Shabby Chic Ideas for Old Doors


The layers of peeling paint, the worn edges, the scratches and scuffs from years of use -- all these things make an old door unattractive to some, but to those who love the shabby chic style of decor, years of use only make an item more attractive. If you're lucky enough to have found an old door at a tag sale or salvage yard, you can use it to create a new piece of furniture.


  • Whether a dining table, a coffee table or a desk, an old door makes a wonderful shabby chic tabletop. For tables that get lots of surface use, such as a dinner table or a desk, doors with a flat surface, as opposed to doors with raised panels, work best. Or, have a piece of glass cut to fit the table top, making the surface level. All you need is table legs or some sort of table base, such as file cabinets, large urns, saw horses or even cement blocks.


  • Attach an old door to the wall to use as a headboard. This works and looks best when the door is at least as wide as your bed, if not wider. To get the width you need, place two doors vertically side by side or turn one door horizontally. If you use doors in their vertical position, your headboard will be tall enough to hang artwork or a shallow shelf at the top.

Room Divider or Privacy Screen

  • With their size and height, doors make effective room dividers or privacy screens. Attach three or four together with hinges so that the screen can stand up on its own. This allows you the flexibility to move the screen wherever and whenever you like. Another option is to permanently attach a door perpendicular to a wall to create a private stall or alcove, for example in the bathroom to create privacy at the tub or toilet.

Bench or Hall Tree

  • Use an old door as the base and back of a bench or a hall tree. For a bench, attach a seat to the door about 20 inches up from the floor, and attach legs to the front of the seat. To turn this bench into a hall tree, attach a mirror toward the top of the door and add several coat and hat hooks on either side of the mirror.

Wall Art

  • If a door has a particularly interesting appearance or is heavily carved or distressed, mount it on the wall in place of a large framed print or painting. If your old door has glass panes, paint each pane a different color, or, if you are confident in your art skills, paint a picture or a letter on each pane.

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