Building a Frosted Glass Pane Door

Next in Shut The Front Door DIY week — build a frosted glass pane door, from scratch! And don’t forget to come link up your door-related projects here, plus tell us a knock-knock joke for a chance to win $25!
How to build a wood door from scratch, with a frosted plexiglass window - including adding hinges and a knob and latch @Remodelaholic

Upcycling and refacing doors is a great way to update an existing door. But, making a door from scratch is actually easier than you think! Yvonne (remember her fretwork dining table?) will show you how she built her entry door, complete with a frosted glass pane for privacy.
Hand Built Entry Door with Frosted Plexiglass by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

How to Build a Frosted Glass Pane Door from Scratch
by Yvonne of Sunnyside Up-Stairs 

When live above a carport, so we enter through two doors to get into our “apartment.”  The first is the garage entry door, and the second is our kitchen entry.  Originally, our kitchen was not, let’s just say, our style.

Building a New Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
A jalousie door is not on my dream home list.  Not yet.  So, as soon as I had an excuse to remove the door, I made a plan to build a door that would make my heart smile everytime I enter, and I everytime I leave our 600 foot abode.  What’s amazing is, the door was buildable.  I only know this because I built it from cast off materials.  What’s even better is that you can build a fun statement door, too.I built our door in 3 phases.  Here are the steps I took to add drama and beauty to our kitchen entryway.

Phase 1 – Door frame and hardware fitting

1.  Build the frame to fit the door jamb
I thankfully found 2×6 lumber just lying around my mom’s garage, so I measured our door opening, and cut the 2×6 into 4 pieces using my miter saw.  I checked my measurements against our old door, looking for a perfect match in dimensions.  Once everything was just right, I drilled pocket holes and used 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws to create the door frame.
Building an Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
2.  Ensure the door would hang on the hinge
Before moving further, I needed to ensure that the door would fit in the doorway when hung and that it would have all the necessary holes for the hardware before I finished it with paint or stain.  I propped up the door with a 1×2 and marked where the hinges should be attached on the door.
How to Build an Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

I initially chiseled mortises for the hinges, but the door would not close well with the mortises, which was unexpected.  So I flipped the door around, and screwed the hinges on the side without mortises, and found that the door functioned much better this way.  (And it still has been opening and closing without a hitch).

How to Build an Entry Door from Scratch by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
3.  Bore holes for door knob hardwareI used this handy wood door lock installation kit made by Ryobi to cut out the necessary holes for our door locks.
Build an Entry Door from Scratch by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

Adding Hardware to an Entry Door Built from Scratch by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

Building an Entry Door and Adding Hardware by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

Adding Hardware to Custom Built Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

How to Add Hardware to a Newly Built Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

Build an Entry Door with Glass Pane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

I aligned the bit, now hole saw, with the little mark the target made in the wood and did my best to drill the hole straight and evenly.  Once I went in about 2 cm, the hole itself held up the drill, without my help.

How to Build an Entry Door and Add the Hardware by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
It turned out beautifully, my first door hardware hole.  And that round piece of wood popped out easily.  I saved it, you know, just in case I could use it for a project.  (Sentimental garage hoarder alert).
Then, I drilled the second and final hole.
How to Build a Door with a Glass Pane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

How to Build a Door From Scratch by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
How to Add Hardware to a Custom Built Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

Adding Hardware to a Hand Built Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

How to Add Hardware to a Hand Built Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
 
4.  Install a door stop (optional)

I used an entire work day, okay, a couple hours from a day, to pre-install and position all the hardware so that the door would be ready to go when we were finished.  Including this seemingly simply door stop.

How to Create a Hand Built Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

It was $2 and came with no directions.  I stared at it and turned it around, probably looking like I’ve never seen a door stop in my entire life.

Hand Built Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

Sneaky door stop, you.

Adding Hardware to a Hand Built Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
Adding Hardware to a Hand Built Glass Paned Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
At the end of this day, I unscrewed everything, took the door off, and prepared it for sanding, for plexiglass and paint, coming next.  🙂

Phase 2 – Adding frosted plexiglass, a bottom panel, and trim.

Our stairwell has a tiny window at the very bottom of the steps.  The rest of the stairwell is a fairly dark, narrow space that I’ve not touched with a paint brush yet.  We wanted a glass insert in our door to allow light into our dark stairwell and to increase a feeling of openness when climbing the 12 steps to the top.

