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June 14, 2012

Vintage Screen Door Makeover at Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo

By Sara In AZ

But first…….I had to show y’all this window cling that we used on the little window diamonds in the front door.  Mom did not want anyone peering in through the little diamond windows, so we knew we needed something to cover the them.


We weren’t sure what to use on the windows at first. We knew there was window cling available but we wanted it to look right for a 50s style condo. We saw this Glass Cling Privacy Film at JoAnn and knew it was the perfect one to use!


The pattern was called Mosaic and all you do to adhere it is use some water and a squeegee. Easy-Peasy! If you think the cling looks messed or wrong up after you adhere it you can re-do it as many times as you need to.


Don’t you think it looks perfect!


If I didn’t know better I’d think this was how the windows originally came.


Now onto the screen door! I regret to inform you that I never got a full-on “before” picture of the screen door…… I know, I’ve done a very bad thing! Winking smile  Suffice it to say that it looked pretty darn bad. The first thing I did was take the old wrought iron off of the screen door, then I took it home to put a few coats of paint on it.


OK, now onto the actual screen door. This is pretty much the best shot I have of the way the screen door looked “before”. You can see the paint was getting worn and the actual screen was very weathered – and you can’t tell here, but the screen was also bulging out quite a bit. Here Mike is cutting  the old trim away from the frame so we could get to the screen.


Still cutting the trim away! You can kind of see here how the trim was going bad too.


Here is the door with one trim piece removed, you can really see how weathered the old trim was on the trim piece that is still attached to the right. We bought new wood trim because the old trim was in such bad shape. It has a slightly different design than the old trim, but still looks great. You’ll see in a minute!


And we have finally removed all of the old trim and we are onto taking the screen out. Yay!!!


We tried using spline to attach the screen, but in the end it was just not worth it. We got a MUCH better fit by just stapling the screen to the wood frame.


Here we are stapling the last section of new screen into place.


Here you can see the new trim that we used, I had to go back in later and touch up all of the little nail heads with green paint!


Here we have re-attached the wrought iron on the inside of the screen door, I think it’s so pretty.


Here is a close-up of the new trim with all of the nail heads touched up.


And here is the new screen door, all ready to “screen”! Smile  It looks light years better now y’all!


Saving the old screen door was really important to me. I completely adore it even though it’s not the most ‘state of the art’ screen door. It creaks when you open and close it and the handle is a little crooked, but that endears it to me even more. For some reason this screen door always reminds me of this little old candy store I went to way back in the 70s……the store had wooden floors and miles of candy that you could buy for pennies. The old candy store screen door had this same wooden design and would creak all of the time too.  Really special memories…….. and I think I need some candy now!

Come back next Thursday to see how I deal with all of the interior doors – to paint or not to paint??????? That is the question!

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12 Responses to Vintage Screen Door Makeover at Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo

  1. Saries Reply

    June 14, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Love the screen door, Sara! We always had one that looked just like this. Growing up in Phoenix with a swamp cooler, you needed one to catch the stray breeze!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks so much Saries! 🙂 That’s so cool that you had a similar door. Oh gosh yes, I can totally picture you needing a door just like this with that swamp cooler running!

  2. Sherree Reply

    June 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Love the little diamond windows. That window cling is just the right thing! I am so glad you saved the screen door, too. Did you paint the wrought iron green or black?

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      I think those little diamond windows really make the door special Sherree! I just HAD to save that screen door – no matter what! I painted the wrought iron black.

  3. Andrea Reply

    June 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Way to go with saving the screen door! It would have been hard to find a new one that looked as perfect for it, IMO. That window cling is fantastic, too, it really does look like it belongs there!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks Andrea! I agree on not being able to find a screen door that would look as perfect, some other units have replaced their screen doors with newer ones and it just looks all wrong. ugggghhhhh.

  4. Laura Reply

    June 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Looks sharp! I’m glad you were able to rehabilitate it. I’m trying to refit the locks on my front door right now, which is original to the 1939 house. I’ve been told by one carpenter and two locksmiths that I have to replace the door, and I’m putting up a fight against it. I’m looking for someone who’ll work with me on saving it (there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, only that putting a modern lockset in it will be a pain). I wish, wish, wish they still sold the old decorative aluminum screen doors with the scroll work and monogram letters on them. Does anyone know of a place that does?

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks so much Laura!

      Nooooooooo, they all want you to trash your original door!?! After all we have been through with re-doing the condo I know not take take “No” for an answer….I’m sure something can be done it’s just finding that right person willing to take on the task.

      uggghhhhh, I wish we lived closer we’d help you out and could probably have it figured out fast! Maybe Mike and I should start up a vintage mobile home re-hab service! 😉

      I don’t think that they do sell those old screen doors with the monograms anymore. I know that Uncle Atom has posted about them on his blog before, you should try to check it out.

      • Laura Reply

        June 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm

        I hopped on over to Uncle Atom’s site and found the post you were talking about. It sounds like you just have to look for them at salvage sites and on CL.

        Don’t worry about my door. I learned from you on your shower valve stem problem to be stubborn! 🙂

        • Sara In AZ Reply

          June 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

          That is kinda what I thought about those old screen doors, but keep on looking Laura – you never know what you’ll come across!

          And YAY! for learning to be stubborn from me! 😉

  5. FlyingTexan Reply

    June 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    The window cling was a perfect solution. I love that you saved the screen door. I have always wanted a house with a wooden screen door that “slammed”. I can remember visiting my great-Aunts and Uncles – 2 sisters married 2 brothers and they all lived together. They had an old house that was built at the turn of the century and had two screen doors that led to the front porch. Us kids would run around and chase each other in and out of those doors and I can still hear my Aunts saying “don’t slam the doors”. But, I always loved the sound. It brings back happy memories. (I have one of those new glass doors with the piston that makes the door shut quietly. Maybe in my next house…..)

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      I can totally picture those screen doors on that old house Flying Texan. I love your story and your memory of those old doors, that’s what I think of when I think of the old candy store screen door too..slamming shut. And that is just what Mom’s wooden screen door does too! I love it! 🙂

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