Do-it-yourself interior door

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In this Article: How to Prepare Wood Glue; preparation of the door for pasting with veneer; how to create a veneered door; how to insert a window sash into a door leaf; solving problems arising from veneer gluing.

Do-it-yourself interior door

Openings in the walls of our houses need doors – this is an axiom. If this is an opening at the entrance to the house, then the best option for it would be a steel door, but if in the walls between the inner rooms – a wooden or veneered door. Modern new buildings are most often not equipped with doors, which means that they will still have to be bought and chosen, but apartments in buildings erected 20 years ago have internal doors – but what kind! Quite frankly, these utilitarian white painted cardboard plywood doors look just awful. To bear the costs of replacing this squalor with something more decent, or to change its appearance, and so that no one recognizes its old appearance in the new, wonderful door? Feel free to choose the second option – we save money and create a door with our own hands!

You will need wood glue – we will make it

This adhesive is made from hooves, horns and animal skins and is traditionally used in carpentry. Wood glue in the form of granules or dark brown tiles is sold in large hardware stores and costs about 400 rubles. per kg. Before using the tiles, the wood glue must be soaked by placing in cold water for 10-12 hours – for every 100 g of glue 150 g of water – and stirring occasionally. The resulting jelly-like mass must be brought to a liquid state in a water bath – you will need an empty tin can, 1.5-2 mm wire and a metal container with a larger diameter than the selected tin. After placing a sufficient amount of jelly-like carpenter’s glue in a tin can, twisting a wire around the neck of the can so that it can be supported on the edges of a container with a larger diameter, put the can with glue inside the container. Having poured water into a large container to a level equal to or slightly higher than the level of glue in a tin can, put it on fire. After boiling water, the wood glue will be ready in 10 minutes – do not let it boil! There are two ways to check the readiness of the glue: dip a wooden stick into it and lift it – the finished glue flows down in a uniform stream; slightly blow on the glue – with sufficient consistency, a thin film will appear on its surface, too liquid glue will not give a film, thick forms a thick, stationary film (can be slightly diluted with hot water).

Do-it-yourself interior door

In case of a failure with the purchase of ready-made glue or uncertainty about its quality, you can weld the wood glue yourself. At a nearby market, go to the meat department and get a pair of cow horns. At home, break them into tiny crumbs using a hammer, then put the resulting mass in a cup for four hours, pouring cold water – it should be soaked so that you can crush it between your fingers. The soaking period is out – it’s time to cook the wood glue. For cooking, you will need the same containers and devices that are used to bring the glue tiles to a liquid state. So, we cook in a water bath – boiling water in a larger container, chopped and soaked crumbs from cow’s horns in another (smaller) one. The cooking time is about 20 minutes with constant stirring with a stick, preventing the mass from sticking to the walls of the container. You should get a homogeneous, slightly liquid mass, similar in consistency to cream. When ready, pour into a deep container of significant diameter (a plate is suitable) and cool. The result will be the same tile of wood glue that is sold in stores, only the quality is much better. You can bring the pieces of the resulting wood glue to the required liquid state in the manner described above in a water bath.

Do-it-yourself interior door

The reasons why it is worth preparing wood glue only in a water bath: its heating temperature should not exceed 70 ° C; glue can be used as long as its temperature is not lower than 46 ° C, otherwise it will begin to solidify – a water bath will allow you to maintain this temperature.

To increase the water resistance of wood glue during cooking or heating, you need to add natural drying oil or linseed oil – 10% of the mass of tile glue.

The cheapest door is a hand-made one. Let’s get started!

We remove the door chosen for rework from the hinges, lay it on a horizontal surface (preferably on a table) and remove all existing fittings – hinges, lock, handles, etc. Once the hardware is dismantled, you need to decide how the door will look after the rework – with a sash or a solid surface, as before. The first option is somewhat more complicated, although in the second you will have to remove the old paint from a larger area. Next, the steps for creating a door with a window sash will be described, from which, however, it will be possible to figure out how to sheathe the entire surface of the door with veneer.

