A Front Door Project.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

plastic molding trim framing door
Why do I always do this to myself?  I....I am so good at inadvertently creating extra projects where none were before.  It's a skill.  I guess.

So remember when I cleaned up the inside of the gawd awful front storm door, removing the extra spray paint overspray?


So I attempted to clean up around the outside the other day.  That didn't go so well.  Or as planned.  Remotely at all.

The paint wasn't budging which was exasperating.  It wasn't coming off door parts and it most definitely wasn't coming off the white whatever not sure what it is around the door frame.

This all arose because....ok, sorry, brief backtrack.  Mike a couple weeks ago washed the exterior side of the big picture window which was great.  Yay!  Shiny!

Being a creeper on the front porch watching him work, I noticed the window needed a caulking redo in areas then noticed this whatever not sure what it is stuff around the door frame was floppy, wavy, loose, and needed caulk too.

But before I did the front door, I tried to clean it up.  And for some reason, any product I used melted the faux wood grain.  That's bad.  So I yanked it off.

flashing trim around front door before
Counterclockwise from right, before.  Bleech.  Top left, removal.  Bottom left, what was left behind the whatever stuff.
Yep.  Clear off.  Riiiiiiippp.

Hey, it was ugly.  It looked cheap.  It was poorly executed.  Add in my overspray that wasn't cleaning up, the warbly bubbly and I was done.  Done.  Pffft, bye.  No hesitation, just tear.

Pete the sweeper and his wife were watching from across the street.  Frozen, aghast, confused.  Whatever.

Turns out it was some kind of flashing, metal, tacked on with narrow crown staples and half-a**ed caulk.  Peeled off like a banana peel.  Riiiiiiippp.

Satisfied, I stood back, hands on hips, paused....head tilt, pause....aw dammit Becky, what did you do now?!  What are you going to do now?!?!

After several days of pondering my misdeeds, I discovered these flat PVC moulding pieces on Menards' website.  Hm.  Kinda pricey for a strip o' plastic but I resolved to go with it; it is the front door.  Picked up three.

PVC, see, because it won't rot nor require constant maintenance.  Again like the flashing though, not super attractive.  In my fantasy world, I fancied some elegant wood, stained real pretty ya know.  Not terribly practical, hence the PVC.  Sigh, heh.

Let's rebuild.

First, there was a healthy gap at the top of the door so crammed in gap filler backer rod to insulate as I'm a freakazoid about insulating.  Wood, ya know, expands and contracts so the foam will smush and spread back out as necessary, if necessary.  Sorry, I forgot photos here, or rather, no photos because Pete was watching me the entire time and it was intensely irritating.

Time to cut the PVC.

See, the moulding strips were 5 5/16" wide; I needed 4" wide with a strip to cover the street-facing edge.  Two slices per piece.

Here I finally, finally got a chance to try out my spiffy new Rockwell compact saw* thanks to you all voting for me in an Instructables contest.  Sweet jeebus, what a saw, wowza!!  Thank you!

Cutting PVC, holy hell, what a bitch and a half....well, no not really, it's simple to machine but holy hell does it spew mountains of bitty scratchy plastic shards every-freaking-where.  Yikes!  Thank goodness for my shop vac.  Ouch.

Having read the instructions on how to cut and install this PVC stuff (veerrrry smart move on my part, pat on back), I read this material expands and contracts.  Construction adhesive?  Out.  Finding the right nails for my compressor tools?  Pain in the rear.  Screws it is.

I couldn't use the recommended screws as they were too long so I went with 1" deck screws.*  Then too, little plastic caps* to protect the holes.  So we went from a fix-it/move-on thing to now also an aesthetic design thing.
cutting pvc molding and screws
Awesome new saw (thank you!!) and the 1" deck screws along with the folding plastic screw cap covers.
First, of course, I mis-cut the top header piece.  Twice.  Ugh.  Then I screwed up another cut so I had to buy one more piece of this pricey plastic.  Yay.  Cough.  Not.

But like I said, it is simple to cut.  And too, it was simple to use a countersink bit on too, should you desire.  I used one to ensure the screw head would fit well within the cap space.  Plus, it was less fumbly to use a quick change bit* in general.
installing the pvc trim with screws
Screw with folding cap cover above; Finn, my omnipresent assistant, helping remove the folding caps (see below).
That's when I realized oh, duh, right, sigh, yes, this is the ideal moment to touch up Mike's Hunter Green storm door paint Becky, no need to worry about overspray.

touching up hunter green spray paint
Yep, took off the PVC trim then backed up multiple steps.  Read about that foyer light here.  Read about the paintings at the top of the stair here.  Read about the painted wall on the left here.  Heh!
Backtracking again, I took the screen off, took the dog snotty glass off and cleaned it, decided to take the unsightly curly things off permanently (see before above), sanded chipped areas, taped craft paper up on the inside of the door, and resprayed.  Not a difficult task but time-consuming and all I could think about was the first time I did this and Hailey dying two days later.

Ahem.  Whoooo.

Ok.  Door frame.

The sides, the sides I had to account for a weird sticky-out-y bit at the top and the ever so mild slope of the door sill.  Then math, spacing the screws.

notching pvc trim around door frame bump out
Notch.  Easily accomplished with my band saw.
Omg wait though, I did mathin my headwithout a calculator and math, and I got it right!  Math!  I won math at 4:30 in the afternoon!  Huge triumph for the day!  I spaced the screws out in a mathematically visually pleasing manner, drove 'em, done.

A few of those folding cover screw caps in and I realized eh, this bump-out screw cover is too too much, too busy, eh, no.  So, vvrrrtt, switcheroo; I opted instead for flat covers.*

gluing screw covers and caulking
Less obnoxiously obvious screw cap covers.
Since they don't fit properly, I used caulk to glue them on.  Heh, hope they stay!
trimming edges
Oh I slightly mis-cut and knew this overhanging edge would make me bonkers (top photo) so I used an itty planer* and scraped it right clean.
Next up, caulking!  Back to step one of my original plan!  Hahahaaaa!

Ok.  So I suck at caulking normally, usually make a significant mess of it but somehow this was the best caulking job of my life.  Or maybe second to the master sink but either way, I was monstrously impressed with myself.

Lastly, since the caps were white, none matched the PVC of course, I painted the frame with as-directed 100% acrylic exterior paint.

attempting to paint pvc with outdoor paint
Or tried to.  For some reason, the paint was beading.  Just as well, the color turned out to be horrid.  Wiped it off, let whatever stuck dry.
using Rustoleum paint to paint pvc trim
Instead went with Rust-Oleum, black.  Weirdly, black was not my first choice; odder, I didn't want black but it's what I had.  Heh, either that or bright yellow or teal.  Hope it sticks or I'll be backtracking on my maintenance-free declaration.
And voila!!  Holy cats and dogs people!  While it's not entirely perfect perfect, it is miles better than the cheap a** floppy wavy flashing crap and now the front door looks way tidier, trimmer, gasp almost bougie-r!  Hahaha!  Yay!

finished pvc trim around front door
Why yes, everything is crooked in this house!  And yes, the black is still wet.

door after with pvc trim

So heh, panned out well, my impulsive irrational flashing removal.  I'm quite pleased with it, heh, for what it is!  Yay!

Oh hey, by the way, NewHomeSource asked me about Summer 2020 trends and yep, you guessed it, you can read what I had to say here!  Thanks, NewHomeSource!

*The Rockwell compact saw, screw cap covers, quick change drill/driver bits, and planer are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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