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Updating Old Doors with New Glass Door Knobs

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Updating old doors with new glass door knobs and replacing door hinges.

I’m so excited to share a project that has been a year in the making, updating our old bathroom doors with new glass door knobs.

Living in a 1946 stone cottage has its charm but also its problems.

Well, it has a lot of problems but we’ll just focus on one today…old doors and door knobs.

glass door knob with brass plate on bathroom door

I actually love the old doors. They have paneled solid wood with original (for the most part) glass door knobs.

The doors are beautiful but most of them don’t close right, if at all. 

Some of the antique knobs are either painted over, falling off or they have missing door knob parts.

These doors have seen a lot of action in 70 years, and it shows.

The door that we use the most is the first in line for some attention, the bathroom door. 

It closes but it doesn’t match the rest of our glass knobs.

This post is sponsored by Nostalgic Warehouse. I did receive product but, as always, all opinions are my own.

old door knob on door with paint smear

Not the look we’re going for.

So when Nostalgic Warehouse reached out to me, I knew it was the perfect campaign for us.

We were asked to pick out new door knobs for one room of the house from Nostalgic Warehouse’s beautiful selection.

view of door knobs on bathroom door and closet door

Although the main door closed without an issue, the closet door was another matter.

We haven’t been able to close it properly since we moved in and every time you would open the main bathroom door, it would hit the closet door.

Another issue was that the closet door knob was a real mess.

There was old paint all over it and the door frame was in need of repair. Eeeek!

old glass door knobs on closet door

Of course me being me, I couldn’t just remove the old glass knobs and replace with the new. Nope…not in this house.

I had to do a little makeover on both doors so (A) they would close properly, and (B) so they would look their very best for our beautiful new glass door knobs and hinges.

The main door just needed a few spots caulked and a fresh coat of paint (SW Pure White), but the closet door needed a bit more attention.

We had to remove it, along with the hinges that had layers and layers of paint on them, so that we could sand down the edges to allow the door to close properly.

The door had been painted a ton of times over the past 70 years and, with each coat, it built up.

I’m sure you can guess what happened. All of that old paint made it impossible to close the door tight.

Luckily some sanding fixed the issue (actually a lot of sanding).

It’s not perfect but it’s so much better.

old door knobs on bathroom door and closet

We also had to scrape and paint the closet door frame.

OMG, talk about ugly. It was a mess.

bathroom closet chipping paint in doorway

I’ve been dreading this project since we moved in but it was time.

I scraped the loose paint and filled all of the holes.

The right thing to do would be to strip the frame and start over but it’s a huge job that’s at the bottom of the list.

At some point we’ll do it right but, for now, it looks better and it closes. Plus it has that beautiful brass and glass door knob to distract you.

Once I scraped and painted both doors, we installed the door knob to the main door.

I went with Crystal Glass Privacy Door Knob with Studio Plate by Nostalgic Warehouse for the main door.

They are so easy install and, in just a few minutes, we transformed the door. No more paint smear on a door knob that didn’t match the era of the house.

view of lock on new brass and glass door knob on bathroom door
sideview of new brass and glass door knobs on bathroom door

Picking out the right glass door knobs for your doors…

Full disclosure here…

Things didn’t go the way we’d hoped with this project, which happens a lot. But I’m always honest with you about our projects so I thought it was only right to share everything that happened.

The good and the bad.

The closet door was a bit more involved. I ordered a passage knob and it ended up not fitting.

The door is only 1 1/16″ thick so it was tricky getting something new to fit a thin door.

I worked with Nostalgic Warehouse, who went above and beyond to find a solution for me, but we just couldn’t get it to work. It was nothing that they did wrong, it’s just an old door, and an odd size.

You can see the difference in the thickness of the doors in this photo.

view of old door knobs on bathroom door and closet

In the end we went with the Crystal Glass Double Dummy Door Knob with Studio Plate by Nostalgic Warehouse, which doesn’t have a latch.

Besides the fact that there isn’t a latch for the door, we had to move the plate and glass door knob down a few inches, otherwise the plate would have rested over the panel.

Not a good look.

The door knob looks beautiful but we still have the holes where the latch and the strike plate go.

The holes weren’t centered with the placement of the new glass door knob, so they’ll eventually have to be filled in and repainted.

We’re quickly learning that nothing is ever easy when it comes to an old house.

new brass and glass door knob on bathroom closet door

We still need to figure out a way to latch the door because it doesn’t close tight on it’s own.

Something that will allow us to open and close it easily. I’ll keep you posted on what we end up doing.

new glass door knobs on bathroom door and closet door

The new glass door knobs though?

