Our favorite room in our home is our vintage-inspired guest bathroom, and more specifically, our favorite feature in it is the vintage glass WC door. It’s a project we took on and we just can’t get enough of it because we expanded our collection of them to four more with our recent speakeasy basement renovation. We’re not done yet! We love the look and will do it again! A lot of folks have asked us where we got it and how to make one, so we wanted to break it down for you.
The secret to a door like this is that you’ll likely have to DIY it. There are some vintage glass panel doors like this out there but chances are it won’t be the right size. They are few and far between, but what is readily available are doors that have wood panels in many sizes. We easily found one that was very close to the measurements that we needed.
We could have scoured the local salvage yards for one (Brooklyn folks- Old Iron Architectural is great for doors!), and I’m sure we would have found it, but we decided to get ours from a vintage seller on Etsy. They had a large stock of doors that would work for us and the price was right at only about $100. We recommend typing in the size of the door that would work best in the search (either on Etsy or eBay) and finding a seller near your home that will deliver.
Once we received the door, we needed to alter it. This is the hardest part. It does require some tools and some skills to use them. If that doesn’t sound like you, it is possible to have someone else do this part for you. If you bring it to a local woodworking shop, they likely can quickly and inexpensively make the cuts for you. Or you can even ask the seller you get it from if they can do it for you. Our door was very close to the size we needed but it was less than an inch too wide. We trimmed it down on each side with a circular saw. Then we cut out the top wooden panel so that it was open for glass. Fortunately, trimming the side of the door also cut off where the old hinges were, but we did need to fill an old hardware hole with wood filler and let it dry overnight.
The next day we sanded it all down to get the old paint off. Finally, we added the trim piece to where we cut the wood panel that will eventually hold in the glass. So now we had a door that we cut to the right size, altered for a glass panel at the top, filled, and sanded. Now it’s ready for the cosmetic part: glass, paint, and hardware!
We got our vintage chicken wire glass from a store called Olde Good Glass. They have some really amazing vintage and vintage-inspired options. We gave them the dimensions and they cut the glass for us, we just had to pick it up! There are many neighborhood glass shops that might also have some great options. Reeded, chicken wire, or frosted glass all work really nicely! We nailed one side of the trim piece with finishing nails, installed the glass, and then held it in place by nailing in the other trim piece.
We really wanted our door to pop so we painted it a vibrant forest green called Isle of Pines from Sherwin Williams in our WC but for the basement doors, we went with a classic Black (Tricorn Black). We definitely suggest having some fun with the door and making the color pop! I suppose a natural wood door would be gorgeous too depending on the condition of the door. The hardware needed to feel as though it was always on this vintage door so we got ours from House of Antique hardware. It has a crystal knob and brassy backplate.
Finally, we didn’t want our guests wandering around wondering which door was the bathroom so we stenciled on “WC” in antique-looking black and gold letters from House Number Lab. House Number Lab is great because you can completely customize the font and text.
This door is a fun DIY project that we think really makes our guest bathroom special. It wasn’t very expensive but it’s something that brings a little bit of joy into our day. If you do end up making your own door please share it with us! We just can’t get enough of these vintage doors!
This article was written by Jordan and Barry from The Brownstone Boys.
Jordan and Barry are two designers, DIY-ers, renovators, and restorers in Brooklyn, NY. Some of the best advice that they received came from creative blogs so they decided to start their own and share their own experience in hopes of helping others as well.
They slowly restored their very own 130-year-old Brooklyn Brownstone home and now want to help others achieve their own goals in their homes as well!
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