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Polyurethane moldings that are lightweight and easy to install using adhesive and non-corrosive nails or screws are available, says Kathy Ziprik, a spokeswoman for millwork manufacturer Fypon Ltd. They can be attached to any kind of exterior cladding, and they resist moisture and insects.

The moldings often come in kits that include pilasters—vertical moldings resembling columns, which flank the door—and either a crosshead or pediment for on top. The pilasters may have to be cut to the correct length with a saw, says Ziprik, but the cut edge is hidden by a cap. Fypon also sells a trellis system intended for garage doors that can be used over an entry door.

A door with a flat front can be given the look of a paneled door by attaching rectangles made from narrow moldings, says Andrella. Use a miter saw or a hand saw and miter box to cut the corners at 45-degree angles, and attach the moldings with construction adhesive.

If you’re nervous about using a saw, you could achieve the same effect using narrow picture frames.

Paint the moldings and door the same color, and perhaps accentuate the grooves and crevices with a second paint color or with aging or antiquing dust.

You don’t have to be limited to copying a traditional door design. “Different shapes and sizes look really cool,” says Andrella. Simply adding a small frame around the doorknob might be fun.

Unless you use exterior-grade moldings, Andrella suggests coating them with urethane for extra protection from the elements.

Andrella also likes the idea of painting a message on the door—perhaps “Hello” in a fun font (or “Go Away,” if you want to have a little wry fun with your visitors). You might position the message near the knob or on one of the rails (the wide, horizontal parts of a paneled door).

Or use a stencil to add a graphic design or two, such as a damask print, suggests Andrella. One design in an upper corner and another in the opposite, lower corner would be interesting. You can easily paint over it if you tire of it, she says.

©2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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