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Anyone replaced internal doors with reclaimed ones?

(29 Posts)
FaceClothParty Fri 14-Feb-20 12:51:53

1920s house with lovely pine panelled doors apart from the hall. There’s 3 glazed 80s doors that don’t go very well.

I’d like t9 replace with 1920s doors with a glazed panel. Anyone done this?

BlueChampagne Fri 14-Feb-20 12:53:10

Replaced one in our previous house. Well, a carpenter did!

2catsand2kids Fri 14-Feb-20 17:14:57

Yes we’ve done it, I would highly recommend getting a carpenter to do it for you as it’s not very easy to hang a door well.

paddlemyowncanoe Fri 14-Feb-20 17:30:57

We have done this, or at least are in the process of doing it with the 12 doors in our bungalow.

We have collected doors from neighbours (who have been disposing of them), and from freecycle. We have also collected original bakelite handles for all the doors

This door (like all the rest) was painted, so we had it dipped. We carefully removed the top panel with a multi tool, and the local glaziers made a glass panel for it, which we asked them to sandblast. We rubbed the door down and waxed it, before putting in the glass panel.

The latch and handle were in a different place, so that all had to be chiselled out (and the old hole filled). Also the door was a different size to the frame, so some adjustments were needed there.

It was a time consuming process, but we are delighted with the end result. (Only another 6 to do now!)

Total cost was about £60 per door (for dipping and the new glass panel)

Fortunately my DH is very handy, and I am a willing labourer.
If you don't have good DIY skills, I guess it would be considerably more expensive if you have to pay a joiner (or carpenter?) to fit it.

Hopefully the photo is attached... (my first attempt to do so!)

AGreatUsername Fri 14-Feb-20 18:47:54

We replaced all the non original 30’s doors with the original, like the poster above we were fortunate enough to spot a neighbour ripping his out and bagged them for free. They needed quite a bit of repair but luckily my husband is a cabinet maker by trade so that was easily sorted.

FaceClothParty Fri 14-Feb-20 18:50:55

That's exactly what I'm looking for. Unfortunately neither of us is that handy...and no neighbours throwing out doors..

Phillipa12 Fri 14-Feb-20 19:13:27

10 months of searching reclaimation yards and ebay and i finally found 5 doors that my carpenter fitted. Its not a cheap decision to replace doors for original, esp if they need stripping and trimming to size with fitting but they do look fabulous. My 5 doors from purchase to fitting cost £1000 in total (lot of huffing from carpenter, my house is very wonky 😅).

lekkerkroketje Fri 14-Feb-20 19:21:59

There's probably something similar in the UK, but if you fancied a holiday with a van in NL, this is my favourite shop ever. I spend hours thinking of all the things I could build with old doors!

Words Fri 14-Feb-20 20:11:15

Lovely job paddle but that glass is criminal!

paddlemyowncanoe Fri 14-Feb-20 20:30:53

That door is off the hallway, which is a long narrow corridor with very little natural light and is therefore quite dark. It now lets a lot of light into the hallway.

It's the bathroom door so we couldn't have clear glass.
On balance letting light into the corridor was more important than retaining the top panel

Here's one where we retained the top panel, plus a glimpse (to the left) of the bathroom door before it was replaced

Words Fri 14-Feb-20 20:58:22

Gosh yes, see what you mean. Glazed panel or no, huge improvement.

That door in the foreground is especially beautiful by the way.

ShamefulBlanket Fri 14-Feb-20 21:02:50

Also a 1920s house and the internal doors had already been replaced with reclaimed ones when we bought it, but all the handles were modern and just looked odd. I tried to find some of the Bakelite ones which are on one of the doors but drew a blank which is a real shame because they look great. I found a company which made period door handles with various finishes and got those instead and am really pleased with them.

paddlemyowncanoe Fri 14-Feb-20 21:10:17


Thank you, we are very pleased with them. It's a long, slow process, and we have another 6 to do, but it has transformed the hallway

Words Fri 14-Feb-20 21:30:12

Long and slow is the way to go!

Look at that exquisite door of yours, with the gorgeous wood, and beautiful handle, against the monstrosity behind.

If I came to your house I'd be spending a lot of time admiring it, stroking it, and possibly opening and closing it as it will have been fitted and hung perfectly.

Disclaimer: cabinet maker's grand daughter.

Thanks for sharing the photos.

Words Fri 14-Feb-20 21:36:49

Sorry that was for paddle

paddlemyowncanoe Fri 14-Feb-20 21:38:52



Thank you for your kind words. To receive such appreciation from a cabinet maker's granddaughter is praise indeed! and may just spur me onto the next six doors

Then onto replacing the picture rails....
(it's a long term project!)

paddlemyowncanoe Fri 14-Feb-20 21:50:53


Was that the firm that also sells the reproduction light switches?
At our previous house we replaced all the light switches/plugs with reproduction bakelite. I fear we will run out of money (and time) on this project so probably won't do it here.

I have seen bakelite door handles on ebay recently, though they do seems to go for surprisingly expensive prices. (Some seemed as expensive as new door handles). When we started on our previous place 25 years ago we were fortunate that the house hadn't been touched for decades so still had the original doors and handles

Words Fri 14-Feb-20 21:51:56


Quality craftsmanship endures, and neither can it be rushed, just like true love. ( how topical a thought for today!)

Have you read Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance by Robert Pirsig?

Words Fri 14-Feb-20 21:54:14

@ShamefulBlanket I'd be interested in a link to that too if you could share?

Words Fri 14-Feb-20 21:55:47

Love those switches!
I'd like to install an external bell pull but they are so expensive !

paddlemyowncanoe Fri 14-Feb-20 22:03:26

@words I read it when it first came out in the 70's (I'm showing my age here!) but I can only vaguely remember the broad message.

My DH is rather a perfectionist, so in 25 years of marriage, we have adopted the manta "slow and steady wins the race", combined with my dear departed mother's saying " if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well".

Words Fri 14-Feb-20 22:06:01

We are the same gen then! grin

ChelseaGirly Fri 14-Feb-20 22:11:23

I have. Some were nabbed from a neighbour who'd had to replace doors after a loft conversion, and others I bought on eBay where there are several sellers with large selections of doors (we got a great match, after much searching). Well worth doing.

SwedishEdith Fri 14-Feb-20 22:18:38

We nabbed a neighbour's doors from a skip. None of them fitted our house sad

paddlemyowncanoe Fri 14-Feb-20 22:28:44


We have collected 14 doors (12 needed plus a couple of spares). None of them have been an exact fit, so all have needed cutting/planing/sawing to fit.

Also once dipped, a couple have revealed serious burn marks. (Thankfully on one of them it was on the top panel which was removed and replaced with glass)

So it's a much more complicated and time consuming process than I initially expected. Tho as you can tell from my previous postings, it's a process we have thought worth persevering with.

BTW I also see quite a lot of original 20's/30's doors on facebook marketplace now. For anyone who is looking for them it's worth checking there

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