Fall Checklist: Installing Locks, Lights, and a Few Garage Updates!

This blog mini-series is a paid partnership with Lowe’s! Thank you for supporting my sponsors!

BY GOLLY the last couple of weeks have been packed. While I’m working on pulling together a post for the wild and wholly ride that was/is restoring the side of my house (it’s done! finally! mostly!), I wanted to pop in and share a smaller project I tackled last week on my long-suffering garage! We took a brief and enlightening tour of the garage’s status back in August, including a bunch of work that I’ve put into it over the years, so feel free to catch yourself up if you’re interested.

In a nutshell: I have, over time, made small and large-ish gestures toward improving my garage. I have also, over time, generally failed to really see these garage-centric projects through to polished completion. Why? Because there’s a whole lot of house that keeps me more than occupied enough, so the garage takes a back seat. Various smaller tasks have been put off until some later date TBD, which is fine and par for the course except for the part where seeing those unfinished items bothers you every single day for months or years. Ya know. It’s not fun having that stuff hanging over you.

SO. Having wrapped up the majority of what I wanted to get done this fall on the side of the house AND being blessed with a few more days of nice fall weather, I took the opportunity to tie up some of these loose ends on the garage! I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER! Allow me to explain myself.

Last time we saw the garage, I’d painted it black, gutted the interior, added a ton of lumber storage, redone the electric, and added a set of 5′ wide french doors to the back to provide easier access for large and unwieldy items that frequently get moved in and out. Of course, in this time I’ve also torn off the back of the house twice, the side of the house once, brought massive amounts of soil into the yard, built raised beds, hauled as much wood in as I’ve brought out…the garage has taken kind of a beating and the time was nigh to give it a little attention.

With all that work behind me you might think there wouldn’t be that much in front of me, but you’d be so adorably wrong, you cute sweet thing. Haven’t we gotten the hang of this by now? The rule is, there’s always more to do. So there are some parts I’m not mentioning, like how that little old deadbolt on that little skinny old door above Mekko’s head in that first picture is…well, we’ll generously call it decorative. It used to work. By some miracle the key actually was conveyed to me at the house closing, and by some additional miracle I didn’t lose it. But at some point it stopped latching, and no amount of fiddling seemed to fix it.

Instead of fixing this security-breach-waiting-to-happen, I went ahead and installed a set of french doors that come with no hardware whatsoever! I elegantly painted one coat on the exterior of the doors, and then only scraped the glass on one of them, leaving the decidedly “in progress” look you see above. Which kind of stops being acceptable after a couple of years.

SO. With a broken deadbolt on one door, and the other set of doors being held closed inside the garage with a heavy object that successfully defeated the wind blowing the doors open but wasn’t likely to stump a person, we have some issues. SECURITY CONCERNS, you may call them. NOT SMART, DANIEL. Particularly as I have steadily filled the garage with lots of lumber but also various valuable outdoor power equipment that I’d be super duper incredibly bummed to have walk off. Unfortunately this concern has actual basis—the garage did get robbed once, years ago. I hadn’t owned the house long and there wasn’t much out there, but this is why I no longer own a bike! I miss my bike. Some jerk has my bike.

So. Let’s try to avoid that happening again.

Here we’ll be replacing an old surface-mount deadbolt with a new, regular through-the-door deadbolt, so the first order of business was removing the old one! Obviously different brands/eras will mean different designs and parts, but generally you can do this as long as you have access to both sides of the door and a screwdriver.

My surface-mount deadbolt was mounted to the door with a bracket, and then the lock housing was attached with three flat head screws.

After removing all of the parts from the inside of the door, removing the exterior trim was easy-peasy. Insert key and pull.

Here’s where things get slightly tricky. Because most of the surface-mount deadbolt’s guts are in the surface-mount housing, the hole in the door is way too small for a modern deadbolt where the guts are housed inside the door. This hole was 1.5″ or so, but my new lock called for a 2 1/8″ hole. At this point I could have decided to just drill a new hole below the existing one and patch the old hole, but that’s one of those solutions that’s somehow lazy and also more work.