Oh my…

I really love the way they look! I have antique brass scattered throughout the cottage, including the bathroom, so these new glass door knobs fit in beautifully.

Now I’m anxious to get to all of the other doors. After I figure out a way to butter up the hubs. 😉

We have more info on replacing old door knobs.

42 Comments

  1. I am so glad I found this post! Have been looking for replacement doorknobs forever and these are just perfect!

    1. I’m so glad you found a replacement doorknob solution. I love ours and they are excellent quality. I highly recommend them. Thanks for visiting!

  2. We have a similar situation with our bathroom door. We put a magnet on the door and the door frame. It holds the door shut. Works well and was cheap.

    1. Great solution Julie. We ended up doing something similar. Thanks for the suggestion. πŸ™‚

  3. I love the knobs you updated with! Thanks for sharing at the Monday Funday Party. – Emily

  4. Absolutely stunning – those are gorgeous door knobs.

    Good luck with the closet door – how frustrating.

    Thanks for sharing – really is beautiful!

    1. Thanks so much, Michele, I’m loving the new door knobs. πŸ™‚

  5. My firstr home had glass doorknobs. I loved those! Thank you so much for linking at overthemoon! I look forward to seeing what you share every week. Please come back for WonderfulWednesday or ThursdayFavoriteThings. Enjoy your week ahead.

    1. Thanks Marilyn. This is the first house we’ve bought that has glass door knobs. Love them!!!

  6. It’s amazing how the little details make a huge difference in the attractiveness of your home. I remember the old, glass door knobs from a 1903 house that my husband and I renovated years ago. I’m so glad to see that they’re available again (from Wayfair). Your work on your doors really paid off. Great job!

    1. Thanks so much! Wow, a 1903 home renovation. That must have been fun. πŸ˜‰ Yes, I’m so glad to see the vintage style glass door knobs more readily available.

  7. I love the new door knobs and I love that gold and brass are coming back in (I can’t believe I said that!). I would love for you to link up to our new link party #iDIYed that. Visit my blog to link. Hope to see you there!

    1. Thanks Lindsey! I know what you mean…I never thought that I would love gold and brass again but I do! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for visiting.

  8. Those door knobs look fabulous! I’m really inspired by your post and now wish to change my door knobs as well πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot for joining us at the Family Joy blog link up party. Pinned your post to our Pinterest Party board πŸ™‚ xoxo

    1. Thanks so much! I want to change all the knobs now too but I have to wait until the budget allows. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you for pinning!!!

  9. Grace Rasmussen says:

    Funny that we must all be thinking alike, only I redid my doors, to go with the beautiful old glass door knobs. I actually added wood strips to my flat slab doors (that were an ugly blond stain color) to make them look like paneled doors, 4 panels for the narrower closet doors and Mission style for the bedroom doors and stained them to look like wood-grain. It was a fun project, just took a lot longer than I thought it would. Now have to wait to have the original floors re-done and then rehang the doors, with the lovely old glass knobs (they look just like the ones you had). I hope you find a way to re-purpose the old knobs!

    1. Wow, sounds like you’ve been busy Grace. What a great way to dress up plain wood doors. I bet they look great!

      I’ll definitely repurpose the old knobs. Some of the pieces are missing from a few of them so I’ll try to mix and match.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your projects. Love to hear what everyone is up to. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much, Cristina, I love the look of the new door knobs. πŸ™‚

  10. I’ve always admired glass door knobs, and yours are delightful. Very pretty. I’m so impressed with the determination you and the Hubs possess when it comes to projects like this. So many people would just throw out the old door and get a new one rather than work to restore the existing one. I like it that you two just go with it. Looking forward to what you finally come up with to solve the latch problem. xo

    1. If truth be told Nancy, we did consider replacing the door but it’s an odd size and the doors they sell today are hollow core. Not going to happen in this house. πŸ˜‰ We’ve never lived in a house this old before so every project is a lesson. It’s been fun though.

      Thanks so much for visiting and for your sweet comment. Hope you have a great week!

  11. That’s a fantastic transformation! I love the faceplate, and I too ended up with dummy for knobs (the rolling latch is at the top of the door.) That striped pitcher is perfect!

    1. Thanks so much Erin. I didn’t realize how bad ours were until I put these on. Love the antique brass with the glass.

      Love yours too. The tassels are a great touch.

