Peep This

Sometimes I do small updates that help me like my home more until I can afford (or get around to) larger/more expensive projects. I usually never regret them because they only cost a few dollars, and there is much to be said for enjoying your home “in the mean time.”

Remember when I frosted the window on the front door? I really should have gotten rid of those tacky paper shades and done that quick, inexpensive project much sooner. But it is what it is.

frosted glass

I’m still loving the light that shines in there, but I really hate not being able to see out. Of course I could have left it unfrosted and been able to see out, but I hated everyone being able to see in.


I mentioned in that post that we might eventually save up and just buy a new door. I believe I said, “Maybe someday we’ll save our pennies and get a solid door with a peephole, like all civilized suburbanites.”

I really do love the light, but I also want to be able to see who is ringing my doorbell. There are three windows on the front of the house, but none of them have a view to the porch. Annoying.

Another thing is, we’re storm door people. I don’t particularly find storm doors attractive, but I do love the functionality. Especially this time of year. Granted, I like to leave the front door closed while we’re doing school, and once it gets dark outside, but I like it open much of the time.

I like leaving the main door open and just having the storm door while my kids are playing outside in the afternoons. Or all weekend long while we’re all in and out working in the yard or running back and forth to the table saw. I like to leave the door open when we’re expecting company. It’s like the international sign for, “come on in, y’all.” We like to leave the door open when we’re expecting Daddy home from work. Etc, etc.

We really do just love a storm door, especially in the Spring and early Summer. I’m sure it’s just one of those things we’re used to and could easily adapt otherwise, but I don’t want to. I do enough adapting. 🙂

So anyway. The door we have doesn’t seem right for a storm door. I mean, glass in the door and also a storm door? Isn’t that kind of redundant? I’ve never seen this type of door with a storm door. Plus, I keep coming back to the issue of wanting to be able to see what neighbor kid or salesman is ringing the doorbell when we don’t want the door open. I want privacy when I want privacy and I want the door open when I want it open (without bugs and stray cats coming in). The current set up is not working for me.

I decided to for sure put a new door (and a storm door) on the wish list. For later. Because I have other things to buy first. But then this happened…


What?! Exterior doors for twenty bucks? Habitat had about a dozen of these doors that someone had donated. They didn’t even have hinge cutouts or doorknob holes. I think they had been donated by a builder or a store maybe. They were new, but all damaged, so they couldn’t be used in new homes.

I picked through the lot of them. Most were beyond what I wanted to try repairing. Like a deep scratch down the front or a gouge in the bottom or a hole near the top. I’m not sure what happened to these, but they were pretty beat up. I did find one that only had a tiny little nick at the very top edge and a small chip in the side.

nick chip

For twenty dollars, I was willing to bring it home and see if I could patch it.

I thought it was most likely fiberglass since it wasn’t heavy enough to be solid wood and it didn’t sound like (when I knocked on it) the steel doors we’ve had before.


It had a label on it, so I just googled the sku and found this door. (I just “saved” nearly $450 according to that MSRP. Hooray!!) It is, indeed, a fiberglass door, so I checked into Bondo. I have never used it, but my dad did car bodywork often when I was a kid. It immediately popped into my head when I was asking myself, “how do you repair fiberglass?”

There are many fiberglass repair kits available at home stores, like for repairing bathtubs and shower inserts. Or at automotive stores for auto body repairs. They are much more expensive than a tiny can of Bondo. I considered buying a small can, but then decided that I didn’t really need it.

This nick in the top edge is so small that it isn’t even really down into the fiberglass. I decided I could just fill it with all purpose joint compound.

joint compound

Here’s a zoomed out shot so you can see just how small it really is on the very edge of the door.

tiny nick

Most fiberglass and steel doors have wood edging so that they can be cut into for hinges. That was the case with this door, so the chip in the side was an easy fix. I just glued in a shim scrap and used wood filler around the edges.

filler and glue

Once my patches were dry, I forced the hubs to turn off Game 7 and cut out for the hinges, doorknob, and a peephole. Woohoo, I bought a peephole! And a doorknocker. I’ve always wanted a doorknocker!


Oh, just kidding about making the hubs turn off the game. I’m not the boss of him and even if I were I’d never do that. Of course we watched it. I didn’t even make him fold laundry this time. 😉 He made all the cutouts the next day.

Installing a peephole has to be the easiest DIY project in the history of the world. That youtube video does it justice, so I don’t even need to say anything else about it.

screw peephole

The doorknob follows pretty much the same process, using a bigger brill bit called a hole saw. If you don’t already have a stocked tool box, this little hole saw kit from Lowe’s would provide everything you needed, including templates for bolt plates and hinge plates, as well as a router bit.

hole saw chisel

The doorknocker just screws right on, but I’m going to wait on that until I get around to painting the outside of the door. Pretty much just so I won’t have to install it twice.

woohoo peephole

Now if I could just find a storm door for twenty bucks.


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