1.  Frost a design on plexiglass

The plexiglass had a protective film on both sides.  I drew my own version of a fantastic tree my husband and I saw online with a red sharpie.  Then, using our kitchen shears (because it was handy), I cut through the film around the leaves and branches and pulled the background off.

Creating Frosted Glass for Newly Built Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
How to Build an Entry Door with Frosted Glass by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

I think I may be the world’s worst spray painter.  Does anyone give spray painting class?  I may need it.  My husband has yet to notice the spots, but if he asks, I’ll call them “happenstance texture.”  You know, so he’ll think I’ve embraced it as part of the design, for a moment.  🙂  After my spit-spraying of frosted glass spray, I peeled the protective film leaves and tree, I had this design:

Build an Entry Door with Frosted Glass Pane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

2.  Miter the trim to use as glass stops

Since my plexiglass was considerably smaller than the door frame, I needed to place the plexiglass inside the frame and measure how large of a bottom panel I’d need and take measurements to add quarter round, or in our case, leftover Timbron as stops on which the glass could rest.

Adding a Frosted Glass Pane to a Hand Built Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

I made miter cuts using my miter saw for a neater appearance, with my red Sharpie’s help.

How to Add a Glass Pane to Newly Built Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

3.  Add the bottom panel and trim

Now that I knew how much of the door would be plexiglass, I could figure out how much needed to be a lower wood panel.  I added a 2×2 below the plexiglass to separate the two areas, but also allow for a place where the lower panel could be attached.

Build a Frosted Glass Pane Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

How to Build an Entry Door with a Glass Pane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

Shown above is the side of the door without the pocket holes.  All pocket holes are on one side, so I could choose to paint that side, and even stain this side if I wanted.

4.  Attach trim

I used liquid nails construction adhesive to attach the non-wood trim I scavenged around our house.  This was a low-budget door, after all.

How to Create a Hand Built Door with Frosted Glass Pane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

Timbron and non-wood trim are not my ideal, but they were inexpensive, and I had them on hand.  I’m doing what I can to prevent waste and transform some of the things we saved from our gutting phase of the apartment.

Exhibit A:  Reclaimed non-wood trim from the kitchen, before.

Building an Entry Door with a Glass Pane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
Adding a Glass Pane to a Hand Built Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

Phase 3 – Glazing, wood puttying, caulking, painting the door

Before the door could be complete, I glazed the plexiglass to the timbron I used as stops, added glazier points and more trim to keep the glass in place and waited 3 days, per the instructions on the glazing compound, before it was time to caulk and paint.

1.  Glaze plexiglass atop timbron stops
How to Add a Glass Pane to an Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
Securing Plexiglass to a Newly Built Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
How to Secure Plexiglass in an Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
Adding a Plexiglass Panel to Newly Built Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

 

How to Install a Glass Pane in a Newly Built Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

After the plexiglass was glazed in, I let the door sit in it’s natural, mix-n-match wood state for 3 days to allow for the glazing compound to set.

How to Build an Entry Door with a Frosted Glass Pane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
 
We painted our door Royal Indigo, though.  And we love it just as well.  🙂

We had lots of leftover paint even after using the dark purple for our small end tablesour painted canvas floorclothand rear media console

Build an Entry Door from Scratch with a Frosted Glass Plane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
Creating a Frosted Pane for Custom Built Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
Build an Entry Door with Beautiful Frosted Glass Pane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic
Create and Build a Frosted Glass Paned Entry Door by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

It is partly because I built it with my hands that I love our entry door.  Having daydreamed the design sketched on paper and now seeing it every day is surreal.  We do so appreciate it.  The best part is, it was not difficult to do.  And it makes our kitchen entryway reflect our style much more clearly.
How to Build an Entry Door and Frosted Glass Pane by Sunnyside Up-stairs featured on @Remodelaholic

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Thank you, Yvonne!  A pleasure to have you join us again!

Visit Sunnyside Up-Stairs to see more of Yvonne’s great projects and tips, like this herringbone console table and how to dye a canvas drop cloth.

Coming up tomorrow in #ShutTheFrontDoorDIY:

(be sure to subscribe by RSS or email to get updates for every post of Shut The Front Door DIY week)

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10 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed the detailed instructions and the door is beautiful. I would love to change out my pantry door in my kitchen, but have been lacking courage. After reading your post, I feel a lot more confident. Thanks!

