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If you live in a Victorian house please tell me about your (internal) doors.

(59 Posts)
MuffinMclay Thu 24-Jul-08 12:44:53

Due to a DIY mishap we need to replace all the doors upstairs with new ones, and would like to do so with something that adds a bit of character to what is a fairly characterless Victorian house. But I'm rather clueless as to what we should be going for.

moonmother Thu 24-Jul-08 12:46:47

We have waxed wooden panelled doors,although they aren't the originals sad.

Look good though as alot of the original features have been left.

maidamess Thu 24-Jul-08 12:48:41

Most DIY stores do panelled Victorian style doors. Or you could go down the reclamation route, which can be pricey.

pgwithnumber3 Thu 24-Jul-08 12:51:16

We had a joiner make up all our upstairs ones to match the original ones downstairs and they are painted off white. You wouldn't know the difference between the original and the new ones. I think the off the shelf ones can have a look about them which is very new build.

Whereabouts are you? I could always give you number of the joiner if you are in the North West region. I think he charged around £120 a door.

tigana Thu 24-Jul-08 12:52:23

All our door frames in victorian terrace house were non-standard size so DIY shops no good. We did reclamation. Got them dipped and stripped and then we waxed them.

Traditional panel doors, 4 panels, 2 top, 2 bottom. In the box room, we got the top 2 panels replaced with glass...made huuuuge difference to light levels in hallway. Also meant we could peak in an d check on ds without opening door and waking him!

RusselBrussel Thu 24-Jul-08 13:00:23

We have a mixture of original victorian 4 panel doors and new-diy-store-victorian-style 4 panel doors. You can tell the difference a mile away!
We went onto ebay a few months ago and found some original victorian doors which had been ripped out of a refurbishment project. Yes they were missing the door furniture, and one of them was covered in stickers (obv child's room?).
We have stuck them in the shed for now but are planning to take them out one by one, strip them, sand them and then repaint them antique white. And then we can say heave ho to the horrible diy-store ones.
I am looking for some nice victorian style door knobs, as the ones we have at the moment are again new-diy-store-victorian-style brass ones and just look new and cheap.

MuffinMclay Thu 24-Jul-08 13:00:59

At the moment we've got panelled ones, painted white, that look more suited to a new build house (and it turns out they're not made of wood at all).

Like the idea of stripped and waxed doors.

pgwithnumber3 - sadly we're too far away (Herts).

I think I need to get some ready to go ones (DIY store or reclamation) rather than have a joiner build them as we have no doors at all upstairs now.hmm

MuffinMclay Thu 24-Jul-08 13:01:46

Great idea about the door knobs. I like that!

RusselBrussel Thu 24-Jul-08 13:04:39

Stripped and waxed look great, especially with white ceramic victorian door knobs.

We have wooden exposed floorboards throughout the house and I fear that with waxed wooden doors aswell the overall effect will be a bit 'sauna' like...
Hence why we are keeping our doors white...

MeMySonAndI Thu 24-Jul-08 13:06:31

I have waxed wooden panelled doors, original to the house. Keeping the waxing in good shape (or avoiding it to get white or stained by little fingers is a battle I have already lost... to be honest I'm dieing to paint them over...)

MuffinMclay Thu 24-Jul-08 13:13:41

RusselBrusel - will your antique white ones we a matt paint (trying to picture it).

RusselBrussel Thu 24-Jul-08 13:16:07

I think they were done in an eggshell paint many many years ago. They are actually due a repaint, which we will do once we have sanded back the reclaimed doors waiting in the shed...
I think I will go for matt, I find gloss a bit too shiny for an old house.... (but dh disagrees with me so I may be wrong...)

RusselBrussel Thu 24-Jul-08 13:19:45

I likethese and had to link to them because of the shop name (snigger)

But am shock at the price so will keep searching...

frogs Thu 24-Jul-08 13:21:43

If you live in an area with lots of Victorian terraces, then freecycle can be a good source of victorian 4-panel doors.

We've acquired 4 that way over the past few weeks in a variety of sizes. I think you have to accept that not all will fit, but the same is true of reclamation ones. And any that we don't use we'll pass on via freecycle too.

You could also check ebay using the 'distance' listing criterion.

RusselBrussel Thu 24-Jul-08 13:27:12

good point about freecycle frogs, I always forget freecycle.
The ones we bought off ebay don't all fit, but luckily dh is handy with a planer and said he can get them to fit smile

Of course we did measure our existing doors and bid on ones of similar size...

Right, whilst we are all here discussing Victorian doors, do I go for bronze coloured doorknobs or chrome? Or a satiny chrome so it is not soo new nad shiny looking? Or antique bronze...

I don't know what to choose....

RusselBrussel Thu 24-Jul-08 13:28:01

not bronze, bugger, what is that golden colour called?

MuffinMclay Thu 24-Jul-08 13:28:42

grin at knobs and knockers

Great idea about Freecycle.

I've been googling salvage places and am quite shock at the price of nice doors. And we need 5....

Flllight Thu 24-Jul-08 13:29:05

Ours are standard Victorian, maybe Edwardian - very large with six panels in decreasing size toward the top.
Painted white.
Would be lovely stripped but I have other priorities atm.

Flllight Thu 24-Jul-08 13:30:09

You can often find them in the edges of skips, put there to add more capacity/stop things falling out. Worth replacing one at a time when you find them imo.
Salvage places a real rip off often. try local paper free ads too.

pgwithnumber3 Thu 24-Jul-08 14:17:42

Although I do like stripped wood doors, it is not how the Victorians had their doors, they ALWAYS painted them. It is a new thing to strip doors!

MeMySonAndI Thu 24-Jul-08 14:57:43

Erm no... they didn't have them "stripped" as they were new back then but the Victorians would have them in their natural wooden colour.

Now, flooring is another story...

lalalonglegs Thu 24-Jul-08 15:06:40

What sort of DIY accident wipes out your doors? You'd be amazed how many get thrown away during refurbs - if you see any builders doing up houses locally, ask them if there are any going spare (when people do knock-throughs and so on, they often close up one of the doors).

pgwithnumber3 Thu 24-Jul-08 16:05:33

MeMySon, I did extensive research when renovating my house and the Victorians would never had had pine doors on show, it was the cheapest wood of the day and would have been painted to cover the wood. Maybe in the houses where they were oak or mahogany then they were shown but not the pine doors you find in most suburban Victorian houses. smile

I have 4 panel waxed doors, the downstair's one is defintely original - not sure about the others. Beehive knobs I think would be typical Victorian for handles.

notcitrus Thu 24-Jul-08 16:30:58

I've got original Victorian (actually Edwardian but the house is Victorian design) doors, under about 50 coats of slapped-on cream paint. They've been pretty battered over the years, along with the rest of the house.

We've been advised to get them stripped, sanded a bit, and then re-painted. Presumably at some point after the loft conversion (currently ongoing), rebuilding the kitchen, installing phone cabling, rewiring the non-light circuits, restoring ceiling roses, installing fitted cupboards in the lounge, etc, etc...

Have done the bathroom door, which had stained glass in, with new glass (not very authentic but matches the modern inside of the bathroom) and an even less authentic lever handle, because I can't grip a round knob. None of the other doors upstairs shut, so the knobs aren't a problem!

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