Project Hall Bedroom Sliding Door: Done!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

*Bink!*  Check mark!

Big check marks always feel sooooo good.

So it's done!  And damn, it's thoroughly exciting!  Or, at least I'm excited anyway!

Good timing too as the Annual Spring Raging Allergies From Hell have reared their charming head again.  I knew they were coming; the sneezies and eye itchies and spaciness and headaches were all glaring hints over the last coupla' weeks.  When they whacked Mike, I knew my doom was hovering around the bend.

And so they're here.  Yay.  I feel miserable.  Heh, sad face.

So right, the door!  Yes indeedily-do, the door!

To recap, I had lots of planning to do.  Of course, it never seems I plan enough.  And.  I possibly don't.  Even after planning, further planning was required as I went.  And of course, unforeseen circumstances arose as always.  And I learned.

Early on, like an idiot, I shattered that awesomely perfect light fixture.  The replacement is waiting in the wings.  When allergies are a-wallopin' my butt, I best mind my limits lest I truly hurt myself.  And then Mike would be super duper mad at me.

Here's the supply list with links for visual clarity:
Total cost (sans tax):  about $107.00

Whew!!  Seriously, just added that up right now and as keeping it under $100 was my goal, and though I would have enjoyed spending less more, I'm thrilled that I met-ish my goal.  If it hadn't been for the existing casing, I would have won.  Darn it!

Sundry supplies I already had:
So it was generally an easy project overall and definitely doable in one day.  Or a weekend if your door of choice needs some lovin' or dry time.

Oodles of steps and things to consider as I went.....

Knowing construction and the anatomy of doors helped me an awful lot so I would suggest studying up on doors, framing of doors, door stuff and junk if you are removing an existing one to replace with a sliding one.  Trust me, you'll save yourself major headaches if you at least kinda sorta know what to expect once the surgery begins.

Off came the existing door, the door stop within the jamb, the piece of casing trim at the top of the door on the sliding side.

Why the top casing trim?, you ask.  Huh?

taking apart door trim
Boom, header casing gone.  Mind the gap.
The trim had to go as the instructions (which I smartly pre-read multiple times) stated the bottom of the track is to sit 1/2" above the header.  Mmmk.  No worries.  Prryyyyy.

Luckily for me upon dry fit, the track hid the mess of the gaping hole.  I also then had to trim down the vertical casing pieces too to make room for the track which was, well, a wee challenge but I got it.

Back and forth and back and forth I went between tidying up the jamb situation and finishing out the door.  Up and down two flights of stairs, up and down, up and down.  Heh.  Thankfully for Finn, he's finally learned following my every step just ain't worth it!

So for the door itself on the hall side, I opted to paint it the same color as the hallway walls, the Bleached Linen.  Considering our hall feels narrow and dark and penned in most of the time, lessening the attention drawn to the actual door was behind my idea.  If the door caught focus, the hallway would visually shorten, darken, and narrow further.  I want the eye continue the length.

Ok, solved.  Hall side hardware, pull, handle, what-have-you....?  Hm.

Casually perusing the moulding aisles at Menards, I discovered a 1x1 outside corner trim piece.  More than I wanted to spend at $8.70 but huh, whaddya know, it was exactly what I wanted for the pull.  I stained it with the Watco oil* then sealed it with an oil based semi-gloss polyurethane.

creating door handle with l trim
Hey look, my swanky miter saw!  Love that thing.
After trimming the corner trim down to size (the first time....), I measured six inches in from the edge of the door and attached it using a handful of little screws I dug up.

attaching trim to door

With tape measure extended, the screws went in every foot.

view of trim handle on door

Now.  But the back side, see.  The side inside the room, now there's where I kinda went for it.  Remember the spiffy record cabinet?  The doors?  Yep, that's what I did.  Mimicked that.

Did math, hurt my brain, divided the door into five equal strips.  Ok, fine, calculator did math, it didn't hurt too bad.  I measured then drew lines the length with a pencil.

compact saw cutting lines in door

To get actual grooves, I employed the schmancy handheld, what is it really....hang on....3" circular saw* gifted by my brother-in-law.  I set the depth to about 1/8" then carefully powered along the pencil lines.  The blade cut rather narrow grooves, but grooves nonetheless.

