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Anna's Attic / Decoration  / How I gave my French doors a Crittall style budget makeover

How I gave my French doors a Crittall style budget makeover


Welcome, here I continue to share the renovation of our barn conversion.  I’d intended to start blogging about our renovation sooner but things have been so busy here I’m playing catch up, I hope you enjoy what I share of our renovation journey and find some inspiration along the way.

It’s now just over two years since we moved to our barn conversion mews, previously owned by an elderly lady, we had our hands full, pastel carpets, floral window dressings, dark beams, ancient radiators and poor lighting being some of the obstacles.

Here I share with you how I updated my French doors to give them the long lusted after Crittall style treatment on a shoestring.  I haven’t ruled out replacing our French doors with the real deal in the future, but for the time being this is a great budget friendly hack which was achieved in just two days.

You can find my Pinterest board here for more Crittall Inspo.

The plan

We all love a bit of Crittall glazing right?   I’ve been a huge fan since first seeing it in the beautiful homes which grace the pages of Living etc magazine 15 or so years ago.  Originally developed in 1884 by Essex Ironmonger Francis Henry Crittall the windows were first manufactured in 1889.  I love the cool no frills look Crittall adds to an interior and would love to replace our two sets of French doors and a pair of internal glass doors in this style at some point.  But until then I opted to give the French doors in our kitchen a budget makeover, the sleek look and the matt black finish would perfectly complement the other elements within the space, such as the NLXL Tin Tile wallpaper, wooden floor, brass splash back and dark kitchen cupboards.

I was hoping to achieve the slick look of Crittall without the price tag.  Some might think that painting the doors black would darken the overall scheme.  We’re quite lucky, in that the kitchen is a good size, having been carved from what was originally two rooms and also having glazed panels to each side of the French doors as well as another smaller window.  With this in mind I wasn’t concerned that doing this would darken the room at all.  Read on to find out all about my Crittall door hack and follow the steps to give your own doors a stylish makeover.

Existing kitchen finishes and inspiration in the form of @tinyandthehouse

Room finishes and inspiration in the form of @tinyandthehouse


Crittall Style glazing inspiration via Instagram, click the links below to follow these fabulous accounts: @the_idle_hands @tinyandthehouse @hornsby_style

The starting point

I was lucky to work with Little Greene earlier this year when I transformed our front door with their pink Confetti paint.  I was really impressed with the paint so when I was approached and asked if I would like to try some paint from their other brand Paint & Paper Library I jumped at the chance.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to transform our French doors.  I looked at all the paint charts and decided on New Black from their monochrome range.  I chose their Architect’s Eggshell along with their Architect’s Primer.  For me it was really important to achieve a matt finish to the paintwork and with a low 15% sheen level (almost flat) the Architect’s Eggshell was the perfect choice.  It’s low odour and environmentally friendly minimal VOC’s are other great reasons to choose this paint.

Paint & Paper Library’s Monochrome Collection

The details

Achieving the sleek look of Crittall meant I needed to consider changing the door handle and the bolts too, both of which were brass.  I found a great replacement handle at www.handles4homes.co.uk.  Their M.Marcus Cheswell Smooth Black Lever Door Handle was perfect and priced at just £20.88 a bargain too.  I was really impressed when it arrived, a heavy handle with a sleek design which included black screws for a high end finish and was very easy to fit.

Black iron handles and spray painted brass bolts

Sourcing replacement bolts wasn’t so easy, having removed them I took one to my local hardware store in the hope that they would stock the same style but in black.  Sadly they didn’t, so I decided I would spray them.  I purchased a grey aerosol primer and matt black top coat for £3.99 a can, applying very thin coats of both at 15 minute intervals achieved a great finish.  How well the paint will fair over time remains to be seen.  Whilst the hardware store couldn’t help with a black bolt they were able to supply me with black screws with which to attach the newly sprayed black bolts.  This made me very happy, they very kindly gave me them, thank you Humber Merchants.

Step by step guide

Once I’d sourced the paint, handle, spray paint for bolts and black screws I raided my DIY cupboard for trusty Frog tape, sugar soap, paint brush, paint scraper and got to work.

Follow these steps if you want to achieve this look too:

  • Remove all hardware from the doors.
  • Use sugar soap to give the doors a really good clean and prepare them for painting.
  • Select the right brush for the job.
  • Give your undercoat a really good stir.
  • Mask off areas you don’t want to get paint onto, I masked around the door frame, I didn’t bother masking the glass as I find it easier and quicker to remove any paint from the glass with a paint scraper afterwards.
  • Apply your undercoat, I applied two coats, leaving 4 hours between coats.
  • Stir top coat well and apply, again I applied two coats.
  • Scrape any paint from the glass using a paint scraper, see below for the tools I used for this job.
  • Clean glass with glass cleaner
  • Fix door handle and any other hardware to the doors
  • Stand back and admire your hard work.

This project was completed over two days, making it the perfect weekend project.  If you have any questions you can email me at anna.straw@hotmail.co.uk or message me via my Instagram account annas_attic_interiors_shop

How I completed the look.

The French doors are in our open plan living space and open onto the garden.  When I designed this multi use space it was important to me to zone it, a kitchen area, dining area and a lounge area too.  One of the ways I did this was to have a large rug with the sofa on, always a great way of zoning.  The problem with this since knocking the space through was that our dog Ralf comes straight in from the garden onto the rug.  I’d become really fed up in winter having to constantly rush to wipe his wet paws before they reached the rug.  Even with those precautions there were times when he would get dirty footprints on the rug so I couldn’t have been happier to discover vinyl rug producer Beija Flor via Dee Campling’s Insta account.

Beija Flor is a small design house specialising in the restoration of antique tiles and traditional artistries, their studio, headquarters, and showroom are located in northern Israel, in an eco-village which overlooks the sea of Galilee.  They use technology to transfer beautiful artisanal images to their vinyl collection, which not only includes rugs and runners but, vinyl tile stickers, designer sheets, which can be applied to walls to create fabulous faux effects and gorgeous table pieces such as place mats and trivets.

I was over the moon when Beija Flor wanted to collaborate, I knew that their vinyl rug was the perfect solution to my muddy paw dilemma.  I chose their Kilim rug, I’ve always been a fan of Kilim, I love the colours and the handmade nature, both of which are perfectly replicated here.  I get the best of both worlds a beautiful rug with the practicality of vinyl, win win.


The rug had been down a couple of weeks before writing this post, I must say I’m really impressed, I’ve swept it every couple of days and given it a weekly wash to keep it looking fresh.  The colours are really beautiful and work so well with the other colours and finishes I’ve used in this space.


I’ve picked some of my favourite Beija Flor products to share with you below.  I’d be really interested to try both their design sheets and their roll stickers, they achieve such great results and look super easy to install, achieving some fabulous faux finishes such as wood, tin and tiles. Perfect when you need to achieve results quickly or don’t want to invest in the cost of employing a trade.

Beija Flor products clockwise from top left:  Eclectic rug from 62 euro, Paris mosaic mat 69 euro, Linen placemats 15 euro for 4, Armenian roll stickers from 35 euro, Abstract design sheet from 230 euro, Wood Panel from 230 euro.


Thank you

I was delighted to work with Beija Flor on this post, I also worked with Paint and Paper Library, who kindly gifted me the paint for this project.  All thoughts and opinions on the products are my own.