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  • Writer's pictureVicki Liston

Carriage Style Garage Doors

Your garage doors don't have to be the least interesting part of your house! Carriage doors add a stylish flair and stand out against all the other houses around you with traditional doors. But they are also expensive. Fake the look with a couple of gate hinges, handles, and a little paint!

You'll need:

* A set of decorative gate hinges * Two large gate handles * A Dremel with two attachments - a cutting wheel and a metal sander * Painter's tape or masking tape

* Epoxy * Measuring tape * Drop cloth, plastic sheeting, or plastic garbage bags * Spray paint - for the hinges and for your faux windows

First, separate the hinges by removing the pins. You should have four separate 'leaves' when you're done.

Next, use the Dremel and its cutting wheel to cut the 'knuckle' off - also called the 'loop' or 'joint', it's the part that held the pin. Then use the Dremel's metal sander attachment to buff any uneven places and to make a smooth edge.

Spray paint the hinge leaves and gate handles to your desired color. For light colored garage doors, black hinges and handles will give you a classic look. Since my garage door is already black, I went with a lighter color so they would show up!

I used the top row of garage door panels to help create the 'windows'. Tape around the outer edges of each panel with the painter's/masking tape. Measure to find the horizontal and vertical center and run two additional pieces of tape to make your window's panes. Use your dropcloth/sheeting/garbage bags to surround your windows and protect the area from overspray.

Spray your windows with silver spray paint -I think silver has a more reflective, 'sun-shining-off-the-windows' look to it. Let dry and remove the tape. Continue for each top row panel.

Epoxy the back of your hinge leaves and place on your garage door. Hold in place while the epoxy sets, according to the directions. Ensure your upper and lower hinge leaves are at the same level on both sides so they look symmetrical. Epoxy the back of the handles and place them next to each other in the middle, a little lower than center. Hold in place until set. That's it!

Much more stylish!

**Full disclosure: Yes, you can buy 'carriage door kits' at home improvement stores. They start at about $40 for the simpler-looking styles and can run OVER $100 for more ornate ones. (Ouch...). My version cost me less than $25!

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