For larger holes like this, you’ll need a hole saw. Over the years I’ve just bought them piecemeal as-needed, but it’s nice to get a snazzy set with a little carrying case if you’re fancy like that. In case you’ve never used one, essentially that part in the bottom fits into your drill, and that drill bit in the center kind of acts as a pilot to anchor your hole saw in place while you drill. Without that small bit (it’s removable in case it breaks), it’s pretty much impossible to keep the hole saw in place—instead it’ll jump all over the place, damaging your surface and making you so sad.

So. The problem is thus. There’s already a hole where that bit needs to drive in to keep my hole saw from walking as I drill. Never gonna work.

SO! Using a speed-square to mark the location of the existing hole for reference, I then attached a small piece of scrap wood temporarily to the door. A couple of drywall screws does the trick, and those holes are small enough to patch super easily.

Then, continue as usual. The deadbolt will almost certainly come with a simple paper template, which makes quick work of figuring out exactly where to drill. Many, like this Schlage one I’m using, allow for a couple of different options for the center point, in case your door has narrow stiles (like this one!) or you need to align with other existing hardware.

Because my scrap wood block throws off the thickness off the door, I opted to drill my pilot hole and then remove the paper template, so I could reuse it after removing the temporary block. Remember I’ll also need to drill a hole through the side of the door for the bolt to go in and out of.

See how nicely that works? The temporary block continues to keep the hole saw in that spot until you’ve made it all the way through the door. Then just unscrew it and you have a perfect hole! Then it was just a matter of taping the paper template back up and drilling the 1″ hole through the side with a different drill bit, where the paper template instructed. I used a forstner bit, but a spade or auger bit would work, too.

Congrats on your perfect hole. One down, one to go!

For the french doors, I decided to keep it really simple and went with this nice Schlage keyed entry door handle, so the lock and the handle are one piece of hardware. It installs very similarly to the deadbolt, and because there weren’t any weird existing conditions to work around it went pretty fast!

So that was the project. But then…you know…one thing leads to another. Instead of just installing the new hardware and walking away, I decided to spend a little extra time finally finishing painting the new french doors, and repainting the old side door. Because each of those french doors has 15 lites, it’s kind of nice that the glass comes with a protective plastic film that you can just cut away and dispose of after painting and be left with very little to razor blade off the glass.

I also figured there was no time like the present to give the original doorknobs from the side door a little TLC. There wasn’t a ton of old paint but it was stubborn, so I threw them in my dedicated old hardware crock pot to loosen it all and then scrubbed them clean. Works like a charm.

A note about those knobs and the door they came from: I noticed during this adventure that the rim lock on the inside of the garage door has a patent date on it from 1869! That aligns pretty closely with when the house was likely built (1865, until proven otherwise), but I can’t imagine this garage pre-dates the early 20th century, just looking at the framing, materials, foundation, windows, etc. Most of the doorknobs in my house are white porcelain, but these kind of marbled faux-bois ones are used in a few places like the inside of closets (presumably they weren’t considered as fancy?). It makes me wonder if there used to be a different barn/shed/outbuilding of some kind that got demolished, with parts like this door getting reused for the newer structure.

Who knows, but it’s things like that which make me feel very…comfortable in this house? I totally would have done the same thing a hundred years ago. Love a recycling project!

Sooooooooooooooooo. Before I know it, I have all the tools and ladders out and am just casually repainting half the garage in a day, as one does. There were a couple little areas of peeling paint, plus some caulk splitting, plus I used a satin finish this time instead of a matte finish, which to me looks a little nicer and feels easier to keep clean and avoid scuffing. It took about a gallon of Valspar Duramax exterior latex in satin, which I had color-matched to the same color I used the first time around, Ben Moore’s Onyx.

