving art around. Eggshell is impossible without repainting whole walls.

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Postby robbhouston » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:42 am

I had to replace 3 interior doors that had damage. Went with hollow core luan veneer ($20 at Lowes). Below are 2 of the same type doors bonded together by my carpenter guy for a sliding door we put in, finished in Bullseye Amber shellac...

Image

They look nicer in person than in pictures. The woodgrain almost has a 3d quality. And they blend nicely with the original birch veneer hollow core doors around the house.

--Robb
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A little website I created to showcase my home and other MCMs in and around the Nashville TN area.

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Postby SleazyG » Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:14 pm

Wow. Robbhouston and Joe, those doors look fantastic. Is it just me or does shellac seem to show off the somewhat iridescent quality of wood like no other finish?

The issue I have is that my hideous front door (pictured below) cannot be replaced because the HOA will not allow varying doors within the building. Hence, whatever work I do on the interior of the door would have to be done within my condo and I would have to re-hang the door when finished. Maybe I should buy a temporary "junk" door to hang in the interim while I'm working on repairing the original door and not have to worry about rushing the job? This door has been kicked in at least once...you can see the three screws above the deadbolt holding the door together (this neighborhood was really sketchy in the 1980s to mid-1990's). The HOA's guidelines on doors also restrict my choice of hardware. Egads had suggested choosing a Schlage commercial lever, and they are indeed much nicer than the Kwikset levers, but I really need a line of door hardware that offers a dummy trim. This entry door is strange because there's no doorknob per se. The exterior has that gaudy brass and marble handle (is this pseudo-Moroccan-glam junk what they called "Hollywood Regency" style?), but the interior has nothing at all. Only the deadbolts carry from the exterior into the interior. Consequently, I need door hardware that can be surface mounted onto the interior of the door, but will not affect the exterior.
Image
Can one achieve that golden, toffee-like color with amber shellac on a lighter wood such as maple or do you have to start with a darker wood?

So far it sounds like no one objects to having the same wood and finish consistent from the kitchen to all interior doors and closet doors? I was concerned everyone would think it would end up all too plain.

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Postby robbhouston » Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:50 pm

I used Bullseye amber shellac on a handful of different woods (pine, maple cabinetry, birch, luan) and I think the finish help to pull them together nicely.

Here's our kitchen with maple cabinet doors, stain grade pine valance, and the birch topped table all in the same shot...
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... en6_lg.jpg

-Robb
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A little website I created to showcase my home and other MCMs in and around the Nashville TN area.

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Postby egads » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:12 pm

The depth is one of the qualities of birch. Cherry also does this. Not only with Shellac, but oil base varthane as well. In other words, it's the wood and not only the finish.

Schlage levers do come in dummys:

http://consumer.schlage.com/products/Pr ... unctionID=

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Postby egads » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:20 pm

Also the Falcon line of commercial levers come in a dummy:

http://www.falconlock.com/pdfs/B_Series ... v06-07.pdf

Those would have a cover over the screws. the residential heavy duty ones do have screws showing.

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Postby kandersen » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:22 am

You can get solid core birch doors for not much more $$. You probably should have three hinges to carry the extra weight, though, so that may take some extra work if your existing jambs only have two hinges.

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Postby Joe » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:33 am

I would not suggest solid core for interiors unless you know your jam can handle the extra weight and the wall can handle a solid door being slammed. you'll be surprised what the extra weight will do :roll:

also, no opening is the same size.

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Postby egads » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:20 am

I was also going to suggest solid core doors myself. An 1 3/8 solid core door is not that heavy. I have replaced them for a client who was interested in sound control. They work for that. They also allow for robe hooks and such. (I like towel racks on my bathroom doors) I just used the two hinges the jams originally had without problems. My method was to fit the new door raw, including any planing or jam adjustments, then put the old door back while applying finish to the new door. Remember, doors require several coats on each surface. (including the top and bottom) So they need to be set up on sawhorses for awhile. I would only go to the trouble of using solid doors if you are or contemplate becoming a couple with disparate schedules.
I will use solid core doors when I replace as I am sick of trying to sleep in while my partner empties and reloads the dishwasher.

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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:10 am

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Postby puzzle » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:48 am

We just replaced our pocket door with birch. I love the swirly/wavy grain of the wood. Now I really can't wait to replace the rest of my doors!

