You can change the look of your front door without buying a new one. Adding glass panels refreshes the entry area and lets more light into your home. You can do this project yourself to save money. Work carefully because it is easy to make mistakes that are difficult to correct. With some patience and attention to detail, you will soon have a front door that looks like new.
You will need:
• Decorative or corner mold
• Glass panels
• Circular saw
• Nail set
• Finishing nails
• Caulk gun
• Silicone caulk
• Utility knife
• Measuring tape
• Safety goggles
Step 1: Remove the pins from your door hinges, using a hammer and screwdriver. Removing the door from its hinges prevents you from making mistakes when cutting the wood. You can leave the hinges on the door and frame.
Step 2: Determine where the glass panels will be installed on the door. Mark the outline of these with your pencil and measuring tape. Allow 1/8-inch on each side of a panel to allow for contraction and expansion of glass and wood.
Step 3: Put on the work gloves and safety goggles. Score the panel area with the utility knife. Cut each side with the circular saw but do not go all the way to a corner. Use the utility knife or a jigsaw to cut out the corners and remove them. Once holes have been cut, paint the bare wood to prevent rotting and mold. If the door has peeled or is faded, repaint the entire surface. Allow the paint to dry.
Step 4: You will be installing a corner mold on the outside and inside of the door to attach the glass and hold it in place. Look for a mold style that matches the panel profile. Install the mold in the appropriate areas on the inside of the door and apply a bead of caulk to the mold. Put the glass panel in the hole and caulk the perimeter of each piece of glass. Wipe off excess caulk.
Step 5: Install the decorative or corner molds on the outside of the door. Use the finishing nails and hammer to secure the mold to the door, avoiding the glass. Sink each nail with the nail set. Once the caulk has dried, use the hammer to reattach the front door to its hinges. Use glass cleaner and a paper towel to clean both sides of the new glass panels.