One of my new painting must-haves is this particular paintable Big Stretch caulk by Sashco, which is now available at Lowe’s! I was so excited when I saw it there, since it used to be kind of difficult to find. It’s great stuff. I hate it when I finish a painting job only to have the caulk crack after a few months, not to mention the damage that can cause when it’s on an exterior.

Oh right, also! I had all but forgotten that when I roughed in the electric in the garage, I left a wire for another exterior light over the french doors! I picked up this simple and classic light, which I opted to spray paint black. All black everything garage! I considered a pop of color but then thought…nah, better not.

I used some Rust-o-leum spray paint I had half a can of down in the basement (this one is similar!), and it looks so nice! One VERY COOL feature of this light is that it has a light sensor on the canopy, which automatically turns it on when it gets dark out. Why don’t all exterior lights have those?! You can actually buy a similar part and retrofit almost any fixture fairly easily—I’m already thinking I might do that for the lights on the street-facing side of the garage, since I can’t seem to program the timer switch to save my life. I can’t handle advanced technology.

And THEN, taking a step back from my work, it occurred to me that even though those french doors bring a lot of nice light into the garage, once the glass has been scraped and cleaned they also REALLY expose the yard to a view of all the mayhem inside. NOPE. I HAVE NOT COME THIS FAR FOR THIS. Too much realness. I just want to keep up appearances, damn it!

So THEN, I picked up two of these affordable curtains from Lowe’s, plus four of these rods so I could kind of stretch and pleat the fabric on the back of the doors without having flappy curtain fabric in a place where they’d likely get dirty or caught on something. The curtains themselves are a pretty sheer polyester with kind of a linen look, so they should hold up well to this kind of use. The rods are also easily removable from the brackets, meaning the curtains can be taken down with little effort and thrown in the wash to my heart’s content.

(Sorry for the scary nighttime pictures—it gets dark early now and my momentum cannot wait for things like natural daylight.)

The curtains were a bit too long for my doors, so I had to hem them about 10″. OH YES HE DID BREAK OUT THE SEWING MACHINE. He’s drilling through doors! He’s painting the garage! He’s stripping hardware! He’s refinishing a light! He’s installing electric boxes! He’s sewing curtains! These are the days I’m really hoping no neighbors are watching me from their windows, because I seem patently unhinged. Is this…the blogger lifestyle? Am I finally doing it right?!

The curtains worked out really well, though. I’m kind of proud. GETTIN. IT. DONE!

Hey hey, garage! Looking pretty slick! You may note that CLEARLY I am unconcerned with the garage showing its age in the from of layers and layers and layers of old paint. Am I the only one who kinda…digs that? Like I think I actually prefer it on a building like this?

I love the way that old doorknob really pops against the black, especially now that it’s clean.

So. Real talk. If I had to choose my favorite thing about the past few years of world history, I can tell you one thing that would rank. It used to be that finding matte black hardware for anything was near impossible, and often meant resorting to spray paint. NO LONGER. The powers that be have deemed matte black a FULL ON TREND and now the options are vast! I love that major brands like Schlage have caught on so quickly and made this option available—I know it’s JUST A DEADBOLT but I’ll still agonize over how it looks, and this one looks handsome and inconspicuous and legitimately makes me happy. Also it WORKS! VERY WELL! Obviously I wasn’t obsessing over the security of my garage before this, but it bothered me and now it doesn’t. I have room in my head for all sorts of other things to bother me now!!

I’m also really pleased with the Schlage keyed entry handle on the french doors! I installed a simple slide bolt at the top of the left side door inside to keep it stationary, and the right side door now does all of these door things that are very exciting. It opens! It closes! It latches! It locks! The improvement is night and day. Also can we appreciate how nice those curtains look? I SEWED. FOR YOU. Mostly for me but also for you.

