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How To Update Old Shower Doors

by Harvie Simms

Glass shower doors with the old tracks are a little outdated. They were very popular in the 80's and 90's, but nowadays shower doors are more like one large piece of glass in the shower door. They are very modern looking with clean, beautiful lines, rather than aluminum tracks being your point of focus. If you have the older style of shower doors in your home, you can opt to update them or replace them altogether with something more modern and up to date. See below for instructions on how to update an older style door, as well as how to remove it for a newer shower enclosure.

Updating Your Shower Doors

Updating your shower doors takes some paint, new caulk and some careful handiwork.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Oil rubbed bronze paint (exterior, so it can withstand water)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Painter's tape
  • Caulk and caulk gun
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Clean rags

Instructions:

  1. Begin by removing all of the old caulking from around your shower doors. Do this using a utility knife or razor blade. Be sure to remove it all.
  2. Next, give the rails/tracks a nice scrub down with some fine grit sandpaper to rough up the surface just enough that the paint will adhere better. Once finished, wipe down the rails/tracks to remove any sanding dust.
  3. Once finished, apply the painter's tape around the aluminum tracks and rails around your shower doors. Skipping this step may lead to scraping a lot of paint off of your doors and tub/shower (unless you have a really steady hand).
  4. Using a paintbrush, paint the oil-rubbed bronze paint on the old aluminum rails/tracks. Allow the first coating to dry, then apply a second coat. Painting in light even coats is better than attempting to paint over the rails in thick coats.
  5. Remove the painter's tape when finished painting, then apply a new caulk line around the track, smoothing it out with your finger.

Removing Shower Doors

If you want to invest in a new shower enclosure, those old doors need to be removed. To take them out, you can do so easily with a helper and a few tools.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife/razor blade
  • Helper

Instructions:

  1. Start by removing the caulk around the track at the base of your shower.
  2. Next, remove the screws holding the rails in place at the top. Have a helper hold the doors steady, while you remove the screws holding the bottom of the doors in place.
  3. Remove the doors, then take out the screws holding the track in place. Remove the track.
  4. Scrape the base where the shower doors used to be to remove any extra caulking and other debris that may be left behind. 

Investing in new shower doors can change the look of your bathroom and make it look more up-to-date. You won't be disappointed.

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