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Create Remarkable Pieces of Furniture Using Old Doors!

Updated on February 14, 2021

Old doors offer a variety of possibilities for transformation into things of beauty

Those of us involved in the re-purpose, re-use, re-cycle movement are always looking for new and different ways to transform items that might otherwise be destined for the landfill into new and usable pieces. Old oil cans are converted into light fixtures, rickety old step ladders are shored up and converted into bookcases, old suitcases are stacked on end re-purposed into occasional tables. The truth is, just about anything can be re-used in some way and sent around once more before it is discarded. All that is required is a little forethought and creativity.

In my experience, having been involved now for a number of years, no single item offers a wider variety of possibilities that old doors. Usually plentiful and readily available in my part of the world at least, at salvage yards, thrift stores, even yard sales, they offer a wide array of possible options for conversion to tables, headboards, hall trees, corner shelves, even porch swings and in my experience are surprisingly easy to work with because they are usually a basic, solid, sturdy material, offering a great foundation on which to base a project.

The number of ideas available out there as a result of a limited amount of research are astounding. Simply Google "projects using old doors" and choose from any number of options. I can assure you there will be something among them that you will find of interest if you are serious about the prospect of completing the project at all.

There are two schools of thought on the best way to begin. Some say find the old door first, acquire it then locate a project that works for the piece specifically. Others say find the project that suits you then go out in search of the old door. I say it doesn't really matter, it is really a "chicken or the egg" sort of thing. The important thing is to do one or the other. As I have worked with people over the years who expressed an interest in doing a project. It has been my experience that while some are genuine and really do have a desire to get out there and try their hand at it, others want to do little more than talk about it and for some unknown reason are reluctant to move very much past that point.

One thing that I can guarantee you is this. The project will NOT do itself. Action in the form of picking a project or the material and acquiring it will be the first step toward making it happen. Talking about it and nothing more for the next 10 years simply will not.

With that out of the way, once you have made a decision as to the route you choose to take and either picked a piece or a project, you are on your way to creating a beautiful and unique piece that will be a true one of a kind and a topic of conversation in your home for years to come.

Old doors can be re-purposed into everything from dining tables to porch swings

This old door, bought at a salvage yard was re-purposed into beautiful dining table
This old door, bought at a salvage yard was re-purposed into beautiful dining table
This old six panel door was converted into a one of a kind porch swing
This old six panel door was converted into a one of a kind porch swing

Don't fret the details, with a solid door much of the work is already done

Once you have decided on the project itself and acquired the door, the next step is to accumulate the other items necessary to complete the job. Of course the amount of additional material you will need will be largely determined by the project you choose. The internet is a ready source of "how to" or instructional videos that will most often provide you not only with a plan but also a material list peculiar to the project you have decided to undertake.

I strongly recommend the use of such plans as at a minimum it provides you with the basic idea of how the item you have decided to re-purpose your door into will need to be put together. Keep in mind however that re-purposing is not now nor ever has been an exact science and you are always welcome to put your own spin on any design you choose giving it that very personal touch. Remember this practice is in fact the art of recreating something new and different out of something that at one time had an altogether different purpose so there is wide amount of latitude here when deciding what is right and what is wrong. So much so that in essence it boils down to this. If it is right for you then is is right. It is that simple. There really is no wrong way to complete a project. So leave the stress at the door as it relates to how a project should look upon completion. If you like it that is all that matters.

A customer once approached me in search of a door that she intended to convert into a headboard for her spare bedroom. It so happened that I did have a door that she liked and wanted and after we had agreed on price and the terms of delivery. I attempted to begin a conversation as to how she planned to re-purpose the piece. After a minimal amount of discussion I began to see that she had absolutely no intention of doing anything whatsoever to the piece and I do mean nothing. She intended to hand it on the wall above the bed in her guest room just as it was with nothing added or taken away. That is what worked for her. It was at that point that I began to see that re-purposing more than anything else is a matter of taste.

So do what you like, you will never go wrong with that approach and who knows? You idea may take hold and someday be the number one "how to" plan available to those who come after you. In any case, this is supposed to be a fun, positive experience that is good for the environment so let it be just that.

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Time to put your plan into action and finish the project.

Once you have chosen a plan and acquired your additional materials it is time to get going and wrap up this project so you can move on to another. You will however need a few simple tools for almost anything you decide to undertake. What follows is a list of ideas along with some approximate cost.

1. A battery powered screw gun - (usually $50 or less)

2. A Phillips and a flat head screwdriver - (complete set less than $10)

3. A coping saw or small handsaw - ($8 to $15)

4. Wood glue -($1.99)

5. Assorted wood screws - ($4.99)

Of course the other items required, additional lumber, shelving brackets, shelving boards, posts, trim, etc. will be determined by which project you choose.

Project chosen, plans in hand, materials and tools purchased it is time to begin. I have done hundreds of projects now and I can assure you that the process becomes easier and more familiar each time it is done but in your very first attempt you will find it to be easier than what you thought it would be. If you can follow the instructions and put together a big wheel or a swing set, you can do this too.

Feel free to contact us on our Facebook business at Middle Georgia Furniture Brokers, Macon, GA . Please leave questions or comments and post pictures of your finished projects if you like. We will do our best to respond and we would love to see them.

As for now however, Good luck and happy re-purposing!

The choices for re-purpose projects are plentiful

Beautiful old door hall tree done in "heirloom white" and distressed. With heavy black wrought iron hardware
Beautiful old door hall tree done in "heirloom white" and distressed. With heavy black wrought iron hardware
Beautiful queen headboard made from an old door. Notice the knob and hardware still in tact.
Beautiful queen headboard made from an old door. Notice the knob and hardware still in tact.

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