By Sommer Poquette for Home Depot
When you look at a door, do you ever wonder how many people have walked through it and who they were? Think of an old farm house and the hardworking farmer that shut and opened the door early in the morning before going out to the barn. If only doors could talk, the history they would reveal!
When I see an old door at a garage sale, antique store, on the side of the road or at a flea market…I wonder. I wonder about where the door came from and the story it might tell. Something about old doors and windows intrigues me. I hate to see them thrown into a landfill. It’s like their story ends, but it doesn’t have to.
I like to give old things a new life-making something vintage into something usable, like making an old door into a chalkboard. If you have an old door or happen upon one while traveling, here are five unique solutions for reusing it and making it not-so-old anymore. Okay, it will still be old, but it will be usable and can continue telling a story-just a new tale, of sorts.
- Create Raised Bed Planters for Your Garden. If you have old panel doors, you’re in luck for gardening! Chris Hoyt and his wife of Langua Travel used three old 10-panel doors to create 30 separate planters for their raised garden beds. They removed the glass and affixed them to the top of their raised garden beds. What a wonderful way to utilize old doors!
- Restore an Old Door! It’s tempting to go buy a new door (and sometimes you have to go that route) but often you can make an old door look fresh again with some good old-fashioned elbow grease. That’s what Meghan Quinones of Blitsy.com did; she used elbow grease and a fresh coat of paint that had a pop of color to give her front door new life. She could have just bought a new door, but her old one was unique and just needed a good scrub, sanding and some fresh paint.
- Turn an Old Farm Screen Door Into a Bedroom Mirror. I’m a sucker for anything from a farm house, which is why when I saw this old screen door turned into a mirror, I knew it was meant just for me. That’s what I told my husband anyhow, and now I get to look at it each day in our bedroom. I’m always wondering where it came from and how many times it was slammed or how many children came running through it giggling. Oh the tales I make up!
- Kids Play House. Any old door will do when it comes to a child’s play house or tree house. Mark, the co-host of My Fix it Up Life, the show and blog, recommends using old doors for the roof and walls of a child’s play house. Of course, there are challenges with this, depending on the project and the age of the door. He recommends you use a lead test kit for safety because the older the door, the more likely it is to have a coat of lead paint, which can be dangerous to young children. He says the flecked paint looks vintage but may also be poison, so invest in a lead test kit for extra safety.
- Make an old Door into a Table. Cristin Frank, author of “Living Simple, Free & Happy,” gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to reuse an old door to make a coffee table. She’s also the blogger behind Eve of Reduction, and I asked her why she likes to reuse doors. Cristin says, “I like the furniture in my home to tell a story and have that element of discovery.” She also tells me that it was an economical and resourceful way to furnish her home. I couldn’t agree more! Making something old into something useful gives your home a unique element of style.
If you’re like Cristin and I, you like your home to tell a story, and you’re into saving money while furnishing your home. These five ideas for reusing old doors are just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are endless! Upcycling, repurposing and making something old into something new is creative and fun! Hopefully these ideas will inspire you to think twice before buying a new door to replace something old and will make you stop and think about that old door you eyed at the flea market. What could you turn that old door into?
Sommer Poquette is a mom blogger who writes about her DIY projects, including upcycling, for Home Depot. If you’re enthusiastic about Sommer’s second-time-around ideas for doors and are also scouting around for a new door, you can visit Home Depot’s website at www.homedepot.com/b/Doors-Windows-Doors/N-5yc1vZas82.
Photo Credits: Noted under each photo and linked within the text where appropriate. If not noted, they’re courtesy of Sommer Poquette.