I’m not mad about this 5 year progress! In case you’re looking for flaws…I decided to extend the sill under the french doors to the edges of the casing (it should have been done that way to begin with; I’m not sure what we were thinking), so the wood epoxy covering the patch was still curing and not ready for paint when I took these pictures. The window on the side also needs a lot of work, so I’m saving that for another day. So there are still some problem areas, but the improvement achieved in this short exciting whirlwind has me feeling SO much happier with the whole thing in the meantime.

Super thrilled with how this light came out! The factory finish on the inside of the shade was white, which I considered leaving alone but I’m glad I sprayed it black. That combined with this adorable (and honestly pretty convincing!) LED filament-style bulb creates a really nice amount of light in this area of the yard. I really like those faux Edison-style LED bulbs for exterior lights—they cast a very warm light (even warmer than an incandescent), and the energy consumption is so low that they don’t drive up the old electric bill.

So there we have it! I’m having a hard time putting this feeling into words, but I’ll try anyway: we’re decidedly at the end of fall, and for the first time in this house, that fact isn’t inspiring major panic and feelings of immense personal failure. In years past it’s always been something…the roof, or the heat system, or the unfinished exterior work, or last year when the kitchen was just a total shell with no walls or insulation (not to mention electric, plumbing, or anything else), or the year before when walking through the house felt like a tour of the post-apocalypse. Which is all to say, if you’re in the thick of it: I don’t know that there’s a point at which the work ever get easier, but it does get more manageable. A day will come when that fall to-do list feels more plausible than aspirational, and you might actually feel like you’re doing this whole thing kind of right. One foot in front of the other.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 11.16.18
    Christy said:

    Love love love how great this looks, but I might love the photo of Meko sitting on the plywood the most. I’m glad to see it’s not just my dogs that will plant their butts squarely on anything relatively flat that is left on the ground.

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha! I always imagine her saying “is this a bed? is…this a bed? I think this is a bed…” over and over as she assesses whatever mess I’m making. She likes to be close to the action, but only with a special throne!

  2. 11.16.18

    I love the look of black, and seeing the layers to me, tells a story. I cannot tell you how much I love that cleaned up door knob! I also think the choice for the light over the french doors is perfect. Nice work!

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, Charisse!

  3. 11.16.18
    Kim said:

    Looks great! Love getting a bunch of little projects done all at once.

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Yes!! Such a good change of pace. I felt like I was doing an art project, haha.

  4. 11.16.18
    Jenica said:

    this entire time, I thought you’d sprayed the panels of the french doors with one of those mercury glass sprays!

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Ha!! Much less glamorous than that!! Although that’s a nice idea!

    • 11.20.18
      pericolosa said:

      Me too!

  5. 11.16.18

    The black really is amazing. It looks so polished. Bravo.

  6. 11.16.18
    Catherine said:

    Our old neighbors sold their house to a builder/flipper and they tore down your garage’s twin. It was so cute and I miss it. Glad to see yours getting some love. Looks great, I love the black effect.

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      That’s a shame, a nice simple garage is SO helpful! I’m lucky mine was spared…the “before” pictures don’t really tell the whole story, because the listing agent had it re-roofed and re-painted before I ever saw the house…those pictures are wild. It looked like it was on the brink of falling over!

  7. 11.16.18

    Nice work!

    That garage is looking SO much better than what you had to start off with! Now, it looks like it’s not just a neglected structure and am SO glad to hear the outside is mostly all done, at least so you can relax and get through winter in a peaceful state of mind. Just that alone helps the ol’ mood and as you say, you now feel relaxed. I think once the budget stabilizes again and maybe improves from where i am, I’ll relax too!

    I totally agree, getting a bunch of little shit out of the way makes for MUCH better mood, don’t it? :-)

    I have land a PT job that could potentially turn FT within 18 Mo’s to 2 years, and is very much LOCAL, as in, maybe 10 minutes from my house so hopefully I can slowly pull out and begin to work on stuff here again!

    Meanwhile, have been writing, rewriting, countless times a post about MY kitchen, such as it is and why I like it despite being a tad drab/worn around the edges.