Just like the record cabinet, every other strip got the Watco oil and the remaining received the Restor-a-Finish.*  I slathered the wood conditioner* on first which seemed to help.

staining door
What a difference the wood conditioner made, huh?
Despite an attempt at sanding and not being able to get the fuzzy usually unseen edges of the door smooth, I stained them with the Watco as well.  This way the eye lands on the dark door edge, then the dark handle, then keeps on a' moving, progressing on to the bright windows in Mike's office.  Movement good, yay.

stained door in alternating colors

With an itty bitty teeny weeny tiny paint brush, loads o' patience, and a mistake wiping rag, I wedged some black acrylic paint into the grooves.  It's far from perfect but eh, so it is.  One a' those things:  I started it, had to finish it otherwise it woulda looked bizarro.

A smudging of Howard Feed-n-Wax*, a wipe down, and the door was ready to go.  

I attached the roller base plates to the top of the door as per the instructions, two inches in from the ends, on center.
attaching hardware to door
That's the locking tab, sticking up there.  Nice basement mess still.  Sigh.
The instructions said the locking tab should be on the fascia side which was confusing as there was no indication of what they meant but thankfully the drawings were a helpful aid once studied very closely.  

Added the rollies per the instructions (two wheel side on one side, then two wheel side facing the other for balance), and really this time the door was ready to go.

attaching rollers to top of door
Nice quiet wheelie rollies, yessss.
Ok, back upstairs.  After filling in the hinge cutouts, nail holes, random gack and divots, the catch hole, etc. with Durham's Water Putty*, I sanded, filled again, sanded,

patching door frame
Patchy patchy the hinge cut out.
then painted the jamb white with the I've now decided super crappy useless white satin paint.  It should not take three coats of white paint "with primer," but lo, it did.  *eyeroll*  Not fond of bashing products but I have to say, Pittsburgh Paint sucks.  *shrug*

So with the jamb pretty much in game time condition, final assembly was next in the works.


Ya know, this is getting rather wordy.  Mike says I've been prattling on a bit lengthy lately.

I'd prefer not skip over steps as I learned some lessons along the way worth sharing.  I think I'll break this up into two posts plus a brief chat about the sliding door hardware kit.

Eeerrrrttttt, I know.  It'll be ok, trust me.

On a side note, our cool woodworking friend Scott celebrated his birthday this past Tuesday, happy birthday!  Unfortunately happy fun time was not to be as his sweet kitty Onyx passed away that very morning.  I am not a cat person but Onyx was one heck of a cool dude.  We always loved seeing him, giving him hugs, tickling his tummy.  He will be missed.  I feel badly that Scott is sad.

Not to be all me me me but Onyx's loss made me reflect on Hailey.  And how utterly heartbreaking losing a pet is.  And how I miss my sweetest pea in the whole world.  It still does not feel real, like this has all been one big long terrible bad not-funny mean joke.

And even despite going through this, I genuinely cannot figure out the right thing to say when bereavement falls upon others.  Sigh.  My heart aches for Scott.

Congestion in the face thanks to miserable allergies is bad enough -- now add in stuffy nose due to watery eyes and oy....

Ok, part two in the works, promise!  See ya real soon! (Click here to read part two!)

*The sliding door kit, second Watco oil, second wood conditioner, second Restor-a-Finish, Howard Feed-n-Wax, and Durham's Water Putty, and circular saw links are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!


  1. Regarding your allergies, get yourself a local beeswax candles and burn it while you sleep or in a small room such as your office while you work. I used to have horrific allergies and this works like magic. It needs to be local wax though. Hope you feel better this spring.

    1. How fascinating, I hadn't heard of anything like that before, huh, thank you! There is a good size beekeeping cooperative a few neighborhoods over; can't get much more local than that. I'll look into candles from them. Thanks for the helpful tip!

  2. other allergy local honey and use it daily. For help with lots of mucus (ugh), drink pineapple juice.
    Love all your projects

    1. Aw! Thanks for the fantastic tips! I have never heard the pineapple juice one, very interesting! Thanks for that and the super nice compliment!

  3. Thank you for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article
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