Teaching an Old Door New Tricks

When one door closes another one opens. When one door is discarded….I buy it.

I had planned on hanging one door, horizontally above my couch. I like to do things a little differently and I especially love repurposing lovely old objects for a use they were not intended for. My plan was to hang some art work and portraits on the door. I will still be doing that but switched up how the door would hang, after finding a second homeless door that needed adopting. Poor thing.

So we hung two doors, side by side vertically. This works out even better because I will be able to hang more photos on the two doors. I love how different each door is. I prefer this over two identical doors. I seem to like imperfection in objects. Hmmmm….

I found the door on the left on Etsy. (https://www.etsy.com/shop/RENPECKEDFARMHOUSE) What did we do before Etsy? I turn there first for everything now…lamps, light fixtures, shelves, everything. I do sometimes miss the thrill of the hunt. Etsy makes it awful easy. It is a good feeling though…supporting small businesses and others’ passions. I found the barn door at http://715-vintage.com, an adorable shop in Batavia, IL.

As you can see the old farmhouse door is a wonderful green and white. You can also see an old truck door on the floor. It is below zero where I live, so I am not in a “work in the garage” mood. The truck door is a wonderful robin’s egg blue and will also be hung on a wall. Stay tuned as my boyfriend figures that one out…..




After breaking my back and straining my neck to get this door onto the saw horses, I began sanding it. I couldn’t wait for help with lifting. When the mood strikes, it strikes!

On old beauties like this I use an extra fine sand paper. I like the sponge kind because they are easier to hold and reusable.



I used to be afraid to sand anything with old paint because I didn’t want to lose the old paint. But if you sand gently with extra fine sandpaper, you will simply smooth the edges of the chipped paint. You won’t remove it. It takes time, but it is worth it. I may rub a little harder in some spots, especially edges, to see if there are more colors underneath. I like to have a little of each color peeking out. I did discover a little bit of blue here and there on this door.



After sanding, I used the vacuum hose to suck up all of the dust. Then I wiped down the door with a damp cloth and let it dry. Once it was dry I sealed it all with a water based , matte finish, polyurethane sealant. I just did one coat. You could do as many as you like. I didn’t feel more than one was necessary for an object that will be pretty much untouched hanging on the wall.

It looks shiny while it is wet, but dries to a matte finish.
There it is…along with an old barn door. I love them side by side. I almost don’t want to hang photos on them.

I didn’t want to just prop them against the wall behind the couches. Hanging them would allow me to see more of each door. So we attached cables to the back of the doors and hung them on some bolts which were screwed into the studs. I forgot to take pics of this and sort of don’t want to take them down to do that. By the way, I use the word “we” lightly. The man I am dating does all of the hanging of odd objects for me. With all of my requests, he’s probably getting concerned I am going to want to prop him on a wall one of these days. Lol….

There’s us! No I am not expecting. This is a pic from my daughter’s baby shower.

Today was the best part. I was able to step back, envision where I wanted each photo to hang and then hang them to complete it all. Seeing a vision come to life is always satisfying. However, hammering nails into these perfectly imperfect doors was nerve wracking. I did it as gently as I could and I love the finished project. I simply hammered tiny nails into the door and hung each photo with a clip. I used about three different types of clips. Amazon is a great place for things like that.

I always prefer a random look rather than perfectly organized photos.


I hope I have inspired you to go treasure hunting for new ways to display your treasured photos. 🙂