    As they say, it’s the little things that count (like buying a not so inexpensive island) to make my 94 YO kitchen FUNCTION (did that back in Aug of ’16) but it’s also the occasional fine tuning of stuff along the way that helps too. The fact of the matter is, I ENJOY cooking in it and that is what counts most, right?

    Keep at it!

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Totally!! My kitchen has kind of turned into a sick renovation joke at this point, but even in its very unfinished state it’s more comfortable and functional to cook in than my old kitchen. I’ll circle back to it, of course, but the stop gap has made the house feel whole again, and that’s a great feeling. Congrats on the new job! Best of luck!

    • 3.31.19
      Vikki said:

      I just stumbled across your blog, love the black. My question is how often have you had to re-stain the fence,( there’s no indication of the year you posted) ours didn’t even last a year, and the stain we used is too thick for a sprayer, so rolling/ brushing is the name of the game…boo! Our fence is pressure treated lumber posts and rails with pig wire panels. I love, love, love the black; hate the upkeep. The stain is also very spendy, and was supposed to last.

    • 4.9.19
      Daniel said:

      Sorry Vikki, just seeing this! I’ve only stained the fence once, a couple months after it was installed in summer 2015! The Cabot solid-color stain is great stuff, really. I have a section of fence in cedar as well, where I will say it’s held up better than on the pressure-treated. It has faded somewhat, not terribly unexpected, but looks fine and would look really sharp with another quick (watered-down a bit, even) re-coat which I may get to this summer. What problem are you dealing with specifically? Peeling? Fading? I can’t really speak to how other stains hold up in this application, but I can try to help!

  8. 11.16.18
    Lisa said:

    One step at a time – in the real world, is there ever another way?


    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      I think I used to think so, haha!

  9. 11.16.18
    Norah said:

    Damn Daniel! It looks great. Really great. Your garage blitz was a total success. Well done

  10. 11.16.18
    Sara L. said:

    LOVE your black garage. Looks amazing now, all cleaned up! I had to laugh when I saw the picture of the doors with only half the paint scraped off the windows. I do crap like that all the time. And the old doorknobs! I love the color. I remember when I was a teenager, and we were prepping our built-in-the-1930s house to sell. We stripped the old doorknobs, which had been painted over multiple times, revealing lovely antique brass ones! My mom was so pissed that we didn’t do it until we were leaving.

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Haha! These things happen! Now you know what’s mostly likely hiding under years of old paint!

  11. 11.16.18
    SheLikesToTravel said:

    In the past I never would have considered certain colors (black) for a building. After reading your blog, I have totally converted. This looks amazing and I love reading about the work you are doing. It is no surprise to me that your city wants you on their boards.

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Aw, thank you! It’s funny—the black house has become something of a Catskills-vacation-home cliché, to the point where I’m like IF I SEE ANOTHER DAMN BLACK HOUSE I’M GONNA…but then again I still like it, I’m a sucker. :)

  12. 11.16.18
    Jenn Houser said:

    Excellent job. Good on you.

  13. 11.16.18
    Pat said:

    It looks FANTASTIC! I’m terribly jealous of your energy. What’s your secret as there are days I can barely do a few loads of laundry? I’m inspired to get out today and cut the weeds down around the house. It’s only 38 out, so what can go wrong?

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      No secret, haha! But I do like to get stuff done, and I get kind of antsy if a few days go by without getting a little bit done on the house, especially when the alternative is sitting at the computer. I gotta get my ya-yas out! I sort of enjoy that time by myself just going between a bunch of different tasks and checking things off the to-do list. But some days I’m the same, and that’s OK too—as long as I’m honest about if I really need to recharge or I’m just procrastinating something. Of course in this case it helps immensely that Lowe’s is providing product and paying me, so I’ve been able to cut back on freelance work a bit and pivot more toward personal projects…of which I have many, as you know!

