Questions About Doors and Shutters, Paint and Varnish

kswl2May 4, 2014

In our basement remodel we have brick floors, a short pine tread staircase with black wrought iron railing, and lap siding on the interior of the wall with door leading to a patio through a new, single pane French door.
All the interior doors in our house are painted Charleston Green, which is actually 6 or 7 parts black and 1 part green. The basement doors are also painted this color. In this particular room there is one black door and the new single pane French door that hasn't been touched yet. The window adjacent to the door has plantation shutters. My original plan was to paint the French door frame and the plantation shutters both black, and install shutter dogs on the siding to hold back the shutters when open. These choices are in keeping with the "outdoors indoors" look I like very much.
However, I am now thinking the door might be better varnished like the heart pine stair treads. And if I do that, should I still paint the shutters or leave them white?

The only other varnished wood downstairs will be the recessed shelving (right side in the first picture) that will hold game components for the screen hanging on the wall above it.

This front room will have a green and cream check rug over some of the brick and very large botanical prints with a black background. Upholstery will be a golden yellow with pillows in solid green, tan tartan and red and orange paisley. (The paisley will be bolsters that won't be seen much behind the other pillows.)

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My first thought when I saw the pic, even before reading about the door colors you've already got, is that the stairs would look beautiful with white risers and black treads. Then I read on about your black doors and possible shutters.

With the wrought iron railing and those gorgeous black doors you've already got, and the beautiful green walls, that's the route I'd go.

That basement is positively stunning.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Stairway with wrought iron railing, white risers, dark treads.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Hi Tib, thanks for your reply. Some context is probably in order: this staircase leads up to our first floor living room and the floors tie (loosely) into the wood floors upstairs. The treads were also milled from trees on the property (first owner/builder) so we do not want to lose that bit of organic history. I am really just narrowly focused on the doors and shuttered window at the moment :-)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:53AM
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I see, and totally get the milled trees from the property thing. So great. My father made a master bath mirror and a sideboard for my dining room out of the reclaimed wood from a barn I had to have torn down (it was falling down and a total liability!). They are instant heirlooms. I even have one of the old reclaimed planks of wood from that barn high up on a ledge in my DR as decor! Not a big hit with everyone, though. Some people think it's weird. I was raised by a wood lover though (ministerâ¦get it? Jesus, carpenter, my father, minister, loves woodâ¦LOL).

So, having bored you with all of that, I'd paint the door and shutters black to match the rest in the basement.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 11:08AM
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Came back to this thread and realized I didn't answer the question you were asking. So deleting my previous answer.

This post was edited by barb5 on Sun, May 4, 14 at 16:11

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 3:26PM
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The backstories of peoples' preferences are NEVER boring, tibbrix, I think that is one of the interesting things about decor. Your recommendation was my first intention, but now I am wondering if I should let the French door coordinate with the wood treads instead of the other doors, which are all six panel painted wood. I am also wondering if the French door will look like a black hole at night, with the black frame and dark glass. If I was a talented photoshopper I would try it both ways, but I am not. Haven't yet asked ID his opinion, not sure enough of my own yet, iykwim.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 4:18PM
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I'd paint the exterior door the same as the other doors and leave the shutters as they are. It's a lovely space and I love the history of the stair treads being made from trees on the land.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 4:44PM
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Thanks, justgottabeme, that's an option I hadn't even considered!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 6:04PM
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I am going to be the dissenting voice and opt for varnish. I think it will look smashing with the beautiful stairs. I think it just needs to be highlighted elsewhere. It is really a beautiful room. I cannot bring myself to call it a basement as it bears no resemblance to most basements.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 6:51PM
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I think the door needs to be black and also paint the raisers black leaving the shutters as is.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 7:23PM
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kswl, shutters are not easy to paint, whether you brush or spray, there's always the chance of drips on the opposite side you're working on and you won't see until it's too late. That was not my reason for keeping them that way though. I just happen to like white shutters.
As for the door, whether it is stained or not it will pretty much look like a black hole at night. All our wood work is stained, including doors. We have two sets of french doors in the Gentleman's Parlor, one set in the Sunroom and one in the basement. Our front entry door is full-glass with full glass sidelights. If the WTs are not closed/pulled down, they all look like black holes at night. There's no getting around that unless you cover them with some sort of WT.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 9:12PM
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I'm used to exterior doors having more visual weight then interior doors, so I think Id find it odd to varnish it.

Do shutters exist anywhere else in your house,and if so, what color are they?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 11:12PM
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