Do-it-yourself interior door

The first step will be the markup – don’t rely on square corners at the corners of the door, use a large square! The marking is done using a ruler and a square, applied with a pencil or marker directly to the surface of the door, over the existing paint (we will still remove it). Offsets on the sides of the door: at the top not less than 160 mm; at the bottom not less than 500 mm; on the sides not less than 105 mm. After applying the markup and determining the fragment of the existing door leaf that will be removed, we arm ourselves with a drill and drill 5-7 holes in the marked corners on each side with a step of 3-5 mm. Now you can cut using a hacksaw – make sure that the cutting lines are strictly straight. Having taken out the sawn fragment, insert along the contour of the future window sash, between the plywood or cardboard sheathing panels, wood slats greased with carpentry glue – they will become the frame for the window sash. If the installation of the slats is interfered with by cardboard ribs between the skins (they create rigidity of the door plane for this type of door), it is necessary to break them down to a sufficient depth using pliers. The glue will dry for a couple of hours, therefore, without waiting for complete drying, we fix the strips around the perimeter with small nails 10-15 mm in length, embedding their heads in the casing.

The next step is the removal of old paint and installation of the binding

There are two ways to remove old paint: by heating with an iron, blowtorch and technical hair dryer, then removing the paint with a chisel or spatula; the third is a solvent remover sold by hardware stores. There is an iron in every house, so we will consider in detail the heating of old paint with its help – paint removal is carried out in sections, each section is first heated with an iron through paper (newspaper sheets will not fit, too thin) or fabric, then the paint softened by heating is scraped off from it. After complete removal of the old paint, carefully clean the door surfaces with sandpaper No. 0 or No. 1.

Do-it-yourself interior door

The window binding queue. Along the perimeter of the cut out fragment of the door plane, it is necessary to mark the installation locations of the vertical and horizontal crossbars of the binding lattice. Marking the sections of the grooves along the width of the planks, saw off their edges 5 mm deep and cut out the grooves between the cuts with a chisel. The installation of the lattice begins with a vertical strip, to which, using a square and a rule (a strip of the same length and thickness as the horizontal ones), the horizontal strips are fastened with nails. Nails should be driven in at an oblique angle, however, it will not work out differently.

Do-it-yourself interior door

After finishing the construction of the window sash, it will be necessary to slightly reduce the edges on the sides of the door – after pasting with veneer, their thickness will increase by its thickness and the door will not fit into the door frame. Depending on the thickness of the veneer purchased with a plane, we cut off these millimeters from each edge on the left and right, if it is supposed to stick the veneer on the visually invisible upper and lower edges, then from them too. Carefully clean and level the planes of the ends reduced with a plane with a zero sandpaper.

It’s time to glue the veneer

Regular veneer panels, i.e. without an adhesive layer on the back, cost from 100 rubles. per m2, veneer with a glue layer is more expensive – from 600 rubles. per m2. 2.5 m is enough for a standard door2 veneer.

Before pasting the prepared surface of the door with veneer, you need to estimate its drawing by spreading it on the side of the door from which pasting will begin. First of all, try on the design on the bottom of the door leaf, then select two identical strips of veneer for the sidewalls. Don’t throw away the scrap – useful for binding and end sections.

Do-it-yourself interior door

For pasting with veneer, you will need an iron, the heating temperature of which will have to be selected (on average, its value is 60 ° C) – select a piece of veneer that is obviously unnecessary, place a heated iron on it for 20 seconds and check if there are traces of burn marks. The optimum high temperature should be achieved without external consequences for the veneer, i.e. the iron should not burn it. The adhesive layer present on the veneer comes into an active state after 10 minutes of heating with an iron and cools down within 5 seconds – you will need to hurry up with the correct placement. To glue the veneer, only heating with an iron will not be enough, you need a load that quickly absorbs heat from the just glued fragment of veneer – a weighty bag of sand is well suited for this role.

If you purchased veneer panels without a factory adhesive backing, we will use the prepared wood glue. They need to lubricate the door surface prepared for pasting and the reverse side of the veneer panel, wait 10 minutes and attach the panel to the sticker area, followed by heating with an iron and pressing with a bag of sand.

Do-it-yourself interior door

We begin to glue the veneer from the door edges – this way it is easier to hide possible cracks when visually inspecting from the front of the door, and large areas are pasted over from the middle of the door plane, according to a pre-selected drawing. The main difficulties when pasting with veneer will arise at the joints. To minimize joint gaps, first glue 30 mm veneer strips along the joint edge, make sure the strips adhere as closely as possible, then lightly press along the joint with a hot iron – this will remove any moisture from the veneer plate. If this operation is not performed, then after natural drying the veneer will shrink and expose the gap. In case of failure and the formation of a joint gap after drying with an iron, reheat the veneer plate and, removing it with a spatula and moving it, stick it again.