  14. 11.16.18
    JDub said:

    Hi Daniel,
    You’ve done a great job, enjoy your progress. The black garage inspired me to paint my shed trim black, which made all the difference. And then I painted my interior french doors black. Used BM black onyx for both on your recommendation and I’m so happy with the results. People are afraid of black paint and I don’t know why, it’s such a great neutral with impact.
    The punch list on my new-to-me 100 year cottage hasn’t grown but it hasn’t gotten any shorter either. One item scratched off, another added. This week I had a water main break and 2 trees fall. Homeownership is fun for everyone!?! PS get water line insurance if your company offers it! Anyways, point of this is that in the midst of the work chaos, take time to enjoy your home.
    Have a great holiday,

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      Aw, thank you for telling me! That’s so nice to hear!

      1000% know what you mean about the never-shortening to-do list. Ohhhhh do I know. Hopefully you got your house crises out of the way so you can rest a little as winter approaches!

  15. 11.16.18
    Caroline said:

    When I saw the curtains I was sure you were going to bust out the cornstarch!

    • 11.16.18
      Daniel said:

      I ALMOST DID, haha!! I decided the fabric would look better with some volume and texture, though, and I think I made the right choice! But it was a close call! (jeez, that was forever ago!)

  16. 11.16.18
    Amanda said:

    So so good!

  17. 11.16.18

    I know by experience that replacing an old surface-mount deadbolt with a new through-the-door deadbolt is not easy. You used the right tools and did a great job. Congratulations!

  18. 11.16.18
    Michele said:

    This post is the highlight of my day! I always find a house reno tidbit that I can use in my own 1960’s home.
    I’ll be heading to Lowe’s to pick up some exterior caulk.
    Black on black looks perfect! Can’t wait to see your kitchen! All the best from Philly!

  19. 11.16.18
    Kate said:

    I love it! The black garage is so cool, I want one for myself, haha! The French doors look awesome. The layers of paint don’t bother me, either, but I think it’s because this is a garage and doesn’t necessary need to look as clean and neat as your main house. Congrats on hitting this milestone and not feeling absolutely crazed going into winter!

  20. 11.16.18
    Mary W. said:

    I was all for a pop of color for the light above the French doors, but seeing glossy black, I have changed my mind. You were right! And the sheen lets it stand out just a wee bit from the matte of the garage. Love the finished(ish) product.

  21. 11.16.18

    Your garage looks like it could be an AirBnB. Maybe later.
    I am in awe of all you manage to accomplish, and with such good taste. Your neighbors must love you…or else they are worried because you are raising the game in the neighborhood and suddenly THEIR houses are the eyesores of the street.
    That faux-wood/marble doorknob against all the black is just perfect.

  22. 11.16.18
    knuckles said:

    I just looked at your garage, and realize you have my dream house right there. The French doors leading to the small patio area, the pitched roof, the proportions…all of it. I am guessing the square footage is what 500 ft or so…room for a small kitchen and bath, a sitting area and a bed. Perfect.
    I love the black, but the difference between the matte and the glossy, really does make a difference.
    Yet another wonderful Daniel job.

  23. 11.16.18
    Jeanna said:

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Project-Source-18-in-to-28-in-White-Steel-Sash-Rod/4757669 It all looks wonderful :) But I was surprised you didn’t use a rod like this.

  24. 11.16.18
    Kendal said:

    Your before & afters (or mid-ways) are so satisfying, thank you! You might be pleased to learn I have those same Schlage locks (in matte black) on my home and I locked myself out today and had to call a locksmith… and he couldn’t get in. He asked if I had an easier way in, which I did, but thumbs up for Schlage. (Yes, I do have a lockbox, but change the code frequently for trades and I couldn’t remember the latest code… which was inside my locked house on my phone.)

    • 11.16.18
      Alexis said:

      We once locked ourselves out of our old (rented) apartment.
      My father in law was a retired locksmith and started tuttting immediately when he arrived. I think he had the door open in under 30 seconds.
      He came and fitted better locks for us the next day.

