Paint A New Door To Make It Look 100 Years Old


November 1, 2, and 3 were once-in-a-lifetime experience days for me and several other blogger/influencers who converged in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the first-ever Wagner Painting InSPRAYtional event, hosted by Wagner staff and style guru Matthew Mead, who many know through Wagner’s FINISH magazine. Many thanks to Danielle at for shooting my photo.

Mid-day on Day 1 we were all whisked to various, secret locations around the city. We had no earthly idea in advance where our adventures would begin or end, only that they promised to appeal to all of our senses and get our creative minds flowing in a myriad of directions, in preparation for Day 2.

Needless to say, this day was one of most unique, exciting, and innovative that I have had the pleasure to experience as an artist, blogger, writer of painting tutorials, and photographer! Wagner and Matthew pulled out all of the stops to design an afternoon of pure unexpected play, exploration, and fun. My mind was whirling, but at that point, not sure where, or how, we would be applying our ideas, as our Day 2 agenda was also a secret!


On Day 2, we were each given a corner, created inside the Wagner Innovation area, with two blank, drywall walls, a bit of floor area, and a white painted door. Nearby was a spray booth, paint, tools, and mountains of props of all sizes and styles.

First, the amazing (and quite handsome) product managers demonstrated the sprayers, heat guns, and roller tools we could use in any way we chose. Numerous staff members also joined us throughout the day to assist, teach, guide, and encourage us for the next few hours as we each created our vignette – we could paint, spray, roll, stencil – any prop, wall, floor in our area.

The catch? We were on a deadline! We had to get a plan, execute it, provide random interviews for future use, and GET IT DONE!

If you know my style, you can imagine that texture was going to happen.

From the response I had after posting a Facebook photo of the final door finish, I know many can’t wait to find out this technique, so here goes!


  1. I know this is crazy, but I selected three colors to use with the Smart Edge Roller:  it features a tube so you suction your paint right inside it, and roll without reloading. I chose an orange, and a dark and light green. We were provided with Behr matte paint, however any water-based paint would work. For this project, I prefer flat or matte, but try anything to see what happens.
  2. When you pump the handle, paint appears on the roller, and in this case, amazingly, in polka dots. I played around with the roller for a few minutes to see what it would do, then started on my door, which was painted white.

3. I rolled over the door in a wacky pattern, with no plan. I just wanted a basecoat of older-looking paint layers. Pretty ugly.

4. Next, I used a clean Smart Edge Roller filled with white paint, and started rolling every which way, creating texture and random depths and layers of paint. Also pretty ugly.

5. In open areas, I used the same roller, and a Stencil Library stencil to add in a few accents of pattern.

6. My biggest, and most thrilling discovery was that after waiting a few minutes, I could drag a paintbrush through some of the thicker paint, and “open” spots that looked like paint had peeled off over the years.

7. After a couple of hours, when all of the paint was dry, I brushed on some watered-down brown paint, to further age the finish. I went a little crazy with a 5 in 1 tool as well to pare down perfect edges and the original paint.

8. At this point, I was anxious to try out a Wagner Heat Gun to burn a few natural-looking spots near the handle I was planning to age and add. It was a blast (following directions and safe operation guidelines, of course). I used a scraper to further peel away paint, which, to my surprise, added a green color.


With more time, I could have played with the finish all day.

More scraping, more layers, more…something.

But time was flying, and I had to paint more items in my vignette – a fabulous old picture frame, a new rug, and a set of stars.

What did I learn while I worked on this finish? That Wagner tools are made for a specific purpose. And then you can break all the rules, and make magic! Really.

P.S. Matthew chose 2 Design Challenge winners: one for interior and one for exterior vignette ideas. Woohoo, my door finish won a Home Depot Gift Certificate that is now burning a hole in my pocket!

Stay tuned for more tutorials from my little vignette at the Wagner InSPRAYtional!

Follow Wagner Painting on Facebook for more details on the InSPRAYtional, too.