Published at Sunday, 21 July 2019. Cabinet Knob. By Adalie Hahn.
A door knocker is an item of door furniture that allows people outside a house to alert those inside to their presence. It has a part fixed to the door, and a part (usually metal) which is attached to the door by a hinge that is lifted and used to strike a plate fitted to the door, making a noise. The strike plate, if present, would be supplied and fitted with the knocker. Door knockers are often ornate, but may be no more than a simple fitting with a metal bob, or ring. Many older period houses and mansions often have intricate knockers in the shape of human heads or mythical beasts. The earlier designs were based on statues that would stand in front of ancient Greek houses. These statues were created with distorted, grotesque features and were thought to be used to ward of malignant spirits and witches. This is also true of gargoyles, which have similar caricatured faces, in order to prevent spirits and ghosts from entering the house. There were also ’good luck’ knockers, which were thought to have magical or healing properties and were used to encourage good luck into the home. These door knockers utilized a motif of good luck charms such as horse-shoes, stars, suns and flowers. The popular ’hand shaped’ knocker is often seen in Muslim countries, and was believed to symbolize the Hand of Fatima which protected the house from evil. It was also thought to indicate that the occupants of that house were followers of the Muslim faith.
To finish off, the door is coated in wood veneer. A thin layer of an expensive timber can be used to cover a cheaper hardwood core, keeping costs down. The process also ensures that a consistent colour and grain can be used across all the door panels. Another door frame option is PVC, a heavy-duty plastic reinforced with a steel core. Popular and affordable, it is most often used in glazed patio doors – great for letting in lots of natural light. Aluminium is a practical and lightweight alternative, but not a look that appeals to everyone.
On the other hand, doors are heavy, difficult to manoeuvre and take up a lot of space. The trestles might leave contact marks behind; and you will have to wait several hours for the first side to dry before you can paint the second one. In practice, most home owners prefer to decorate the door in the frame. Wait for a warm day (at least 10°C) with no wind, to avoid dust being blown on to the wet paint. Don’t work in strong sunlight as the paint may blister. Wedge the door open before you start, and place some cardboard underneath to catch drips.
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