Vintage Door Buying Guide

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Vintage Door Buying Guide

Buying vintage furniture is a smart way of acquiring stylish and traditional items for less. With modern and contemporary styles sometimes overused in places, antique furniture can make some homes more eye-catching.

Doors are one piece of furniture for which some homemakers ignore when thinking of ways to rejuvenate their house. Although vintage styles will be older by definition, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be unusable or inadequate.

Coming to buy vintage doors can be tricky due to the fact they are not available without difficulty from high street shops or online. The recommended place to search is eBay, as sellers know there will be a market for their goods. Not only is there a healthy amount of choice, but some good deals can often be found too.

Why Buy a New Door?

There can be a few reasons why a new door is needed in the home. Quite obviously, if it is broken and appears worn out then it will evidently need replacing. This can make a home look tatty, and even devalue its worth in some cases.

Any uneasiness with the swing of the door should also be evaluated; this sometimes becomes apparent with creaking or squeaking noises. Also, think about if there is a faulty lock on the current door, as in some cases it can make economic sense to replace the door completely.

Tips for Buying Vintage Furniture

Before looking closely at doors specifically, consumers should be aware about how to shop resourcefully for vintage and antique items. 

-  Firstly, due to the older nature of vintage items, the condition of them must be evaluated thoroughly. The better their state, the better the buy. For wooden items, the piece should be free from woodworm and rot.

-  Look for furniture that may have been created by recognised names or have certain styles. This can guarantee a sense of quality to them and mean their value remains high even as the year’s progress.

-  Evaluate the potential of the item in terms of any rejuvenation costs. Although some pieces may appear extremely poor-quality at first glance, some restoration techniques – a touch of paint, some sanding, or gloss coating for example – can quickly restore its natural value.

-  Look for individuality. An antique item should have its own unique style; one of the main reasons why buyers look to acquire such items. This can help a piece stand out from contemporary furniture and add a touch of personality to a home.

Advice for Buying Vintage Doors

Specifically looking at doors and buying on eBay, this section will review the aspects that buyers need to think about before making a purchase.

Where Will the Door be Positioned?

Front doors will evidently need to have different characteristics from interior doors. Doors inside a house can also be differentiated between, mainly because of their purpose and style. For example, the conservatory door may need to be different to the living room door.

A front door will need to be very sturdy, with security being the main consideration. For inside the home, style and ease of access is more applicable to think about. Also think about their weight; opening a really heavy door when entering the kitchen numerous times a door is not practical.

Get the Size Right

Sizing is a crucial aspect of buying a door, especially a vintage one. Take measurements carefully with a tape measure. To find the height of the door, measure the underside of the exterior trim at the top of the frame down to the sill on the floor. 

For the width, measure values in places from top, middle, to bottom. If these results vary then use the shortest measurement when coming to buy – this means that the door will definitely not be too big for the frame.

If unsure about this process then look at more specialist sites about how the size and fit a door more closely. When buying online, read the description carefully in terms of the size specifications.

Choosing a Material and Colour

The vast majority of doors for indoor purposes will be made from wood. Some metal versions are also found as well; these are usually used for outdoor purposes or as security doors. Doors that contain glass will have a wood or metal frame.

The benefit of a wooden door is that it can be painted any colour; this will not restrict a purchase if looking to match an existing colour scheme. Some natural browns can instantly add a natural and traditional appearance of to a room.

Considering the Style
There are various styles of door to consider. This should be done in line with the current style of the house, and also the room in which the door will be fitted. Panel doors are the most common style of door, which can come in numerous styles themselves.

The number panels can vary, with one to four panel doors being common. They can be flat, raised, and have a variety of patterns. Doors can incorporate glass panes inside them also, bringing more light into the house. Think about finishes too, in terms of paint and gloss, as well as how the handle and knobs will look when fitted.

Are Locks, Handles, and Hinges Included?

What can be missed when buying a door is the inclusion, or lack of, working handles and locks on the door itself. With vintage models, locks are likely to be faulty and keys may be missing with the purchase. Think about how buying additional locking systems can be achieved; eBay has plenty of door locks available on its site also.

Handles can be harder to replace, as finding reciprocal styles to match the door can be tricky. When it comes to hinges on older doors, they may be rusty and unworkable. Check this before buying with the seller, and be prepared to buy additional hinges if necessary.

Safety Concerns

Buying vintage comes with the potential downfall in that the door may not conform to present-day safety regulations. The main concern comes with how the door can adhere to any fire safety standards required by local building control departments.

Buying a Vintage Door on eBay

As noted previously, buying an antique-style door will be easiest on eBay, as this is where many people choose to sell. This section will look at how to make a search on the site.

Firstly, enter the Doors category that can be found via the following: Home & Garden> Building Materials, DIY> Doors, Door Hardware. Entering ‘vintage’ or ‘antique’ into the keyword search bar will bring up the most relevant results. Tick the ‘Include Description’ box to increase these listings.

Narrow the doors down by using the refinements menu on the left-hand side of the page by such aspects as material and price. Some doors can stretch up to high amounts, so be careful when spending over values of $100. Ask questions of the seller and do research from other sources about a door’s potential worth if worried about their actual worth.

Checking the eBay Deals section of the site can sometimes unearth further offers on doors, although vintage designs are seldom listed.


Vintage doors can add a conventional feel to the home, often being an area missed by homemakers when coming to decorate. Despite this, their condition can have succumbed to deterioration and extra deliberation is often needed about their purchase.

To evaluate vintage doors next to each other then use eBay as the site allows users to quickly bring up numerous items and then narrow them down efficiently in line with personal preferences. Remember to stay safe on the site by reading the description of the door closely and checking the payments and postage details also.

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