Along the edges of the door planes, an allowance of about 10 mm is required, at the end of the sticker it is cut off with a boot knife (triangular blade) and sanded with a sandpaper. At the edges of the upper and lower ends of the door, it is necessary to cut a 2 by 2 mm chamfer to make sure that the glued veneer panels will not protrude and cling to the floor covering and the upper door frame strip. When finishing the veneer, sanding should only be carried out along the grain direction, otherwise scratches will be noticeable.

If gluing with veneer on wood glue is performed, then varnish can be applied only after 2 hours have passed since the end of the gluing work. It is better to dry the glued door in a room where the air is warmed up to 25 ° С.

The veneer is glued – we cover it with varnish

After finishing sanding, you must immediately start applying varnish – the veneer will pull moisture, swell and peel off. Use a nitro varnish specifically designed for furniture – it dries in 15 minutes at room temperature.

Do-it-yourself interior door

When applying varnish, it is important to position the door horizontally, because in the vertical position, drops of varnish are formed, flowing down in unattractive streaks. After completing the first layer, carefully examine the varnished surface – if, nevertheless, drips have formed, clean them with light movements with an emery cloth. Move the brush exclusively along the fibers, paint in two or three layers, the following layers are applied with diluted varnish with the addition of a solvent 1 to 1.

Installation of glass in a window opening

To fix the glass in the window opening of the door, you will need special wooden strips – layouts in which a quarter is cut out for the glass. Before the final installation of the layouts, place them on any end side of the door in quarters to each other and measure the width of the resulting groove – it should be equal to the thickness of the glass you intend to insert. At the same time, the double width of one layout strip should not exceed the width of the door leaf at the ends – this and the previous measurements should be performed before purchasing layouts so that they do not have to reduce their width at the installation site.

Glasses should be prepared and cut before the start of work on the layouts. The most convenient opaque glasses are: matte, colored and with a corrugated surface. Stained glass compositions will look great.

Wood layouts need to be trimmed at a 45 ° angle to fit the sash fitted in the door. Ideally, you will need a miter box – this simple device is used in carpentry for accurate cutting at this angle, but you can get by with a regular square. It is important to achieve the best joint between two layouts cut at this 45 ° angle, so that there are no gaps – the first time a high-quality joint will most likely not work, so purchase the total footage of layouts without a quarter with a margin of at least 30%.

Do-it-yourself interior door

Coating with varnish is applied to the layout strips before they are fixed in the window sash, since when varnishing after fastening, drips will inevitably form in those places where nails are hammered.

The prepared layouts are fastened with 2.5 mm nails (the caps must first be “bite off” with pliers) only on one side of the door; in the second set of overlays, the nails are just getting used. Then glass is inserted and overlays are installed to fully secure them..

Answers to possible questions arising in the process of veneer gluing

  • If a piece of veneer is chipped during the gluing, you should cut out a slightly larger fragment from the waste, mark its size on the veneer panel with a pencil and, after cutting out this section, glue a new one by heating it with an iron.
  • If, in the process of heating with an iron, burns appear on the veneer, they can be removed by scraping with a sharp knife.
  • After gluing the veneer in one or several places, it moved away from the door surface. This indicates a weak heating of the area or an insufficient weight of the load that pressed the heated veneer in this area. Armed with a thin and sharp knife, we cut the veneer in the place of delamination, squeeze out the air and, after heating it again with an iron, press it with a bag of sand. When gluing to wood glue, it is necessary to slightly moisten the swollen area with water, then draw the glue into a syringe and, after cutting the veneer in the middle of the section along the fiber, squeeze out the glue there, then iron it with an iron and place the load.
  • Cutting veneer is much easier across the grain (followed by breaking) than along it. When cutting the panels along the grain of the veneer, do not attempt to complete the cut in one stroke, as the blade of the knife will slide along the fiber and go to the side – make an incision with several strokes with gentle pressure.
  • When heating the veneer panel with a heated iron, it is necessary to make smooth and constant movements – you should not leave the iron in one place! Uneven heating of the adhesive backing will lead to ledges visible under side lighting – in some places the glue will completely melt, in some places only partially.
  • When gluing especially long veneer strips, it is necessary to exclude their displacement by positioning and slightly warming up one of the edges of the strip with an iron.
  • During installation, a piece of edge broke off – glue the plate with the damaged edge overlap with the adjacent one, after curing the glue, lightly grind off the protrusion with a knife with finishing grinding with sandpaper.
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