  25. 11.16.18
    Colleen said:

    Hi Daniel, I’ve been following your blog since 2011 when I was traveling through NY (I’m from Australia), and your posts are the highlight of my blog feed. Anyho, off topic to your gorgeous garage… I can’t stop thinking about your down stairs (that sounded wrong) :) the entry to your house and those gorgeous stairs. You were blogging a lot about that for awhile and then *nothing* – I’m so wanting to know how it’s looking now! You’ve been doing SO much elsewhere I’m guessing it’s still the same, but I can’t stop thinking about it. Damn it! Is it? :)

  26. 11.16.18
    Helen said:

    Hi Daniel, GREAT JOB on the security of the garage. Small suggestion: put a long slide bolt (horizontal and into the sill and concrete) on to one of the French doors. Keeps them steady, in case of a wind storm. (Been there: the door and frame ended up cracked and damaged.)

  27. 11.16.18
    Lori said:

    Ahhhh, it looks so cute! And I love your neat little border & hedge!

  28. 11.16.18
    AnotherOne said:

    Thank you for the vicarious feeling of satisfaction in crossing a relatively small but annoying item off a list! Doesn’t that seem like it should be a word – maybe German? Or Japanese?

    Great progress

  29. 11.16.18
    Alexis said:

    It looks so great, who knew a garage could be so stylish?

    In fact your little black garage inspired me to paint my garden shed black too (in 35 degree heat in the summer last year, it was not smart, it has a galvanised steel roof) (that’s 95 in weird American temps btw).
    I’ve also been working on doing the garden walls black, ala your fence, looking good so far.

    I totally understand the impulse to expand the job, I think it is a natural consequence of wanting to get something finished properly. I’ve had a more than a few eye rolling, “you’re starting on that, now?” from the husband, who prefers to start early and finish one job at a time.

  30. 11.16.18
    lisa anne said:

    Yes! Beautiful DK! Love, love, love it!

  31. 11.16.18
    Chaucea said:

    Oh my, that little window so needs a window box below it, with hot pink or dark, velvety purple cascading petunias! :D

    Lovely work on your garage!

  32. 11.16.18
    Lisa said:

    I love your writing. I love your blog. Please don’t ever stop. ☺️

  33. 11.17.18
    TLH said:

    How utterly satisfying! Yours is my favourite blog and I will never tire to look at all the amazing improvements you add every time you get cracking! Excuse me now, I have to go and make a t-shirt that says: hello, my name is Tricia and i am patently unhinged.

  34. 11.17.18
    Pam said:

    So great: I love it all! You have perfect vision!

  35. 11.17.18

    Good job! I was *thinking* the sewing comment and then you wrote it! Exactly how I end up doing projects too.

  36. 11.17.18
    Cyndi J said:

    Love a man who can use power tools AND a sewing machine.

  37. 11.17.18
    Celeste said:

    This looks fantastic! I really appreciate how real you are about the challenges of renovation, and how overwhelming it can be, and how the timelines on even little projects can be years from beginning to end. Also, your partnership with Lowe’s makes me want to go there instead of the closer-to-me Home Depot.

  38. 11.17.18
    Southern Gal (@sogalitno) said:

    a birthday present yesterday – a new post from you!
    i thought of you as i was at ikea on my bday yesterday – it would be something you would do!

    i had the day off not only for my bday but also to do a huge Ikea buy… i finally finally finally figured out two room puzzles – the library and the kitchen (dish storage). i may write something for my long quiet blog if i can be brave to show my still unpacked boxes as the before… hmm.

