10 Creative Ways to Repurpose an Old Door

Whether you have just replaced a door at your home with a newer more energy efficient one, or you stumbled upon a gorgeous, antique door at a yard sale, you may want to use that old door in a new way!  You can keep the vintage look of an antique door or completely transform it with a more modern look.  That’s the best thing about repurposing – you can make a piece that matches your home and personal style! Depending how creative you are and how much sweat equity you want to put into this project you can really create a masterpiece.  Read on for some ideas on how you can repurpose an old door.

Old doors

Make a Piece of Furniture out of Vintage Doors

1. Make a Custom Headboard

One popular way to repurpose an old door is to make a headboard out of it.  If you have a twin bed, you can place the door vertically against the wall at the head of the bed and add some great visual drama.  If you have a larger bed, you can align multiple doors side by side to create a larger headboard of doors, or attached them horizontally to the wall for a more unexpected look.

2. Build a Desk!

If you have a casual office environment or are looking to create a fun space for a home office, you can repurpose an old door into a desk.  Figure out the perfect height for the desk and then can attach old table legs or sawhorses to bottom of door to make it stable.  Then, as you would want a smooth writing surface for the top of the new desk, it’s a good idea to get a piece of glass or plexiglass cut to cover the desktop.  A clear, translucent color is best so you can still see the details of the door.

3. Dining Tables out of Doors

Are you looking for the perfect, custom dining table?  Look no further than an old door.  Similar to making a desk, you could do the same thing for a dining table.  If you are more accustomed to entertaining larger crowds, you could butt two doors up against each other to make a larger table.  A smooth surface is important here too so your plates and glasses lay flush on the table top.  If you want a more unique table for outside use, consider suspending the door from strong rope or cables from a tree branch.  You could creating a hanging picnic table.  This creates some creative maneuvering as you level the table, but with the right helpers, it could be a great way to entertain outdoors.

4. Create a One of a Kind Chair or Sofa

If you’re feeling very adventurous, you can create whole new pieces of furniture out of old doors too.  Cut down the door to make a back of an arm chair.  Or use a few different parts of the door to make the sides of a sofa.   You could use pieces of the same door or different doors to make a custom entertainment center.  The possibilities are endless.

Add Storage and Stay Organized with an Old Wooden Door

5. Build Shelves

Consider leaning the old door against the wall (anchoring it if it becomes to heavy) and then attach shelves to the door itself.  These shelves can showcase beautiful collectibles, serve as a unique bookshelf or contain commonly used gadgets and cookware in the kitchen.  There are many types of shelves available from plain wood to those with beautiful ironwork so you can truly create a one of a kind shelving unit for any room in your house.  If you don’t need the whole door – you could always cut the door in half and then attach this smaller portion of the door to the wall and then add only a couple shelves.  This is a great idea for a bathroom and you can store towels, toiletries or other essentials and make a great use of the space.

6. Add Storage with a Custom Cabinet

If you want more storage than shelves alone could provide, you could create a cubby or cabinet element out of the door.  Instead of just a regular shelf, attached a countertop about 1/3 the way up the door would provide a ledge for storing larger items.  You can then add small drawers, doors or a bottom shelf on which to store baskets to contain items such as shoes, children’s toys or any ol’ thing you like.  If you use this concept in an entry way, it is also a popular idea to fasten coat hooks to the door as a simple way to store your everyday coats.   Dress up your hallway while keeping your essentials neat and organized.    Now, if you need shelving storage in a particular room of your house but not a lot of wall space for a full door, you can consider building a corner unit! This is best done by having the door split down the middle vertically, and then have those two long, thinner pieces adjoined and then small curved shelves attached at varying heights.  This is a great way to get some extra storage in a smaller space.

7. Design a Memo Board

Staying organized doesn’t just mean adding storage, but you could also create a memo board or chalk board out of an antique door.  This project is best if the door has some recessed panels.  In these paneled areas, you can either adhere some thick corkboard or apply some chalkboard paint.  Again, you can use either the whole door or just a part of it and attach to the wall.  You’ll have not only a great way to keep yourself and your family organized, but have a unique piece of art on your wall as well!

8. Showcase your Photos

Pick your favorite photos and showcase them on a door!  So many people have boxes of old photos from their childhood or from their parent’s or grandparent’s home.  Sort through them and pick your favorites from some key events in the past.  Attach them to the old door which will now serve as a custom photo collage.  This way you can bring your favorite memories into the present with a door from the past.

Repurpose an Old Door Outdoors

9. Build a Trellis

Just as you can create unique and handy household items inside, the same is true for your outdoor space as well.  One great idea is to take and old screen door and make a trellis.  Start by removing the screening and replace with some classic chicken wire.  Lean the door against the side of a shed or the back of your house, or even secure as a stand-alone piece into the ground.  You could plant climbing vines such as thunbergia or climbing hydrangea and create a vertical, visually stunning addition to your yard or garden.  Make sure to choose a flower or plant that is suitable for your climate.

10. Create an Outdoor Planter Display

If you don’t like the idea of waiting for a climbing vine to grow, you could take a more solid door and instead of adding large shelves you could attach small hooks and then hang small, paint cans from the hooks once you have cleaned them and planted your favorite annuals in them.  This is a great way to add a pop of color in a very unique way to your outside space! If you are trying to hide the exterior wall of your garage or trying to create privacy, consider using multiple doors side by side and plant to your heart’s content

Tips to Help You Repurpose an Old Door

Safety should always be a priority when you repurpose an old door. So if you aren’t the handiest person, make sure you have someone help you especially when it comes to working with any saws or cutting utensils.  Vintage doors can be heavy and hard to maneuver so having a friend work with you on the project is a good idea.

If you are sanding down the old door before repurposing it and/or before possibly painting it, it’s a good idea to wear protective googles and even a facemask.  This would protect your eyes and lungs from any small dust particles you create, and should the door be very old, it runs the risk of containing lead paint.  After sanding, use a damp cloth to wipe down the door and be sure to keep the dust as contained as possible while the project is in process.  This will make any painting you do go more smoothly as well.

Examine the door completely!  Before you start tackling your project, make a thorough examination of the door to make sure there are no loose pieces or shards of wood that could catch on your body or give you a pesky splinter.  Also check for old nails or screws that may be sticking of the door as well.  If the door you are using contains any glass, make sure that it is secure within the door and doesn’t have any exposed edges that could cut you or others in your home.

Finally, if you are using an antique door that is especially heavy, you may want to anchor it to the wall versus just leaning it – especially if you are attaching shelving and other storage items.  The last thing you need is for it to fall over and damage other pieces in your room, or worse yet, a member of your family.  If you aren’t sure about how to best anchor it to your wall, contact a local handyman service and they should be able to quickly and affordably help you with this project.

Repurpose an Old Door Into Anything You Want

As you can see, there is no end to the possibilities of what you can do with an old door.  Repurposing a vintage or antique door not only eliminates waste (as it won’t be headed to the landfill after its original use) but it gives you an opportunity to showcase your creative and handy side.  With some imagination and a little DIY spirit, you can create a truly one of a kind piece for your home that will no doubt inspire others to get crafty as well.

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