  12. Just discovered your site today. Doorknobs are so pretty..I love them and the gold is beautiful in a vintage home. We purchased our home 23 years ago, new, with the idea of staying about three or four years until the youngest flew the nest. Well, here we still are…so have been remodeling as I loathed a house filled with oak everything. We gutted the kitchen and put in Ivory cabinets with..yay…all glass handles and knobs. Replaced all the woodwork and trim with ivory and all new doors with glass knobs. Love them too! I will be looking through you past posts, have a feeling they will be nice:)

    1. Hi Jillian. Wow, it sounds like you’ve done a lot in your home in 23 years. The longest we’ve been in a home is 7 years. I know the hubs hopes that this is it…but you never know. πŸ˜‰ Your kitchen sounds lovely. I see a kitchen remodel in our future but we have more pressing projects to do first.

      Glad you found us. Thanks for stopping in (and for all of your nice comments).

  13. Beautiful swaps! I have really old doorknobs, too. They are not glass (I wish), but they are original and the old skeleton keys still actually work…so how could I change them out? But I can dream! πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks so much Kim. I never thought that I would like glass door knobs but they fit with the era of the cottage and I do love them. I only wish that the original ones were more intact.

      Ooooo, original door knobs with skeleton keys. I don’t blame you for wanting to keep them. They sound fabulous! πŸ™‚

  14. Love the door knobs. I bought a glass door knob for my house built in 1957 and it didn’t fit. πŸ™ I don’t have a hubs to help me with projects. My doors are a flat surface, hollow wood doors, so ugly. I would love to replace with new panel doors. But so many projects that need doing, it will never happen. I do have a question for you though. My house is a cape cod and has a door that goes to the upper level. There is a window at the top of the stairs. I would love to replace this solid door with a single french door. It would let a lot of daytime light into the hallway and make the hall seem less small and confined. My dilemma is that a fall down the stairway would topple right into that glass. There is probably a 10 degree difference in the temp between the two floors so I wouldn’t want to remove the door completely. What would you do?
    Rose

    1. Thanks so much Rose. I’m sorry that your door knob didn’t fit. We have a lot of problems with every knob in the house and they all seem to be different, not like today’s modern knobs.

      As for your question…

      I know that you want a french door but have you thought about a door that just has a window on the top? I’ve been looking for old doors with a top window for the front and back door and have found a few nice ones that would do the job. Maybe something like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/36-x-80-MISSION-ARTS-CRAFT-CRAFTSMAN-9-PANE-BEVELED-GLASS-EXTERIOR-ENTRANCE-DOOR-/322447401826?hash=item4b135ce362%3Ag%3AN1IAAOSwsW9YweoW

      Maybe something with a little less glass? Enough to give you some of the light but it will block to the cold air and less glass than a french door.

      It sounds like a great idea and I’m sure that whatever you do will look awesome. Hope that helped.

      Have a great week!!!

  15. The new door knobs are amazing, and while that isn’t my style at all, I can appreciate their beauty and how they are perfect in your cottage home. With regard to keeping the closet door closed, surely there is some type of magnetized strike plates that can be used – one on the door itself and one on the door frame. That’s the solution I would be looking for since it would be a simple (if it can be found) solution. I grew up in a house with the old crystal door knobs but the new ones are so much prettier. Now you can gradually replace all the others.

    1. Thanks so much Pat. I would never have bought glass door knobs for the house, I never thought of them as “my style”, but I really want to honor the period of the cottage. I’ve grown to love them and I’m happy that I found modern door knobs that are pretty and fit with the era of the cottage.

      I appreciate your visit and I hope you have a great week! πŸ™‚

  16. Pat DonBrosky says:

    Quite a difference, especially with the back plate. You two do such beautiful work; it looks so clean and simple, as it must have looked when the house was new.

    1. You are sweet, thanks so much Pat. I wasn’t sure I would like the back plate, but I really love the look of it. I resisted buying new because I didn’t want to move away from the period look of the house but I think these fit right in.

      Hope you have a great week!

  17. Who could imagine such a difference a door knob can make. As for the maroon paint, mercy! It is amazing what people think looks good. Here is hoping your hubby sees the improvement and agrees to redo the other doors soon. Enjoy your weekend.

    1. I know, right Debbie. I loved the other door knobs, even though they had paint all over them and didn’t work right, but I really love the new ones and they make such a huge difference.

      You wouldn’t believe some of the paint colors I’m finding in this house. I think that it was a dark and dismal place at one time. Not sure why people go with crazy dark colors.

      I’m still working on hubs but maybe, if we do it slowly over time, it will take the sting out of it. πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a great week my friend!

  18. Kristi, what beautiful door knobs you choose, they are fabulous! I think they really updated the doors and still look period appropriate.
    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Thanks so much, Kaycee, I really love the new door knobs. It was nice to find something that was modern but still looked period appropriate. I appreciate your visit. Hope you have a great week!

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