I am so, so excited to finally be sharing my tutorial for my DIY Industrial Factory Window Shower Doors from our bathroom makeover. This one will blow your mind, y’all! My inbox has been flooded with some of you asking for me to spill the beans, so I’ve kept my secret until today.
I had seen these gorgeous industrial style factory window shower doors all over Pinterest recently, and I was instantly smitten for them. The only problem was those gorgeous doors were very much out of my price range and would require some demo work with professional installation.
So I figured out a way to make the factory window look on my existing builder grade shower door. The best part- I accomplished it for just under $60.
Supplies:(Affiliate links are provided below. For more information, see my full disclosure.)
*I already had the tools and tape on hand since they’re usual staples in our workshop.
UPDATE: (12/2016) We still LOVE this shower door! The only change I would make to this tutorial is to spray the metal with automobile primer first, followed by the Rustoleum Hammered Black, and finished with spray lacquer. It’s still holding up great. There’s just a little wear on the bottom inside of the shower door frame that I think the primer and lacquer steps would have prevented. This project was still totally worth it to us.
Time: 3 days (I managed it all on my own without any help from my husband, so it wasn’t strenuous. Just a good bit of time waiting on paint to dry.)
And, of course, you need a framed hinged shower door to start with.
Here is what my shower door looked like before I started:
Step 1. Start with a clean, dry shower. Get rid of as much soap scum as possible. A mixture of vinegar and dish soap can work wonders as long as you rinse it thoroughly after scrubbing. We didn’t use our shower for a full 48 hours to make sure all moisture was gone. (I promise we showered for those two days, just not in this one. In case you’re worried about hygiene here.)
Step 2. Tape off everything with the plastic drop cloth and painter’s tape- the glass of the doors, the inside of the shower, the floor, the walls, anything but what you want painted. It will look like a crime scene in your bathroom for a while.
Step 3. Be sure to open windows, if you have any in the room, and use a painting respirator mask for safety. Those fumes get rough!
Spray three thin, even coats of the black hammered spray paint on the inside and outside of the shower door frame. To prevent dripping, spray in a sweeping motion and keep your hand moving at all times. The great thing about this spray paint is it has primer built in, so you can eliminate that extra step. You can use a spray primer beforehand if you choose, but it’s really not necessary.
I did run into a problem with two of my three cans clogging up because I think the paint is rather thick. I had bought mine at Lowe’s, and they let me exchange them for new ones that worked. Maybe I had a bad batch.
I admit, that first coat was scary. I instantly thought, “Ohhh what have I done?!” It’ll get better. Hang in there.
Let each coat dry to the touch before another (about an hour).
Step 4. Wait 24 hours for the paint to dry thoroughly.
Important: Use a putty knife to score the edges of the painter’s tape before removing it and the plastic drop cloth. Do as I say not as I do because I ended up with this not-so-pretty result:
Scoring my tape would have prevented that problem, but I didn’t think about it until after I had pulled off all the tape. I was the guinea pig for you guys in this experiment.
If you run into any “oops” spots, I figured out a few tricks, which you can read about in this post
Even though I had to fix my mistakes, it turned out great!
Step 5. While the paint on the shower door frame was drying, I went to work on the grid pieces of the “factory window”.
I had measured the dimensions of the glass inserts on the shower door beforehand.
I cut the vertical pieces of the grid first using polystyrene moulding. I decided I wanted my “window panes” to be 5 across and 4 vertical, so I cut 3 lengths for the height of the glass on my door.
Polystyrene is the perfect material for this job because it is moisture-resistant, designed ideally for bathrooms, extremely lightweight, and costs about $2 per length.
Step 6. Spray paint the 3 cut moulding pieces with the hammered black. I did these in my garage.
Paint the backside of the pieces first so the front side will be the smoothest in case of any paint wrinkling on your drop cloth when flipped over. I did three coats on both sides for these as well.
Step 7. Here’s where I had to do a little math (which is not always easy for this former high school English teacher).
I had decided I wanted my shower door to be 5 panes across and 4 panes vertical. Since I needed 3 vertical sections on the left side door, I divided the width of the glass by 3. This told me how far apart the 2 moulding piece should be placed.
I did the same thing for the right side of the door (the side that opens) and divided it by 2, for placing 1 moulding piece.
I used a tape measure and a black permanent marker to mark where I needed to place the moulding pieces.
I used the black marker so it wouldn’t show later on the inside of the glass against the black moulding pieces.
If you make mistakes, just wipe away any permanent marker with nail polish remover.
To figure out how far apart to place the horizontal moulding pieces, I divided the shower door height by 4 and marked where to later place them.
Step 8. After the moulding pieces were fully dry from painting, I applied a line of the Loctite GO2 Glue to the backside. Only apply the glue one moulding piece at a time, not all at once.
This adhesive dries completely clear, is extremely strong, and is temperature and moisture resistant to make it durable against the humidity in a bathroom.
Step 9. Apply each moulding piece, one at a time. I had a minute or two to reposition the piece and make any adjustments. I used a level to double check that they were straight, pressed the piece against the glass, and held for a minute as it dried in place.
Step 10. Using the tape measure again, I measured the widths between the vertical sections to cut and paint 15 horizontal moulding pieces.
Step 11. I used the same process with the Loctite GO2 Glue for the horizontal pieces to place over my door markings. I used a small level again to double check them and adjust as needed before setting them in place.
(That level, by the way, is older than I am since it was handed down from my husband’s grandfather. It’s seen a lot of action, so it’s looking a bit shabby.)
Step 12. To seal any cracks behind the moulding pieces and prevent mold or mildew from settling between the polystyrene and the glass, I used clear latex caulk.
If you’ve never used this type of caulk before, don’t worry. It comes out white. I applied a line of the caulk on either side of the moulding strip and worked in sections.
Then used a caulk finishing tool to smooth it out. It was a messy process, but it gave me peace of mind to reinforce the moulding and seal out any moisture.
After the caulk was dry I had my dream shower door! We waited a full 24 hours after painting before using the shower again just to make sure everything set well. That first shower was a bit scary, but it held up 100% perfectly.
If you’re worried about its durability over time, I can tell you that we’ve been using this shower for a month now and we’ve had absolutely no problems. No chipping, no peeling, nothing but awesomeness! I would avoid aggressively scrubbing with anything really abrasive though.
Probably every time we have guests come over, we’ll totally weird people out and say, “Hey! Wanna come see our shower?” If they know us, they’ll understand.