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Postby egads » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:10 am

It's amazing how much better a solid core door works in a pocket door situation. Light weight doors seem to jiggle off the track so much easier. The weight of the solid door makes to door glide with purpose. For anyone installing a pocket door from scratch, do do some research online. There are much better hardware options than the packaged ones at home centers.

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Postby SleazyG » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:38 am

A couple of months ago, I finished my kitchen renovation. On another thread, I was considering using a laminate from Formica that was a decent approximation of American Red Gum veneer. With encouragement from forum readers, I decided to scrap that idea and pay for real, exotic wood veneer. I wanted a flat-cut, cathedral-heavy veneer with contrasty grain and a tropical look, but not a specie as taste-specific or "loud" as Zebrawood (resale value is a concern). I eventually settled on Cerejeira (Amburana cearensis), a wood also known as "Brazilian Oak." Cerejeira has a pretty, golden-brown color; coarse, interlocked grain and when unfinished, a peculiar, pleasant smell like that of vanilla and cinnamon. I've linked some photos of the cabinetry prior to countertop installation below.






I was so impressed with the appearance and relative inexpensiveness of Cerejeira that I decided to splurge and veneer my passage doors as well. Unfortunately, I bought the last sheets the supplier had in stock and reordering veneer was necessary. The new veneer would have to come from a different tree and I understood differences in appearance would be inherent. This is where things go awry. Before I settled on Cerejeira, I went to the supplier's warehouse and viewed several species with a representative. I knew the supplier was running low on Cerejeira, but the rep assured me ordering more would not be a problem and that Cerejeira is never stocked without pending orders due to low demand (the quantity I bought was overstock from a previous customer). However, when it came time for me to place an order for my passage doors, the supplier refused, even stating they didn't know what country the prior order came from. Huh? After much cajoling and pleading by the distributor, the supplier agreed to bring in another tree. I returned to the supplier's warehouse with a sheet of veneer from the previous order to hopefully hand-select the new sheets to match. No such luck. The color, grain and texture was completely different. The same rep insisted the new veneer was Cerejeira and I allowed myself to be bullied into purchasing this veneer and finishing my project. Now that the doors have been finished with lacquer, it's obvious the new veneer is either Brazilian Cherry or African Mahogany. There's a red tone to the wood that is not seen in Cerejeira. I've sent samples to the USDA Center for Wood Anatomy Research for confirmationand if the new veneer is indeed not Cerejeira, I guess I'll be going to small claims court.

My question is, if I am refunded the money I spent for the veneer, should I attempt to purchase Cerejeira from another supplier and try again or should I just buy pre-veneered doors in rotary-cut birch and stain the birch with Lockwood dyes to roughly match the Cerejeira color? My only reservations with birch are that I don't particularly like rotary-cut veneers and I definitely do not like natural birch with the two-tone heartwood/sapwood look. I think it is possible to specify white birch with all heartwood discarded, correct? Does anyone know if Masonite or Jeld-Wen birch doors are white birch or natural (two-tone) birch?

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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:16 am

You're facing quite a quandry - I biggest issue is that it's possible that the original veneers you purchased may have been mis-identified. That's problem one. The second is that species can be very different depending on where it's sourced - that's why furniture makers try to get flitches that are from the same tree - even in the same tree there can be variations in color, appearance and chatoyance. The third problem is that when sourcing from overseas product takes on new characteristcs, often at whim - what's called Brazillian Cherry can often be several different species of wood that just share some of the look/feel (the label Brazillian Cherry is one made up here as a marketing term) - the same goes for many other species that are used as flooring or decor woods. So you may get lucky, or you may become very frustrated (or continue to be frustrated) trying to match the same veneer.

My suggestion would be to go another route entirely and not worry so much about species or even color. Get something that pleases your eye and release some of that frustration towards other persuits. I think in the long run you'll be happier.

-- John
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One more hearty vote for varnish

Postby Slim and Gabby » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:38 pm

Our home is my second all pine kitchen with amber varnish. Wasn't sure I liked it the first year or so. Now I vote wholeheartedly for it.

Durable. Relatively green. Tough and Easy, easy, easy!

Over the holidays, a guest scorched part of a pine counter with a hot appliance. No worries! We sand it lightly, reapply varnish, and we're good to go. In my experience, within a week or two tops, the patina just blends in with the existing finish. Can't get much better than that.


Who'd a thunk squished up bugs would be so useful! ( yeah, I know the newer stuff is adulterated...)
Gabby
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