A Black Front Door with Satin Brass Hardware

We have a long list of house goals in 2018, and today I’m excited to be checking off one of those items — the (interior) of our front door!
Before photos of Bridget's house show lots of beige and yellow

Love At First Sight

When we first walked through this house, one of the first things I noticed (and fell in love with) was the round window on the front door. I don’t know why, but I just LOVED it. The round shape was unique, I really have never seen anything like it outside of on a ship.

Unfortunately, I didn’t share that same love-at-first-sight with the dark beige color the door was painted. 

I wanted to keep the old door even though the door is over 60 years old… with a little TLC of course.Beige front door with circle window


As the construction progressed throughout our home, the more and more this baby climbed up my to-do list. That dark beige color next to the now light, bright walls had this old door screaming for some immediate attention. But outside of the cosmetic upgrades, there was also an issue with the lock that really freaked me out. The before of this front door is beige with old hardware and handlesThe hardware on this door is original, which I thought was cool and had me considering saving it. That was until we started living with it and realized that the only way to lock or unlock the door from INSIDE was with a key. Old mortise lock on a front door

Meaning that if there was an emergency, we would have to find the key and unlock the door from the inside in order to exit the house. Yikes… everything about that freaked me out, especially with a little one on the way.

Bottom line– the old hardware had to go!

Wait… What?! A Mortise Lock?
Mortise locks are very reliable, but these old-school locks come with their challenges

I quickly found out that this old lock was different from the traditional hardware sets sold nowadays at most big box stores. It was an old school lock called a mortise lock. If you’re scratching your head thinking, “what the heck is a mortise lock and how is it different than what I have on my door?!”… join the club. I was right there with ya.

The good news is that these mortise locks are supposedly very strong and reliable. But the not-so-great news is that they can be expensive and harder to find in stores.

Where to Buy a Mortise LockA brass mortise lock from Emtek worked for our front door

After some online research, I found a specialty door and window company in my neighborhood that sold mortise locks in all types of styles and finishes. I visited them (with a list of a million questions) and eventually ordered an Emtek satin brass mortise lock. In full disclosure, the lock cost $400 (!!!) which was a lot more than I wanted to spend. I’m obsessed with the look and quality, but the cost was a bit unexpected for others who may find themselves in this same situation.

More Unexpected UpdatesA black front door with satin brass hardware makes a statement in this bright home

And then more not-so-great news. Installing a new mortise lock was also a bit more complicated than I had anticipated. I also found out that the door’s weatherstripping and threshold needed updating. We weighed our options and ultimately decided to hire this project out.

Thanks to our trusted carpenter, the door looked and WORKED so much better after just a few hours. We no longer needed a key to unlock the door from the inside, which made the update (and unexpected costs) worth every penny.Brass hardware from Emtek on my front door

Our New Black Front Door
Painting the inside of your front door black with brass hardware

Add two coats of Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black (the same color we painted the doors in the mudroom) to cover that old beige and I’m officially obsessed with our black front door. (although we do still need to touch up that small hole under the lock).

I mean, can you even?!!

I’m in L-O-V-E. The black front door, plus the satin brass hardware, has me seeing serious heart eyes.

Don’t Be Too Impressed Just YetFront door with brown paint and satin brass hardware

But in honor of keeping our renovation progress real around here, I don’t want you to be too impressed just yet. Here’s what the other side of the door currently looks like. More broooowwwwnnnn…. I just can’t escape it! Hopefully, spring will bring a new color and lots of outdoor updates. But until then, this new black front door with its gorgeous satin brass hardware has my heart (and wallet).


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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