    for the library its taken awhile because i have these fabulous wood bookcases that are now 300 a pop (they were 200 ten years ago when i got them) and i was so bummed and got frozen figuring out how to add more book cases without spending 600 (ouch). finally last weekend i came up with the solution involving billy (of course and with a small adjustment) but i could get what i needed for half of one new bookcase (win)

    then the dish storage issue in the kitchen – there is ONE builtin cabinet with shelves that have a plate rail on each of the three shelves (and narrow shelves) so even tho there is a pantry (its a wee pantry with (yes) very few shelves (sigh) and i am not allowed to attach anything to the walls) i have had to come up with various shelving solutions in the kitchen and pantry but the dish situation was the hardest – not even enough room in the builtin – so another billy unit to the rescue (but not the typical one) to be put in the adjoining den (dining room originally, i am using the library as a dining room also) maybe will post instagram updates thru the week.

    anyway you are my inspiration in all things DIY (along with YBH and DIYDIVA ) so i will be channeling you this week as i push thru building many billys and a coffee table and then lots of unpacking (FINALLY) of dish boxes and book boxes… hey ho who needs to celebrate a birthday or thanksgiving anyway!

  39. 11.17.18
    Mar said:

    Why has it never occurred to me to spray paint light fixtures? I’ve looked at those very same lights but I really want a pop of color by my doors. I’m heading to the Lowe’s site next! And, I think I heard years ago that those brown doorknobs are Bennington pottery.

  40. 11.17.18
    Laurel said:

    Looks great Daniel! So cute! When you get back to your garden it will create such a nice architectural base! I too love old layered paint, it’s a sense of history!

  41. 11.18.18
    Nicolette said:

    I am so obsessed with the black garage…with French doors?! Stop.
    Side note. They have light bulbs with a light sensor for those of us who don’t want to wire things

  42. 11.19.18
    Bean said:

    Yes, the layered paint on the garage is fun–impasto is so sculptural and bounces the light around in fun ways. It’s somewhere between Ad Reinhardt and Willem de Kooning.

  43. 11.19.18
    jana said:

    good god. now i want to go home & paint my old detached garage black.

  44. 11.19.18
    Ellen said:

    I also thought you had done the mercury glass thing on the French door windows. Which I was totally down with, though the curtains look fab!

    That last pic with the large green leaves and church steeple behind the beautiful black garage is the best! You put so much work into your house, and not just the making it pretty… I can’t tell you how impressed I am!

  45. 11.19.18
    Kristina said:

    Your garage looks so good, chic-er than any garage has a right to be. I love the black on black on black on black…. But do tell – what is this paint removing garage crock pot of which you speak? It sounds magical.

  46. 11.19.18
    greta said:

    The garage is so cute. And, lock installation! Another subject that I have never thought about ever. Great work.

  47. 11.19.18
    Eileen said:

    oh damn. I just pulled/scraped/cut (and swore and cussed and swore some more) the cracked caulk from the interior of the ($#@%#!!!) vinyl windows in my 1925 bungalow, and then did all the agonizing scraping/sanding/priming/painting. And NOW I find out there’s a stretchy caulk. Is it paintable?

    • 11.19.18
      Daniel said:

      Yes, it is! But you still did all the right things! If you want to caulk, just add it now and one more coat of paint!

  48. 11.21.18
    Lynne said:

    My weekend to-do list now includes a trip to Lowe’s for some Big Stretch caulk! I have some serious caulking to do on the back of my house and this looks like the perfect thing. I saw you mention this on Instastories a while ago but forgot the name (how could one forget that name?), so thanks for mentioning it again!

  49. 11.21.18
    kmkat said:

    That is one fabulous garage! I am especially fond of the brown marled doorknob and the French doors. If you ever decide to throw a pop of color somewhere on it, might I suggest forest greet? The after photo with the shrubs (boxwoods?) against the black side wall is a very nice color effect.

  50. 11.26.18
    Jon said:

    Hi Daniel,
    Great post! I have an old detached garage that is very similar and I plan to implement some of your improvements! Quick question – do you know what the name of that shiplap siding is? I have the same stuff and need to do some repairs.

    • 11.27.18
      Daniel said:

      Yes! I think it’s usually called German Lap Siding, but sometimes Dutch Lap or Cove lap. I believe they’re all the same thing!