  2. What an outstanding job ~ I love the frosted door and your tree! Thanks for sharing your detailed instructions too.

  3. Yvonne, I think You & I were cut from the same cloth…WAY before Pintrist,I was doing these types of things before it was even trendy to write a blog or step-by-step tutorials.I was raised if You want a certian “look” yet can’t afford a mass produced or ((GASP)) custom product,DIY it!! I’m 43 & have been doing these types of projects since I was 18 years old for (1st “adult” Townhome ) But being the oungest of 6 Grand daughters with a fiercely independent Grandpa who decided to teach Me interior carpentry as a way to “bond”.It worked! When I moved out at 18 to get married & then started a Family,My Grandpa would come over daily @ lunchtime with a piece of two of trim molding,Which He’d pick through 50-100 pieces at the lumber yard,Just to get an attractive grain pattern.He’s tie it to the outside of His car,Show Me how to cut it on a hand miter box,Stain it & the next day install it before We cut a piece for installation the following day.I also like that You (like I) tend to make up the steps of doing something new (without prior “instructions” or “tutorials” from someone else) Where there’s a will,There’s a way.And because I tend to fall asleep at night,Thinking up affordable project & deconstructing them in My mind so I can come up with a step-by-step guide,With a lot room for of trial & error,too) As long as someone kind of has a grasp on basic building trades & woodworking,then DIY-ing Products like this are completely do-able.Even after all these years,I am only unsure of My routering skills to inset a piece of glass in a full panel door,Which is how I was “surfing” Pintrist & came across Your blog & this 3 part tutorial.Your method was going to be the same method I used if I couldn’t find tips,hints & maybe a tutorial on cutting a rabbit with My router.Just a word of advice for Your followers though.It doesn’t matter with Your doors construction because its in a stairwell & not exposed to the outdoor elements (beautiful job,btw!!) But they need to realize that most 2×6’s have rounded edges that may need to be squared off prior to building but the one thing that bothers Me & if they don’t know will become an issue,One or two harsh winters later…They need to use an exterior wood glue prior to using pocket screw to assemble the original rectangle & either clamp it or screw it immediately,Let dry at least overnight.Also,Regular glass instead of plexiglass is a more affordable option,But it HAS TO BE tempered,for safety reasons.Also,Instead of liquid nails,An adheasive silicone will not only hold any moldings like the trim in place,It will also hold the plexi or glass without glazing points,Just in case it needs replacement in the future,Cutting the silicone bead is easier then removing points.Finally,Any products,Like I said the wood glue,But also the adheasive silicone AND the wood filler must be rated for exterior use! All big box & hardware stores also sell non-mortise hinges that are much easier.But even the custom made interior door I have,Has only one side mortised.I think thats usually how a custom door maker would do it.Finally,You can get away with using pine to keep costs down,But oak stains better if the outside is to be stained instead of painted.But,An exterior gel stain & a wood grain tool for a craft store,Will give You the look of a better grade wood like a hardwood.Just make sure the stain dries completely & is able to be used over SPAR URETHANE (used instead of Polyurethane) Spar is used in marine applications like Boats & will protect Your wooden work of art that You put blood,sweat & tears in finally resulting in complete uttermost personal PRIDE in Yourself (which besides the financial savings,IS THE POINT of DIY-ing,correct?) I hope those tips help 🙂 Again,beautiful job & good luck to anyone who attempts to recreate using Your thorough tutorial! To the viewers who are still new & still intimidated,Just use common sense with power tools. Then keep in mind,75% of all projects is getting over the fear of simply trying to do it yourself 1st.The rest is just going slow & paying attention.Most improper cuts in wood are from simply getting distracted & making an avoidable mistake.Lastly,Its only stock lumber.What’s the worst that can happen? You have to reinstall what You removed while saving up for a professional or mass produced,commercial door? In the end,Even if a project is a bust,AT LEAST IT WAS TRIED & FAILED then never attempted at all! Sorry I had to post this in Your comments,I didnt see an email to send You a private email 🙂 -Melissa Jewell (The Do-It-Herself Dive & owner of Decor Jewels) Good luck to all & I reiterate BEAUTIFUL job!!

    1. Melissa, thank you so much for taking the time to connect with me, and share these amazing gems of information and storytelling. 🙂 I could sense your enthusiasm for DIY and it is infectious, something I desperately need right now: motivation to fuel my DIYing drive as well. Would love to keep in touch somehow, and look forward to seeing your work online. 🙂

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