Victorian Screen Door Makeover

Being the owner of two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels means that we go on a lot of neighborhood walks, trips to the park and big hikes. We need to get out the door in a hurry and have our gear easily accessible. Which translates to – Maybelline can throw a temper tantrum better then any two year old.

My parents gave us a reproduction Victorian screen door from their house and I had plans to install it in our home one day, but as decorating plans do, they changed. The door sat in the basement of our 125 year old home behind the water heater and the furnace. The spiders found it to be the perfect place to scare me on Halloween. And all holidays. They are very progressive. I decided to make the screen door into a station where Abner and Maybelline’s gear could be stored and look stylish at the same time. I brought the door up from the basement and took a look at it in the moonlight!

Get Started:

  • Use a screw driver to remove the screen door hardware including door handles, locks, hinges and the plastic threshold
  • Fill any holes with a small amount of wood putty
  • After the wood putty is dry, use a fine grit sanding block and traditional sandpaper to remove any loose paint and slightly rough up the surface so a coat of paint will adhere properly.*
  • Clean the door with TSP, (P.T.S if you live in Quebec) trisodium phosphate to clean up any dust from the sanding process, remove oils and provide a clean surface to paint.



When one door closes – another door opens and in walks Channing Tatum to get the party started!

I used a product from Lowes called Chalked by Rust- Oleum. The paint can be used on previously painted surfaces, does not need to be primed and can be re coated in 30 minutes.

I chose a yellow hue, wanting the screen door to act as a focal point in our foyer. Distressing the screen door, the cranberry colour would show through, the colours complimenting one another. Plus, Abner and Maybelline made a request for yellow! What my babies want – my babies get. Nobody puts Abner and Maybelline in the corner.

The chalk paint was easy to use – just be sure to apply the paint in thin coats and don’t over brush. After I painted the screen door with 3 coats of paint I used a sanding block and sponge to begin distressing the door. I distressed at natural wear points, careful not to overdo the effect. This process created texture and interest in the piece. I vacuumed and damp wiped the door to clean up all of the paint particles.*

Next, I attached chicken wire (from Home Depot) to the back of the door to act as a grid of sorts to hold doggie gear. I used a staple gun with an advertised precision guide. It was difficult to use the gun along the narrow inset at the back of the door and the staples missed their mark a few times. This tool takes some getting used to.

After the chicken wire as attached, I used “s” hooks from Lowes to attach doggie items and picked up some bedrail hangers for attaching the door to the wall.

The most stylish way to organize and display your furry friend’s gear since 1890!

Our supermodel Miss. Maybelline Rose. Eat your heart out Ashley Graham. And Cindy Crawford. And Beyoncé (You thought I forgot didn’t you?)

Not a dog lover? No Problem! (I guess…) Use as a stylish way to hang photographs of your favourite people. Mine just happen to be canine!

Hang Christmas Ornaments (anytime of year – I say!)

Here’s a fun list of other ways you could use the door!

  • String with Mini Lights
  • Display Greeting Cards
  • Hang Lightweight Vases with Flowers
  • Display Items from your Wedding – invitation, bouquet, boutonniere, garter, photos
  • Showcase Your Children’s Artwork
  • Make a Family Tree with Old Family Photos
  • As an Advent Calendar at Christmas, Any Holiday or Countdown
  • Hang Little Grab and Go Snacks
  • Decorate with a Seasonal Wreath
  • Attach Gratitude Notes (Or Love Notes!)

It’s almost garage sale, antique fair and clean out the basement torture – the ideal time to shop for a screen door!

Yours in Décor,


*ensure the paint is not lead based. wear a face mask.

1 Comment

  • Yvonne

    Maybelline is the perfect model! This is an amazing project – so functional and fun! And I love the shade of yellow you chose. I definitely have to try painting with chalk paint some time.

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