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Don’t Ditch the Door: Creative Upcycling Ideas for Old Doors

Don’t Ditch the Door: Creative Upcycling Ideas for Old Doors

There’s a certain magic to old doors. They hold stories of lives lived, of greetings exchanged, and of thresholds crossed. But what happens when a door reaches the end of its swinging days? Don’t relegate it to the landfill.

With a little creativity, breathe new life into an old door and transform it into a stunning piece of furniture or a unique statement piece. But exactly how do you reuse a wooden door? Whether you’re searching for a salvaged door project or want to find out how to repurpose an old door, feel inspired by our best door recycling ideas.

Images via Blah to Tadah, First Home and Apartment Therapy. Sourced via Pinterest.

Furniture Fantastic

Headboard Majesty
Leaning an ornately carved door against the wall behind your bed creates an instant vintage headboard. Add fairy lights or drape fabric for a touch of whimsy.

Table Talk
A sturdy door can be reborn as a beautiful table. Add legs and a fresh coat of paint for a conversation-starting coffee table or a charming entryway console.

Shelf Life
Prop a door vertically and secure it to the wall for a rustic display shelf. Add cubbies or hooks for additional storage and functionality.

Garden Gate Grandeur
Repurpose a door as a unique garden gate. Paint it a vibrant colour or stencil on a whimsical design.

Images via Matchness and Home Barn Shop. Sourced via Pinterest.

Crafty Creations

Mirror, Mirror on the Door
Attach a large mirror to the flat surface of a door and frame it with its original moulding for a one-of-a-kind statement piece.

Picture Perfect
Lean a vintage door against the wall and use it as a giant picture frame. Display a family photo collage or a collection of artwork.

Chalkboard Chic
Paint one side of the door with chalkboard paint. This creates a giant message board or a fun activity surface for kids.

Before You Begin

Safety First
Check the door for loose hardware, splinters, or lead paint (especially for pre-1978 doors). Address any safety concerns before starting your project.

Clean Up
Remove any hardware and thoroughly clean the door with a warm, soapy cloth taking care not to use any harsh chemicals. Sanding may be necessary for a smooth finish.

Prime Time
Apply a primer suitable for the paint you plan to use.

If you’re using an old door that’s already in your home (perhaps something you’ve found during a home renovation or property development) use our guide and learn how to remove an old door so you can upcycle it.

How to repurpose an old door

It’s all about getting inspired. Numerous online resources showcase various door upcycling projects and offer valuable tips and tutorials. Use these resources to spark your creativity and find inspiration for your own project.

Browse social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram for projects tailored to your style. And don’t forget to explore architectural salvage stores. You might find the perfect vintage door just waiting for its next life. Any articles referring to the best repurposed door ideas are an ideal read, too.

A treasure trove of upcycling inspiration awaits…

Browse our ‘upcycle old doors ideas and hacks‘ Pinterest board to banish creative block.

Why should you upcycle old doors?

Can you refurbish old doors? Yes absolutely. In fact, there are several key reasons why you should consider upcycling old doors:

Environmental benefits
Upcycling reduces waste and conserves resources by giving old doors a new life instead of sending them to landfills. This can help minimise the environmental impact associated with manufacturing new products.

Upcycling is a budget-friendly way to acquire unique and functional furniture or decorative pieces. You can often find old doors for free or at a very low cost, and the upcycling process itself usually requires minimal investment in materials.

Creativity and personalisation
Upcycling old doors allows you to unleash your creativity and individualise your space. Paint, stain, or embellish the doors in various ways to match your existing décor or create a one-of-a-kind piece.

Durability and character
Old doors are often made from solid wood or other sturdy materials, making them durable and long-lasting. They can add a touch of character and vintage charm to your home, especially if they have unique architectural details or weathered finishes.

Functional versatility
Old doors can be repurposed into a wide variety of functional items, such as headboards, coffee tables, bookshelves, benches, or even room dividers. With a little ingenuity, find a practical use for an old door that complements your needs and style.

How do you modernise an old door?

Instead of a total transformation, show your old doors some love and give them a new lease of life. And remember, the best approach to modernising an old door depends on your individual preferences, budget, and the door’s existing features.

Simple and Quick Door Updates

Paint it
A fresh coat of paint can significantly transform an old door. Consider bold, modern shades such as black, charcoal grey, or navy blue for a dramatic effect. Alternatively, go for a crisp white or a light pastel shade for a more airy and contemporary feel.

Change the hardware
Replacing the old doorknob and hinges with sleek, modern door hardware in brushed nickel, chrome, or matte black can instantly update the look.

Learn how to paint internal doors and how to fit new door handles with our step by step guides. Plus, discover extra DIY door updates with our more in depth article.

More Involved Door Revamp ideas

Add moulding
Applying decorative moulding or trim pieces to the flat surface of the door can create a raised panel effect, adding visual interest and a touch of sophistication.

Incorporate glass
If your door is solid wood, consider adding sections of frosted or patterned glass to introduce light and create a more open feel. Be sure to choose glass that is appropriate for the door’s location and function.

Ultimately, when choosing a modernisation approach, ensure it complements the overall aesthetic of your space. A minimalist door would suit a modern environment, while a rustic door with distressed paint might work better in a farmhouse setting.

How can I repurpose old doors?

See more door upcycling ideas

With a little elbow grease and imagination, transform a salvaged door from forgotten relic to a cherished part of your home. Next time you’re tempted to toss out a door, remember it’s not just a door; it’s a portal to creative possibilities.

Feel inspired by vintage styles with our selection of rustic doors and cottage style doors, available to order for fast delivery. Why wait? Buy traditional doors online speedily and securely today.

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