Refreshing a Dated Lead-Light Door

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments about the room makeover at my parent’s house.

Before I share all of the source and project info, I wanted to chime in with a quick post about one of the most mentioned elements – the “new” grey door.

Painting a Leadlight Door

It’s one of my favourite things about the space and was a super easy and affordable project.

This is what it used to look like…

How to Refinish a Leadlight Door

Don’t panic people. It’s a reproduction glass-pane door from the 1990’s and in no way a valuable antique.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a great before shot of it in the room though you can glimpse it in the top right corner of the below pic…

Room Makeover Before

Although it isn’t hideous, I knew it wasn’t going to work with the new scheme for the space, however replacing it seemed so unnecessary.

Surely there was another way.

Well, it took a bit of persuasion though I eventually convinced mum to simply paint it – glass and all!

We used Dulux Wash & Wear (Matte) in a colour called “Ticking” and gave the entire door three coats after lightly sanding first.

I must admit, I was somewhat skeptical about how the glass might look and wear though it turned out perfectly! You can’t tell it’s glass at all and the finish has help-up fantastically well over the past twelve months. Not one scratch!

Living Room After featuring painted door

I know some of you are probably worried about the implications of hiding glass behind paint though we’re pretty easy going and it hasn’t posed a problem for us at all. I guess if you’re a “safety-safety” kinda person you could cover the glass with a thin sheet of MDF or plywood prior to painting it.

So, there you go. If you’re ever contemplating replacing your dated glass pane doors, save yourself some hassle and cashola by considering the power of paint first!



Paint Your Dated Lead-Light Doors - Glass and All!

  1. Deb from Maryland says:

    Great idea – and well executed. Love, love the color!

    • Thanks so much Deb. It’s a great colour. I was a little afraid it might be too blue at first though it somehow seems to have melded into the room perfectly.

  2. Yammi says:

    You are just too clever. I would not have thought of that in a million years and don’t think I have ever seen this done before. As someone who is making over my mother-in-law’s 1980’s ranch house for sale this will come in handy! Thank you!!!!

  3. Nice to see the door. It is extremely amazing. Loving the whole idea you given. Everything is okay but i would wish change the color of door.

  4. Great! The pictures you add are really awesome!

  5. Karen Kurti says:

    I think the door is lovely – I so wish I had read your post before we replaced almost 20 doors in our house, which could have also looked gorgeous painted.

    • Wow, twenty! I think I have six doors in my entire house – LOL! Sounds like a huge job Karen.

  6. Kim Santini says:

    LOVE the door! Looks so great x

  7. Harry Lance says:

    This definitely looks better than a boring white door and it also Enhancing the overall look of the house. I will surely try this at my home.

  8. Mel says:

    I have the exact same door and can’t stand the kookaburras. I’m wondering what it looks like close up. You can still see the outline of the kooksburras pattern? Did you do anything to the glass before painting it? Did you paint the outside too? I’m assuming you sanded only the wood and didn’t do anything to the glass?

    • I actually thought that there might be a slight outline under the paint, but it’s not evident at all – like zero. We did nothing to the glass prior and it’s held up perfectly (not one issue), but you can coat with a bonding primer first if you like (even something like ESP – Easy Surface Prep). I did use ESP on my brother’s exterior lite door prior to painting it:

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