Savvy DIYer creates completely convincing Crittall-effect patio doors – for just £15!

Get the hottest look for less with this brilliant DIY hack

The trend for Crittall doors is going from strength to strength, fast becoming a must-have feature for any on-trend home renovation project – you only have to scroll through Instagram to see the evidence for yourself.

Related: Brilliant budget garden ideas – boost your outdoor space without breaking the bank!

Do you love the style but lack the budget to replace your existing patio doors? Look no further, as this unbelievable budget Crittall-effect patio door hack shows how to get the look for less!

Savvy DIY-er Amy Johnson shows us how she has cheated the look using electrical tape, costing less than £5, to create her 'Frittal' fake Crittall patio doors – just in time to show off to her friends and family when they visit in the garden.

Amazing Crittall-effect patio door hack

room renovated with patio grey door

(Image credit: Amy Johnson)

How impressive is that for a before and after? It's almost unbelievable that the effect is made using budget electrical tape.

So what inspired the idea Ideal Home asks? 'Being a graphic designer I’m very visual and can also use photoshop, so after finding some inspiration on Pinterest (real Crittal examples) and Instagram (accounts I follow who’d done ‘Frittal’ makeovers on a budget) I took photos and mocked up how our doors would look,' Amy says.

Just to be clear, only windows made by Crittall Windows Limited can legally be called Crittall. However, rightly or wrongly, the term is often used in general to refer to any black steel-framed windows.

Read more: Crittall windows – everything you need to know about steel frames

painted grey patio door with wooden frame

(Image credit: Amy Johnson)

'First, we taped the glass and applied two coats of paint to the door frame before then measuring and marking dots between where the tape lines would go with a white chalk pen. 

It was then, with a steady hand and patience I work out the tape placement.' She advises, 'Use a spirit level to get the tape as straight as possible. This took a couple of attempts to get right but was easy enough to peel off and redo. Leaving the tape long and cutting it once in place with the scalpel helped.'

Buy now: Black PVC 19mm Electrical Insulation Tape, £3.79, Amazon

room with grey patio door and wooden table with chairs

(Image credit: Amy Johnson)

'The doors were old and tired – 35-year-old aluminium frames with glass that had been marked by a grinder being used next to them. So they looked really tatty, so I felt like I had nothing to lose' she explains.  'Since the ‘glow up’ the patio doors are transformed.'

'The tape was super easy to fit and hides the marked glass, so although perhaps up close it doesn’t look real, from a distance it’s got real impact. We’d already painted all the panelling in the room, but it wasn’t until we’d finished the doors that the room felt ‘done’. '

Buy now: Rust-Oleum Universal All-surface Paint in Matt Black, £11.38, Amazon

After: Painted wall panelling

room with painted black wall panelling and plant in white pot

(Image credit: Amy Johnson)

And here is that painted panelling, which totally transforms the indoor space. A job well done we say, bravo!

Improve past the patio doors: 24 inspirational patio ideas and designs to transform any garden space

Do you have a makeover you want to share with us? We'd love to see your before and after photos – share them with us on our Facebook page.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.